Big day for Joe Biden: Over lunch at the White House, he received President Obama's "blessing" to run for the Oval Office. A top Democrat gave CNN the news and said Obama would neither advise Biden against running nor hinder his candidacy. What's more, sources say Biden is sitting down tonight with two of Obama's top advisors, Anita Dunn and Bob Bauer, along with Steve Ricchetti, Biden's chief of staff. And Biden plans to meet with Democratic fundraisers at the Naval Observatory in Washington the week after Labor Day, the Washington Post reports, along with Dunn, Bauer, and Biden confidant Ted Kaufman. As several insiders tell CNN, Biden thinks he's going to run.
Which puts Obama in a delicate position, the AP reports. He clearly wants his policies on climate change, health care, and immigration to endure—which likely requires a Democratic president. "Certainly he's got something at stake here," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said today. But while Obama insiders say he wouldn't tip the scales between Biden and Hillary Clinton, NPR quotes Earnest this way: "I wouldn't rule out the possibility of an [Obama] endorsement in the Democratic primary." How is all this playing out at the White House? Seems it's a little awkward, as aides with close ties to Biden or Clinton try to stay impartial. Word is that some White House officials are also upset by Clinton failing to abide by email guidelines. (Read more presidential election stories.)