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Joe Biden's 'moment' to enter presidential race fading post-debate, Nicolle Wallace says

Vice President Joe Biden may have missed his best window to enter the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, MSNBC contributor Nicolle Wallace says.
/ Source: TODAY

After Hillary Clinton's performance in Tuesday night's Democratic debate, Joe Biden may have missed his best window to enter the race for the democratic presidential nomination, former White House communications chief Nicolle Wallace says.

"The moment when everyone is screaming at the top of the lungs for you to get in, is when you should get in,'' Wallace told Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Wednesday. "When they stop screaming, it only gets harder, and running for president is pushing a boulder up the hill. The moment that it's the easiest, the moment that it most resembles pushing anything downhill, is when everyone's screaming at the top of their lungs. I don't know if they'll still be screaming this morning."

Wallace, an MSNBC contributor who served as the communications chief under former president George W. Bush and as an adviser for the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008, said that the vice president only made it harder on himself by waiting if he chooses to run, in part because of Clinton's strong debate performance.

"I think it gets a little more difficult,'' Wallace said. "I accept his explanation that he's going through a personal process, is his grief (over his son's death) at a place where he can channel it productively, or does he need to be there for his kids and grandkids? I think that the political opening is less."

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Clinton's awareness of a potential Biden candidacy subtly exhibited itself in Tuesday's debate, according to Wallace.

"Hillary did mention another man who wasn't on the stage, and that's her former boss, President Obama, a lot more than I think she would have if she wasn't worried about a Biden run,'' Wallace said.

Clinton's performance also helped put her on solid ground in the race.

"She did more than avoid gaffes,'' Wallace said. "She did what was most important for her campaign structurally — stopped a lot of the hand-wringing among the Democratic donor class, among that group that's desperate for Biden to jump in."

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.