Politico reported today that numerous sources are pointing to Vice President Joe Biden himself as the anonymous source who told the New York Times's Maureen Dowd about Beau Biden's dying wish that his father run for the presidency.
While the Biden camp is strongly denying that there was any political motivation for effectively putting feelers out for a presidential campaign via a friendly columnist, it certainly does look bad. Even so, tonight's Hardball panel seemed to think it was no big deal if Mr. Biden effectively politicized his son's untimely death due to brain cancer.
"I mean, I think there might have been some cringing inside the Beltway, but let's pretend here for a moment that we're normal Americans and we see this story: so what?!" huffed Heidi Przybyla of USA Today.
"The fact of the matter is that Joe Biden is a political person," fellow USA Today writer Paul Singer agreed, adding, "it would not be at all surprising that even this tragedy he's still thinking about politics in the back of his mind." After all, he noted, "he's been running for president for two decades."
"He's still a public personality, every bit of his life, yeah," Matthews replied to Singer.
At this point, Time magazine's Jay Newton-Small chimed in by comparing Biden's potential to tie in a 2016 run to his son's dying wish with how other politicians like former North Carolina Democratic Sen. John Edwards have campaigned in no small part on the narrative of personal tragedies:
These are the impetuses that make people run for president, that make people run for higher office. I mean, look at John Edwards. He lost his son Wade, that was his huge impetus to run for office. He certainly politicized that death but it wasn't detrimental to him. I mean, ultimately it was because he had a horrible affair.