So much for the latest draft Joe Biden effort — the vice president won’t be a candidate for chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Biden spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield ended the growing speculation late Tuesday afternoon. “The vice president is not interested in being DNC chair,” Bedingfield said, “but he intends to remain deeply involved in helping shape the direction of the Democratic Party moving forward.”
The prospect of Biden leading the official party apparatus had been drawing interest in Washington and beyond over the past week. Other candidates have begun to step forward, but several party leaders — most recently, former DNC chair and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell — had begun motioning for the vice president to do the job.
He’ll leave office in January after a 44-year run in the Senate and in his current job, and has said he plans to focus on his cancer research “moonshot” effort sparked by President Barack Obama, in honor of Biden’s late son Beau.
In light of the Democrats’ losses in both the presidential election and down ballot, however, some in the party have been talking up the idea that Biden might have been a stronger candidate against Trump himself, and that he’s more in touch with the white working-class voters and economic issues that appear to have been definitive in this year’s races. Reaching out to Trump voters was an idea he’d been pushing even before Election Day.
He’s also higher profile than any of the other potential DNC chairs who’ve emerged as candidates. That combination of factors, in light of the party’s deep troubles, was feeding speculation that Biden might make what would have been a strange move from the second-highest office in the country to the leader of the Democratic Party.
The election for the chair will take place in the spring with campaigns well underway. But it won’t include Biden.
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