Vice-president Joe Biden is reported to be actively exploring a White House run with aides reaching out in recent weeks to donors and strategists not committed to any campaign yet.
Though he has not made up his mind, according to multiple reports, he is likely to announce one way or the other by September, ending speculation or jumping in.
If he decides to run, Biden, 72, is expected to post the most serious challenge to the Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton yet despite surprise showing by Bernie Sanders in recent polls.
The two reasons compelling Biden to explore his chances are, one, it was his son Beau Biden’s deathbed wish to see him run — he tried to get his father to promise him he will.
And, two, Clinton’s string of controversies — Clinton Foundation’s foreign donors, use pf private email as secretary of state — have left her looking extremely vulnerable.
Though she continues to out-poll the competition, her favorability ratings are plummeting, and Sanders, with his populist, socialist appeal, has been surging.
Biden, who has run twice before for the White House, has been polling higher than Sanders, coming in at No 2 position behind Clinton, even without officially in the race.
The vice-president, who is also a six-term senator, is widely considered trustworthy and is well-liked, despite his gaffes, which have put the administration in awkward situations.
And he has a heart-wrenching life story — he lost his wife and one-year-old daughter in a road accident immediately after winning his first race for the US senate in 1972.
He travelled every day to work from Delaware and took a train back to be with his two sons — the eldest of whom, Beau Biden, who also went into politics, died of brain cancer in May.
But if Biden does decide to run, it won’t be easy. Clinton has tied up most of Democratic party’s deep-pocketed donors, and has built up a formidable campaign machine.
The Democratic field so far has Clinton, Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webbs; with the former secretary of state at the top of the table.