“Biden has a lot of support out there, and this gives him a way to grow that support while also helping Democrats win and build the party,” said Stephanie Cutter, a veteran Democratic strategist who was not privy to the planning of the PAC.
The organization formalizes what has already been apparent from Mr. Biden’s schedule: He very much wants to keep open the prospect of seeking the presidency for a third time. He has already spoken at a dinner fund-raiser on behalf of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. Next month he will address Florida Democrats, and he has appeared at a handful of high-powered policy gatherings stocked with the sort of donors he would turn to should he seek the White House.
In his public appearances, though, Mr. Biden has been careful to hedge when discussing his plans.
Asked at a recent hedge fund conference in Las Vegas about his 2020 plans, he said: “Could I? Yes. Would I? Probably not.”
Democrats who have spoken to Mr. Biden say that he is genuinely anguished about the direction of the country under President Trump and that he remains deeply frustrated that Hillary Clinton lost last year in part because the working-class white voters that he prides himself on connecting with abandoned their ancestral party.
At the gathering in Las Vegas, Mr. Biden was blunt in his assessment of Mrs. Clinton.
“I never thought she was a great candidate,” he said. “I thought I was a great candidate.” (He did note that he thought “Hillary would have been a really good president.”)
Mr. Biden declined to seek the Democratic nomination in 2016 after an agonizing, monthslong deliberation in the aftermath of his eldest son’s death. But the former vice president, who ran for president in 1988 and 2008, has not forsaken his long-running ambition. He retains a small coterie of advisers, and they are said to be divided over whether Mr. Biden should run once more.
In a Medium post by Mr. Biden that is to publish on Thursday, he explains the name of the PAC.
“Thinking big is stamped into the DNA of the American soul,” he writes. “That’s why the negativity, the pettiness, the small-mindedness of our politics today drives me crazy.”
It is time, Mr. Biden adds, “for big dreams and American possibilities.”
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