Last week, in what came as a surprise to many across the nation, Joe Biden announced he will not run for President in 2016. For months now, Biden has existed in a campaign-limbo, neither running nor not running, one foot on the campaign trail, and one foot in what is essentially retirement. In polls, he enjoyed 10-20% of democratic voters’ support, without ever announcing himself a candidate. Across the board, the media believed Biden would soon launch a bid. The Vice President’s decision seemed hinged on the death-bed wishes of his son Beau, who, according to media, asked his father to run for President. In a 60 Minutes interview Sunday, Biden said the conversation was not some “Hollywood-esque thing” as many in the media made it out to be. The VP cited his family as the driving reason not to run, “you can’t run for president unless you throw your entire being into it,” and Biden felt that he and his family could not wholly dedicate themselves to the campaign.
Biden stated “family” first and foremost, as the reason he chose not to run, politics came second. Biden was also quick to dispel any rumors he did agree with Hillary. His comments last week, saying anyone who viewed Republicans as the enemy was “naïve” sparked off conversation that he was distancing himself from the former Secretary of State to prepare for a presidential run. As it is not so, Biden clarified he was referring to Washington in general, and not Clinton, with whom he has been friends their four years working together.
What is the Democratic campaign trail looking like now? With officially Biden out, 17% of voters have to find a new candidate. Hillary and Biden are cut from similar political cloth, so we could see a big boost in Hillary’s numbers. Moreover, if Biden decides to endorse a candidate, Hillary is the obvious answer. In addition to his recently stated friendship with her, she is an establishment Democrat, supported by the party and the Washington insiders, much like Biden. Whatsmore, Biden and Hillary served together under Obama – a Joe Biden endorsement could be what Hillary needs to escape the drag of her email and Benghazi related issued.
For now however, Biden wants to focus on his remaining 15 months in office, continuing his job with Obama, reaching across party lines to work with the new Speaker of the House to advance policies, and pushing his laudable goal of finding a cure for cancer.