The Lid: Joe Biden's Tough Reality if He Enters 2016 Fray

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By Andrew Rafferty and Carrie Dann

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos….Apparently not realizing the Internet is horrible, the Rand Paul campaign released a new app allowing supporters to take a fake selfie with the candidate. The results included Paul pictured next to terrorists, a toilet, and Nicki Minaj’s butt. (Really.)

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Speculation about Joe Biden’s potential presidential run has reached fever pitch, by which we mean that, at this point, if the vice president was photographed in the same room as an inspirational cat poster, it would be instantly hailed as a Statement of Candidacy.

Seriously, folks, with the fever can come some distortions, and here’s one of them: Judging a potential Biden run by his favorability ratings vs. Clinton’s is simply not a particularly useful data point. Yes, he’s at 46-46 percent in a new ABC/Washington Post poll, compared to Clinton’s 45-53 percent. But as ABC’s pollsters write in a memo, “He hasn’t announced a candidacy for president, a move that can sharpen divisions as candidates start staking out positions on controversial issues, catching flak and aiming some of their own.” Clinton’s underwater, but don’t forget that she was soaring in the high 50s and low 60s for literally *years* before she announced her 2016 run. Obviously the email controversy is a big factor in Clinton’s numbers, but part of the slump is also just the plain old adage that familiarity breeds contempt. Enduring the spotlight as a candidate dampens almost any candidate’s numbers (if they’re not named Donald Trump, at least.) There’s plenty of public admiration and sympathy for Biden now, but there’s no reason to expect that he will get a pass for long if he gets in.


Rick Perry no longer has paid staff working in New Hampshire, NBC’s Kailani Koenig reports.

Rick Santorum became the first 2016 candidate to visit all of Iowa’s 99 counties, NBC’s Danny Freeman reports. During his last run, Santorum did not complete the “Full Grassley” until November 2, and NBC’s Alex Moe was there.

NBC’s Mark Murray breaks down which 2016 candidates and super PACs have spent the most on TV ads so far this campaign.

With an announcement of support from Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the White House clinched enough votes to keep the Iran deal alive.


TRUMP: He told Breitbart News that Bush should be “speaking English while in the United States.”

HUCKABEE: The former Arkansas governor said he spoke with the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses for gay couples to encourage and thank her.

PAUL: His campaign unveiled a new smartphone app featuring artificial selfies and game that allows users to destroy other campaigns’ logos, the New York Times writes.

CLINTON: She rolled out a $10 billion plan to fight drug addiction on Wednesday.


“Would you rather support a candidate who strives to shake every hand everywhere or is a germophobe when it comes to shaking hands?”

-- Question in an online quiz released by Jeb Bush campaign meant to undercut Trump.


Bernie Sanders, Carly Fiorina, and Bobby Jindal are in Iowa.

Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham campaign in New Hampshire.

Elsewhere in the country: Ted Cruz campaign in Texas, Mike Huckabee is in South Carolina, Marco Rubio is in Tennessee and Joe Biden delivers a speech on Iran in Atlanta, Georgia.