WASHINGTON - Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden said Sunday he intends to run for president in 2008, two decades after he dropped out of the race amid charges he plagiarized a British politician's speech.
"My intention now is to seek the nomination," Biden, of Delaware, said on CBS television's "Face the Nation." He said he would explore his support and decide by the end of this year -- a sign the race may get off to an early and competitive start.
"If in fact I think I have a clear shot at winning the nomination, by this November or December, then I'm going to seek the nomination," he said.
Biden is the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a frequent critic of President Bush's Iraq policy.
He previously indicated his interest in the 2008 race with a December 2004 comment he would proceed as if he were running, but he said then he would take two years to decide.
Biden would face potential challengers including New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former U.S. first lady who has led early polling on the Democratic side.
Other possible Democratic contenders include Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the nominee defeated by Bush in 2004, and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Kerry's running mate.
Biden campaigned for the 1988 Democratic nomination but withdrew early in the race after charges he plagiarized parts of a speech by British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock and exaggerated his academic record.
The Republican field may also be crowded in 2008, with Bush barred from running and Vice President Dick Cheney saying he does not intend to run, thus leaving no incumbent with a head start.