So let's see: Joe Biden met with delegates from the Democratic Party behind closed doors today, dropped by the Iowa State Society's inaugural ball on Saturday, invited New Hampshire's governor to his own private swearing-in, and hammed it up on Pennsylvania Avenue during the inaugural parade something fierce, reports CNN. Add it all up, mix in his recent back-room deal to avoid the fiscal cliff and his prominent role on gun-law reform, and you come to an inescapable conclusion:
- "Joe Biden is running for president in 2016," writes Chris Cillizza at the Fix blog in the Washington Post. Or at the very least, he is "ensuring that any other politician looking at the race—or any donor or activist beginning to mull who they should support—knows that the contest runs through Biden." With one big exception: Hillary Clinton. If she runs, even Biden will probably defer, writes Cillizza.
- At Roll Call, Stuart Rothenberg agrees that Biden and Clinton "are in a tier of their own," and that Clinton is No. 1 within that tier. But Biden's recent moves make him a "more serious contender" if he opts to run. Read Rothenberg's assessment of the rest of the field for both parties here.