RNC puts Biden in 2016 spotlight

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — Vice President Joe Biden’s teaming up Friday with President Barack Obama at a campaign style event in Scranton, Pennsylvania isn’t going unnoticed by the Republican National Committee.

The party committee is up with a web video that characterizes the education event in the city where the vice president was born as the first step in the “Biden 2016 kickoff tour.”

The video starts with a clip of then-Sen. Obama introducing then-Sen. Biden as his runningmate, at a campaign rally in Springfield, Illinois, five years ago Thursday. It then highlights the Scranton event, as well as Biden’s co-headlining of Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa’s annual steak fry next month (the Hawkeye State’s caucuses kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar and Harkin’s party gathering is a must stop for potential White House Democratic hopefuls), before closing by asking “can we afford four more years of the Obama/Biden economy?”

“Vice President Biden seems to be eagerly laying the groundwork for yet another run for the presidency. With President Obama looking more like a lame duck every day with little to show for his time in office, Biden is finding it even harder to conceal his own presidential ambitions,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, in a statement to reporters.

“And with the president appearing at Biden’s side, it looks like there’s at least two leading presidential candidates running for the Obama third term.”

Biden has not said whether he’ll make a third run in 2016 for the Democratic presidential nomination. He launched unsuccessful bids in 1988 and 2008.

“I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States of America. But it doesn’t mean I won’t run,” Biden said in an interview with GQ magazine that was published last month.

If she decides to run for the White House again, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be considered the Democrats’ overwhelming pick for the presidential nomination in 2016.

The RNC has already been setting its sights on Clinton, as have the pro-GOP opposition research shop America Rising. And two anti-Clinton super PACs are already up and running this year.

By Paul Steinhauser

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