Biden Allegedly Planted Deathbed Story About Son

Biden Allegedly Planted Deathbed Story About Son

It was a deeply sad moment when Vice President Joe Biden and his family lost his son, Beau – who was a husband and father himself – to brain cancer at the age of 46. However, it is being reported in Politico today that the story that was reported afterward by Maureen Dowd in the New York Times – that Beau, on his deathbed, had begged his father to run for president – was allegedly planted in the media by Biden himself.

It was no coincidence that the preliminary pieces around a prospective campaign started moving right after that column. People read Dowd and started reaching out, those around the vice president would say by way of defensive explanation. He was just answering the phone and listening.

But in truth, Biden had effectively placed an ad in The New York Times, asking them to call.

Before that moment and since, Biden has told the Beau story to others. Sometimes details change — the setting, the exact words. The version he gave Dowd delivered the strongest punch to the gut, making the clearest swipe at Clinton by enshrining the idea of a campaign against her in the words of a son so beloved nationally that his advice is now beyond politics. This campaign wouldn’t be about her or her email controversy, the story suggests, but connected to righteousness on some higher plane.

So, in order to lay the groundwork for a last-minute challenge to Hillary Clinton, Biden supposedly leaked the story of Beau’s deathbed wish to Dowd in order to garner media attention.

Biden has portrayed his decision about a 2016 run as purely emotional, a question of whether he and has family have the strength. That’s a big part of it. But it’s not all of it.

By every account of those surrounding Biden, Beau is constantly on his father’s mind. But so are Clinton’s poll numbers — and his own, as the vice president notes in private details, such as the crosstab data that show him drawing more support from Clinton than Bernie Sanders. So is the prospect of what it would mean to run against a candidate who would make history as the first female nominee, and potentially first female president. So is knowing that the filing deadlines are quickly closing in and that he almost certainly has to decide in roughly the next week to make even a seat-of-the-pants campaign possible.

“Calculation sort of sounds crass, but I guess that’s what it is,” said one person who’s recently spoken to Biden about the prospect of running. “The head is further down the road than the heart is.”

The Democrats have never been above invoking the dead to justify their actions – the worst example, of course, was the funeral of the late Senator Paul Wellstone – but for Biden to allegedly be telling, and re-telling, the story of Beau’s deathbed wish to the entire national media as some kind of sacred charge is on par in levels of crassness. Beau Biden has a widow and young children, who would, of course, be made much of in the campaign narrative. Is that what he would have wanted? Who knows? All we have is the word of his father, who may be willing to leak deathbed stories for his own political gain.

Biden has reportedly been given Obama’s blessing, and is also reported to be close in making a decision about getting into the race. If he does, he will owe his candidacy to the untimely death of his son, because that, along with Hillary’s declining numbers, is what has created the buzz around him. Biden is currently polling third without even declaring his candidacy. Regardless if he was the source of the story or not, he should send a thank-you card for Maureen Dowd for the free publicity.

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