early and often

Hillary Clinton Readies Oppo-Research to Go to War Against Joe Biden

U.S. Vice President Joseh Biden, left, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton share a laugh during a signing ceremony for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009. U.S. President Barack Obama, signing the first legislation of his presidency, made it easier for U.S. workers to win pay-discrimination lawsuits. Photographer: Mannie Garcia/Bloomberg News
Biden and Clinton in friendlier times. Photo: MAnnie Garcia/Bloomberg News via Getty Images

If Joe Biden jumps into the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton will be ready to go on the offensive. According to a source close to the Clinton campaign, a team of opposition researchers working on behalf of Clinton is currently digging through Biden’s long record in office to develop attack lines in case the vice-president runs. The research effort started about a month ago and is being conducted by operatives at Correct the Record, the pro-Hillary superpac founded by David Brock, which is coordinating with the Clinton campaign. According to the source, the research has turned up material on Biden’s ties to Wall Street; his reluctance to support the raid that killed Osma bin Laden; and his role in the Anita Hill saga as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The oppo-research project reveals how seriously Clintonworld is taking the prospect of a Biden candidacy. So far, Clinton hasn’t taken any direct shots at Biden herself. But behind the scenes, her loyalists are making moves to blunt Biden’s campaign should he run. “Even implicitly his campaign’s argument would be ‘I have integrity and you don’t,’” a Clinton ally said. “If that’s the message, this could be messier than Obama-Clinton ‘08. At least Obama had the Iraq War vote and could make a case about generational change. This guy” — Biden — “is older than she is and just as conventional.”

A spokesperson for the Clinton campaign declined to comment.

Clinton Readies Oppo-Research Against Biden