EXCLUSIVE: Bernie Sanders’ overwhelming victory over Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary tonight has significant Hollywood Democrats feeling very shaky and advocating Joe Biden jump into the race for the White House. “He doesn’t have deep ties in town,” an industry power player said of the Vice President this evening, comparing him to both the ex-NY senator and the Vermont senator. “However, there are many many people who would jump on board in a nanosecond if he were to run.”
“I always thought it was a missed opportunity when Joe decided not to run, and now we’re stuck with unelectable vs. unlikable vs. Trump,” one Dem-donating studio exec told me after the polls closed in the Granite State. “A lot of people saw him as a possible spoiler last year; now they may see him as the savior.”
After prolonging an entrance into the 2016 race as a Draft Biden movement dawned, the VP announced in October that he would not run for the Oval Office. “As my family and I have worked through the grieving process, I said all along … it may very well be that the process, by time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president,” Biden said on October 21 with President Barack Obama and Dr. Jill Biden by his side in a Rose Garden statement that was covered live by all the nets and cable newers. The grieving the Vice President was referring to was the death of his eldest son Beau in May. “I’ve concluded it has closed,” Biden emotionally told the assembled media of his decision not to go for the big office for a third time.
The Veep has said several times since that he regrets not mounting another presidential run. Right now, 61% of the filing deadlines to get his name on primary state ballots and win delegates have passed for Biden. With another 20% coming by the end of the month, at this point any Biden POTUS effort would have to come out of a brokered Democratic convention – not impossible if Sanders and Clinton have a scorched-earth primary battle that exhausts them and the party for the general election against a GOP-led Donald Trump, sources claim.
“Joe Biden has earned a lot of respect here for his loyalty to Obama and the way he’s conducted himself,” says a top-tier insider who currently backs Clinton. While not in the race, the VP has been a strong fundraiser for the Democrats with the Hollywood ATM, especially in recent months. “If things continue as they are (between Sanders and Clinton), he could find a base in town who will vote with their wallets for him.
As Clinton and Sanders both know to varying deep-pocket degrees, Hollywood is a primo place to look for cash for the Dems. To that end, lame duck President Obama will be back in L.A. on Thursday for an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ day-time talker as well as duo of big-money fundraisers. This will be the 21st time Obama has come to Hollywood for cash since taking office in 2009.
And where will VP Joe Biden be tomorrow? Leading a roundtable on a cure for cancer at Duke University in Durham, NC – right next door to South Carolina, which has its Democratic primary on February 27.