Iowa Senator Tom Harkin is hosting his 36th "steak fry" fundraiser today, an event described by the Des Moines Register as "a stepping stone to the White House." This year's guest of honor? Joe Biden. His appearance has tongues wagging that the Vice President is considering another run at the top job in 2016, reports Politico. If he does, Iowa is apparently a good place for him to start—a separate Politico piece profiles Biden's deep, long-held ties to prominent Democrats in the state, and his friends there say they'd back his campaign. "Joe is a person to hold your hand or touch a shoulder, or share an emotion," says a local Democrat, who has known Biden since his abortive '88 presidential campaign. "Joe is a known entity in Iowa."
"Biden has a core group of close friends and supporters in the state. Many of them were on board in 1987," says an Iowa-based Democratic strategist. "I think they will certainly be ready for him if he should go again." Iowa is also a state where his potential presidential rival Hillary Clinton is decidedly unpopular. The New York Times has a profile of Biden's longtime—but increasingly awkward—relationship with Hillary. Biden apparently used to sign off their phone conversations with, "I love you, darling." But relations have reportedly grown strained, with Biden's camp believing Hillary gets more attention and recognition. "The undercurrent of 'What about me?' permeates from the top down in the vice president’s orbit," says a former Obama administration official. (Read more Harkin Steak Fry stories.)