Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Ignore Joe Biden….

The CW after Tuesday’s night’s Democratic candidate debate was that Joe Biden had missed his moment, with both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders showing why they were running one-two in the polls and the entire Democratic Party feeling a lot better about 2016.

Now AP’s Josh Lederman has published the gist of an email that seems to indicate Biden could still get in. It’s not from Dick Harpootlian or some anonymous schmo who loves Joe from a distance or just hates Hillary Clinton; it’s from Ted Kaufman, Biden’s long-time Senate chief-of-staff and the guy who was given the honor of warming Biden’s Senate seat after he became Veep.

Former Delaware Sen. Ted Kaufman, one of Biden’s closest political advisers, said Biden would soon make a decision about whether to enter the race. In an email obtained by The Associated Press, Kaufman asked former staffers to stay in close contact and said Biden would need their help immediately if he enters the race.

“If he runs, he will run because of his burning conviction that we need to fundamentally change the balance in our economy and the political structure to restore the ability of the middle class to get ahead,” Kaufman said.

Yeah, well, presumably, if he runs, he will run because he thinks he has a reasonable chance of victory, though it wouldn’t surprise me if some self-designated “centrists” start telling us he wants to serve as a counterweight to all the leftward pressure on HRC the last year or so. And speaking of HRC, if she gets past next week’s testimony at the Benghazi! Committee without serious damage, she’s going to be pretty hard to beat on “electability” grounds alone. And maybe October 23–the day after that testimony–is really is when Team Biden figures it has to finally pull the trigger.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.