Paul

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By Paul Kane,
Friends and supporters of the late Beau Biden are emerging as a key force behind efforts to help his father, Vice President Biden, become president.
Many of them were classmates at the University of Pennsylvania or Syracuse University’s law school, where Beau Biden met several dozen rising stars. Some from Penn in particular vividly recall meeting then-Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), both at the Ivy League school and when he hosted his son’s friends at their home just 25 miles from the Philadelphia campus.
“We all want to give back to somebody like that,” said Jonathan Blue, a fraternity brother of Beau Biden’s who runs a private equity firm in Louisville. Blue estimated that 20 alums from Penn have remained part of the political network that would be ready to work for the vice president should he enter the race.
The new energy comes as Biden is giving his most serious consideration to another presidential campaign. He has met with leading party figures, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and President Obama’s former White House counsel, and has been sounding out a contingent of mega-donors to Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns who have been hesitant to sign on with the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Beau Biden’s death in May from brain cancer at age 46 has haunted the Biden family and is playing a central role in the vice president’s consideration of a late entry into the 2016 sweepstakes. Beau Biden had been a key booster of the idea that his father should run again for the top White House job.
[Possible Biden run puts Obama fundraising network on high alert]
But Biden remains deeply conflicted, telling Democrats in a conference call Wednesday that he is trying to determine whether he has the “emotional fuel” to jump into the race.
“If I were to announce to run, I have to be able to commit to all of you that I would be able to give it my whole heart and my whole soul, and right now, both are pretty well banged up,” he said in the call, which was recorded by CNN.
Some longtime confidants of Biden also remain wary of a presidential bid, but there’s more energy among Democrats who are worried about Clinton’s sagging poll numbers …Read More

By Paul Kane,
Friends and supporters of the late Beau Biden are emerging as a key force behind efforts to help his father, Vice President Biden, become president.
Many of them were classmates at the University of Pennsylvania or Syracuse University’s law school, where Beau Biden met several dozen rising stars. Some from Penn in particular vividly recall meeting then-Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), both at the Ivy League school and when he hosted his son’s friends at their home just 25 miles from the Philadelphia campus.
“We all want to give back to somebody like that,” said Jonathan Blue, a fraternity brother of Beau Biden’s who runs a private equity firm in Louisville. Blue estimated that 20 alums from Penn have remained part of the political network that would be ready to work for the vice president should he enter the race.
The new energy comes as Biden is giving his most serious consideration to another presidential campaign. He has met with leading party figures, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and President Obama’s former White House counsel, and has been sounding out a contingent of mega-donors to Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns who have been hesitant to sign on with the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Beau Biden’s death in May from brain cancer at age 46 has haunted the Biden family and is playing a central role in the vice president’s consideration of a late entry into the 2016 sweepstakes. Beau Biden had been a key booster of the idea that his father should run again for the top White House job.
[Possible Biden run puts Obama fundraising network on high alert]
But Biden remains deeply conflicted, telling Democrats in a conference call Wednesday that he is trying to determine whether he has the “emotional fuel” to jump into the race.
“If I were to announce to run, I have to be able to commit to all of you that I would be able to give it my whole heart and my whole soul, and right now, both are pretty well banged up,” he said in the call, which was recorded by CNN.
Some longtime confidants of Biden also remain wary of a presidential bid, but there’s more energy among Democrats who are worried about Clinton’s sagging poll numbers …Read More

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor in Maryland February 27, 2015.
Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

(Reuters) – Senator Rand Paul, a possible Republican presidential candidate, will introduce legislation with two Democrats that would prevent the federal government from prosecuting medical marijuana users in states where it is legal, aides said on Monday.
While the bill’s prospects in Congress are uncertain, it could help the libertarian-leaning Kentucky senator stand out in what is shaping up to be a crowded field ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Public opinion has shifted dramatically toward legal marijuana in recent years, and several of Paul’s potential Republican rivals have framed it as a states’ rights issue. Few have been as active on the issue as the libertarian-leaning Kentucky senator.Paul has been an outspoken critic of the war on drugs and has said pot users should not be put in jail. He has pushed to legalize hemp, a less-potent version of the plant, for industrial purposes. Last month, he accused former Florida governor Jeb Bush, a potential rival, of “hypocrisy” for opposing medical marijuana in Florida after admitting to pot use as a student.Medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia, and voters have approved it for recreational use in four states and Washington, D.C. But it remains illegal at the federal level. That disparity locks marijuana businesses out of the banking system and exposes users to arrest. Paul’s legislation would ensure that buyers and sellers in those states would not risk federal prosecution if they are complying with state and local laws, according to congressional aides and a marijuana-advocacy group.Democratic senators Corey Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York also have signed on to the bill. The three lawmakers plan to discuss it in detail at a press conference on Tuesday.A Paul spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.Some 46 percent of Americans support full legalization of marijuana, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling. Some 58 percent of Republicans oppose legalization, while 58 percent of Democrats support it.Bush, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and Texas Governor Rick Perry have said that states should have the right to determine their own marijuana laws.One marijuana advocate said the potential Republican candidates have been “all talk” so far. “It’s nice to see that Senator Paul …Read More