Vice President Joe Biden met with Senator Elizabeth Warren on Saturday as he considers whether to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The meeting with Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who once was seen as the strongest potential threat to Hillary Clinton’s bid because of her appeal to liberals and progressives, is a sign that Biden is courting influential members of the party before announcing his intentions. Supporters of Warren had organized efforts to get her into the race, while she has said repeatedly she wouldn’t run.
An affiliation with Warren may help Biden as he seeks to address the challenge of being a 72-year-old white man courting support in a Democratic Party that increasingly is comprised of women and minorities.
Neither Biden aides nor Warren aides would discuss details of the meeting. Clinton similarly met privately with Warren last December.
The Saturday meeting between the vice president and Warren, which wasn’t listed on Biden’s public schedule, required that Biden make last-minute travel plans to Washington from his home in Delaware.
He has been spending time with his family as they mourn the death of his son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in May and who is said to have encouraged his father to make a third run for president. Biden also has huddled in recent days with aides to discuss his schedule and plans for the next two months.
Biden is expected to decide by September or early October whether to mount a challenge to Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for his party’s nomination for the White House in 2016.
Among the factors he must consider is whether he can generate enough support and raise enough money at this relatively late stage, and whether Clinton has been sufficiently weakened by questions over her use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state to create that window of opportunity.
Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist who has said it’s probably too late for Biden to run and has expressed support for Clinton, said the meeting with Warren is “the latest indication that he is, in fact, seriously looking at getting into the race. A couple of weeks ago I wasn’t convinced this was real but now it sure looks like it is.”
The New York Times reported on Saturday that Biden has been in contact with potential donors as some Democrats indicate they would reconsider their support for Clinton if the vice president enters the race. The news of Biden’s meeting with Warren was first reported Saturday by CNN.