Noam Scheiber reports on the shadow candidacy that dare not speak its name:
Given his age (he would be 74 on Inauguration Day 2017), his Rodney Dangerfield reputation among Democrats, and the icon status of presumed front-runner Hillary Clinton, few political observers seem confident he'll even contest the next race. Except, that is, for Biden himself, who has been anything but bashful about his intentions for 2016. When asked by CNN late last year if he was "closing that door" on another attempt at the White House, a slightly offended Biden insisted he was "not closing anything." He elaborated: "I wouldn't have run for president in the first place -- and I don't think the president would have picked me -- unless he thought I'd be good at the job."This wasn't a case of Biden winging it on national television, as is his wont. His brain trust, too, has been gaming out a final run at the highest office. In a not-for-attribution conversation, one longtime Biden adviser who doesn't currently work for the vice president, but would play a key role in a 2016 campaign, sketched out a surprisingly detailed strategy.