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Joe Biden with Sen. Claire McCaskill. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Joe Biden has told some top Democrats he’s definitely running for president, and even threw out Jan. 15 as a target announcement date.

"If I’m walking, I’m running," he has told friends winkingly.

What they're saying: His youngest brother, Frank Biden, thinks the former vice president is in. Ditto for some advisers. Several Democrats, including Michael Bloomberg and Terry McAuliffe, are watching him as their most formidable potential competitor.

  • Biden is "closer than he ever was in 2016" and "serious in his discussions with potential supporters," one confidant tells me.

Yes, but: Jan. 15 will come and go with no Joe-mentum — I'm told no chance of an announcement by then. No staff has signed up for a campaign, or been given a commitment of a job.

  • We're told authoritatively that Biden hasn't decided. So who knows where his head winds up. But we sure know where his heart is.

Go deeper: Our tracker for the 2020 elections

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.