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Biden Has Been Steering Clear of Corporate Gigs

He's assembled a 2020 'campaign-in-waiting'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2019 7:21 AM CST
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the University of Utah Thursday Dec. 13, 2018, in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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(Newser) – With 13 months to go until the Iowa caucuses, Joe Biden hasn't confirmed whether he is planning a White House bid—but in some ways, the former vice president has been preparing for one since leaving office two years ago. In that time, Biden has managed to strike a balance between earning money and maintaining his ability to run for president without being labeled a corporate stooge, the New York Times reports. Biden has been paying the bills through a book deal and speaking engagements, but unlike Hillary Clinton, he hasn't been accepting paid speaking gigs for corporations or advocacy groups, spokesman Bill Russo says. Biden also doesn't consult or sit on corporate boards, Russo says.

Biden has assembled what the Times calls a "campaign-in-waiting": a network of groups, including three foundations and a political action committee, staffed by well-paid former Biden aides and advisers. The Salt Lake Tribune notes that according to a public records request from the Times, Biden accepted a $100,000 engagement to speak at the University of Utah last month, but rejected the money when he found out it would come from taxpayer funds. At the university, he spoke of his early days in politics and the 2015 death of his son, Beau, but said nothing about a potential 2020 run. Biden, who turned 76 in November, is expected to announce a decision in the coming weeks. (Last month, he said he was "the most qualified person in the country to be president.")

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