As President Barack Obama is sworn into a second term, Vice President Joe Biden is dropping hints all over the place that he’s gearing up to make another run for the White House in 2016.
The last incumbent vice president seeking his party’s nomination for president to lose it was Alben Barkley, who withdrew from race to succeed Harry Truman in 1952. But Biden — who unsuccessfully sought the presidency in 1988 and 2008 — will be 73 years old in 2016. That would make him the oldest person ever elected president.
Still, here are five recent hints from Biden that indicate he’s thinking about a 2016 run:
1. Chummy with New Hampshire. Among the 120 guests Biden invited to the Naval Observatory on Jan. 20 for his swearing-in for a second term as vice president was New Hampshire Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan. The Granite State traditionally holds the first presidential primary in the nation.
2. Chummy with Iowa. On Saturday night, Biden gave remarks to the Iowa State Society inauguration ball, where he mistakenly said, “I’m proud to be president of the United States,” before correcting himself to big applause from the audience. The Iowa caucuses are considered the first major nominating event in presidential election seasons.
3. Keeping that door open. On Election Day in November, Biden dismissed the notion that would be the last time he’d vote for himself. “No, I don’t think so,” he said.
4. ‘You’ll vote for me in 2016’ While campaigning in October, Biden joked to a voter on the phone that, “after its all over, when your insurance rates go down, then you’ll vote for me in 2016.”
5. The economy... Biden suggested to a Delaware newspaper that the state of the economy in several years will help determine whether he runs. “There’s plenty of time to think about 2016,” Biden said. “We’ve got to get this economy working. If three years from now the economy is not working, it’s not going to be worth doing much.”