Many N.H. Dems Cool to the Idea of a Biden Presidential Bid | NECN
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Many N.H. Dems Cool to the Idea of a Biden Presidential Bid

Some said they feel it's too late for the vice president to mount a credible run

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    Many N.H. Dems Cool to the Idea of a Biden Presidential Bid
    FILE PHOTO - AP
    Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the killing of Steven Sotloff while visiting the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, N.H. Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. Biden said America will follow the terrorists who posted videos showing the beheading of two journalists "to the gates of hell." (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

    New Hampshire Democrats surveyed Sunday seem cool to the idea of a presidential run by Joe Biden, who sparked rumors that he might enter the race by meeting with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren over the weekend.

    "Joe is likeable, trustworthy, but he is long winded and it usually leads to him putting his foot in his mouth," said Shannon Barnes of the Merrimack Democratic Town Committee.

    Larry Weil, a Democratic activist from Salem, said he's backing Bernie Sanders, and feels like Biden entering the race could hurt his candidate.

    "I feel that Biden entering the race would just fracture the votes of those who oppose Clinton," he said. "I don’t want to see the Democratic race splinter the way the Republican race has."

    Lenore Patton, a Democratic activist from Hampton, said Biden would start from a "severe organizational and monetary disadvantage" if he entered the race now.

    "I hope Joe does not enter the race," she said. "I think the world of him, as do many other Democrats... Many of the activists who might have supported him are already backing other candidates and would not change to support Biden."

    Patton said she and her husband are strong supporters of Hillary Clinton, and if Biden got in, that wouldn't change their minds.

    Former Portsmouth State Rep. Robin Read also said he thinks Biden should stay out of the race.

    "Too late," he said. "His and HRC's positions on most issues are the same or similar."

    Read said he is supporting Clinton, and that wouldn't change if Biden decided to run.

    Windham Democrat Valerie Roman is also supporting Clinton, and thinks Biden should skip the 2016 contest.

    "He is a nice man, but has been criticized for his limited intelligence and gaffes, and I would hate to see his current reputation tarnished," she said.

    Ross McLeod, also of Windham, said he thinks Biden should refrain from entering the race as well.

    "First, he would only dilute the field and enable the ultimate nominee to win with a smaller percentage of delegates," he said. "Second, while I have no issues with his performance as vice president, let’s not forget that VEEP is a completely different job than POTUS. I have not seen enough to convince me that he has presidential 'bona fides.' He brings nothing to the table for me that the existing candidates have not already brought."

    Exeter business owner Dan Chartrand said he's backing Clinton "no matter who is in the race," and doesn't think Biden should run 

    Nashua Democrat Sonia Prince voiced similar sentiments.

    "Hillary is my candidate," she said. "Joe Biden or anyone else will not fill the need that I feel less represented. Less than 20 percent women in US Congress and Senate. Sri Lanka has had five female leaders already. I need to show my daughter we don't live in a country as sexist as I think it is!"

    Mike Edgar of Hampton, however, said he would support Biden if the vice president entered the race.

    "Joe has been my favorite for a long time. In fact I worked on his campaign back in 2007," he said. "He has the knowledge, personality and courage of conviction that I want in a president. I trust Joe to make the right decisions as President. The possibility of him teaming up with Elizabeth Warren is also a very positive."

    Concord State Rep. Dick Patten also thinks Biden should run.

    "I have supported him in the past and I feel he is the right person," he said.

    Graham Smith, an Amherst Democrat, said he isn't sure if Biden should run. "I can see arguments either way."

    He said he is currently backing Sanders, but could swing to Biden if the vice president gets in. 

    Merrimack Democratic Town Committee member Anne McCann is also supporting Sanders, and that wouldn't change even if Biden got in. But she thinks he should run, "if only to grant his son's dying wish."

    Radio host and former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Arnie Arnesen joked that Biden should run, "If Elizabeth Warren gives him permission."

    If Biden enters the race, she said it would show how wounded top Democrats think Clinton is. She said it would force Clinton to campaign more aggressively, and force the media to spend more time covering Democratic candidates.

    "We could expand the conversation from Hillary's emails and why is Bernie resonating with so many people to policy discussions," Arnesen said.

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