Biden set to declare candidacy
NEW YORK (AP) -- Democratic Sen. Joe Biden has been saying for months he's running for president. He makes it official today.
The Delaware senator will file the paperwork with the Federal Election Commission and release a videotaped campaign message to voters on his Web site, joebiden.com. He also is planning another trip to New Hampshire early next week.
"After nine months of doing this, there is no exploratory committee -- I'm running," Biden told The Associated Press.
A 34-year Senate veteran known for his foreign policy expertise and somewhat windy oratory, Biden acknowledged his campaign would generate little of the buzz surrounding the celebrity candidates New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
Even he was moved by his colleagues' trailblazing candidacies, Biden said.
"There's good reason to be excited," he said. "You have the first woman running who is qualified, and a very attractive African-American who has demonstrated crossover appeal. I got involved in politics 40 years ago during the civil rights movement, so yes, it's an exciting thing."
That means Biden, 64, is gambling that in a dangerous world, voters will choose experience over excitement -- particularly regarding the Iraq war.
Biden voted in 2002 to authorize military intervention in Iraq but has since become a vocal critic of the conflict. In his view, resolving the situation in Iraq is by far the gravest concern to most Americans.
"The average voter out there understands that the next president is going to have to be prepared to immediately step in without hesitation and end our involvement in Iraq," Biden said. "It's very difficult to figure out how to move on to broader foreign policy concerns without fixing Iraq first."
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