"I’m here for one reason and one reason only: We have to take back the Senate," Vice President Biden said during the fundraising event, according to Politico.
Biden, however, appears to have had another reason for attending. Falling just shy of giving Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders an all-out endorsement, the vice president had some glowing words for the Vermont Senator.
"I am not a populist,” Biden said. "But Bernie Sanders, he’s doing a helluva job."
Those in attendance described a bit of a stunned reaction.
“Yeah. It was kinda weird,” one attendee told Politico.
“What the hell was he saying?” said another. "I mean, 90 percent of the room is a Hillary donor."
Biden has a colorful history of making awkward, off-the-cuff comments, from awkwardly rubbing the shoulders of a female biker, to earnestly suggesting that Hillary Clinton would make a better vice president than he. His Bernie comments, relatively tame by comparison, could not have come as too much of a surprise.
But given Biden’s hinted interest at joining the 2016 presidential race, the comment could have been a somewhat ham-fisted political strategy. With Clinton gaining support among moderates and Sanders rapidly gaining popularity among progressives, Biden needs to find a comfortable middle ground between the two.
The problem? Biden is, himself, a moderate.
By essentially saying, "that Bernie, he’s all right," Biden can tout his progressive bona fides and pull his image to the left, if only slightly.
The vice president made another comment during the fundraiser which would seem to support this theory.
The fundraiser was attended by 30 wealthy donors, each of whom paid $10,000 to support the Democratic party. According to some who were there, Biden made slight references to the fact that the room was full of one-percenters.
As to the question of whether or not Biden will run, it’s seeming more likely than not.
But if he doesn’t, it seems we have some idea of who he’ll vote for.