Politico is reporting that people in Joe Biden's inner circle are now no longer 100% sure that he will run for reelection. They were expecting an announcement by now and it has been pushed back to at least April. They think that the conventional wisdom that he would run again crystalized too fast and too hard without any real evidence. People who know Biden well are describing him as Hamlet on Delaware's Christina River.
Potential candidates who might run if Biden decides not to run are keeping the door a bit open, just in case. These include a bunch of Democratic governors, especially Gavin Newsom (CA), Phil Murphy (NJ), and J.B. Pritzker (IL). Their problem is that running a primary campaign takes money and staff—lots of both—and if Biden waits and waits, they are all going to have trouble putting a campaign together quickly. Of course, it affects all of the POTUS wannabes equally, but those who are already known nationally have a leg up on those who are not. Nevertheless, potential candidates and their donors are working very quietly below the radar to prepare for Plan B, should it be needed.
One problem that Biden now has is that he hasn't done much fundraising in Q1. If he were to announce this quarter, he would have to report his meager fundraising totals for the quarter. If he delays announcing until April, then his first required report will be Q2, which presumably will look a lot better than Q1.
If Biden does run, one of the issues he will hammer on is protecting Social Security and Medicare from the Republicans. In Biden's 2012 vice-presidential debate with Paul Ryan, he savaged Ryan on the congressman's plans to upend the programs. Viewers who saw the debate said that Biden won, but exit polls showed that seniors still voted Republican. Biden is determined to use Social Security and Medicare as weapons to bludgeon the Republicans with. Now that Biden is past 80, he can argue that he has many friends in their 80s and they keep telling him how important the programs are. (V)