Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Joe Biden campaign launch back in flux, potentially delayed

A source close to Biden said Monday that the idea of a launch in Charlottesville is not happening. A second person familiar with the campaign’s planning also said potential events in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia may not happen.

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the University of Pennsylvania on Feb. 19.
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the University of Pennsylvania on Feb. 19.Read more / File Photograph

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s plans are in flux again.

If the former vice president does launch his presidential campaign this week, it won’t involve a trip to Charlottesville, Va., and plans for potential public events in Pennsylvania are also uncertain, according to sources familiar with his plans.

>>UPDATE: Joe Biden to launch presidential campaign Thursday, visit Pittsburgh Monday

Even Biden’s widely anticipated entry into the race grew unclear Monday, with the Atlantic reporting that a planned video announcement Wednesday was being pushed back.

It had seemed that Biden’s protracted deliberations had come to an end, only for new doubts to arise about the timing and mechanics of launching his bid.

Two sources close to Biden’s campaign told The Inquirer on Friday that they expected him to begin his campaign in Charlottesville on Wednesday, followed by potential events in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Two more sources later confirmed that those plans appeared likely, though they all stressed that the plans were preliminary and might change. The Atlantic first reported that those cities were being considered for a campaign launch.

On Monday, however, one of The Inquirer’s original sources said the considerations involving those sites had been scuttled, and another person close to Biden said definitively that the former vice president would not be traveling to Charlottesville.

Also Monday, a spokesperson for Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration said no permits had been pulled for an event Wednesday on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Eakins Oval, or the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

As of Monday afternoon, Biden supporters were still moving forward with plans for a fund-raiser in Philadelphia on Thursday hosted by Comcast executive David L. Cohen. But with the specifics of the former vice president’s roll-out still unclear, even the fund-raising hosts did not yet have final assurances that their event would happen.

The conflicting information and backtracking continued an atmosphere of uncertainty and indecision around Biden’s intentions, even for people who are close to him. Supporters were still expecting he would run, but were not sure of the launch details, even as they hoped for an announcement soon.

Numerous news outlets, including The Inquirer, have reported that Biden was expected to begin his campaign Wednesday. Yet Biden’s political considerations have long been marked by vacillation, dating back to some of his earlier runs for president and continuing through his consideration of a 2016 campaign before declining to run.

None of the sources wanted to be named discussing the internal plans.