MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We’re just 14 months away from the 2016 Presidential election, and candidates are busy trying to convince their parties to put their names on the ticket.
This weekend, top Democrats are in Minneapolis for the Democratic National Convention’s summer meeting. Most notably absent is possible candidate Joe Biden.
Four of the five Democratic candidates will speak to the DNC later today: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chaffee. Former Sen. Jim Webb will not be in attendance. Remarks from the candidates start at around 10 a.m. and last until 3 p.m.
DNC members say so far there’s little political infighting.
“From my perspective as a leader, we need as many candidates as possible,” Minnesota DFL party member Ken Martin said. “It only makes our eventual nominee stronger, but it also helps us truly have a debate about the issues that are important to our party, and how we’re going to present those to the general election voters next November.”
The DNC summer meeting gives candidates a chance to address DNC members and state party chairs who will have voting spots at next year’s Democratic National Convention.
But, the event may not be smooth sailing — many at the DNC are expecting drama from Biden supporters. Volunteers for Clinton say they’re not worried about the vice president throwing his hat in the race, but Republican leaders say they should be concerned.
“I think democrats are in a kind of disastrous situation right now,” Minnesota Republican Party Chair Keith Downey said. “Their front-runner candidate Hillary Clinton is really tanking in the polls. The public does not see her as trustworthy, for good reason. The concept of a Joe Biden candidacy is far better than the reality will be, so the person really running their campaign is a 73-year-old socialist. I don’t really feel that’s a good situation.”
Clinton has rolled out a string of high-profile endorsements and scheduled several fundraisers across the country in an effort to throw cold water on a possible Biden bid. Also, some donors who have publicly expressed support for a Biden run say they have been contacted by the Clinton team.
Supporters of Vice President Joe Biden sent an email asking the DNC to keep an open mind and consider a Biden candidacy. The DNC meeting in Minneapolis continues through Saturday.