Speaking today from the Rose Garden at the White House, Vice President Joe Biden officially announced he will pass on a 2016 presidential campaign, instead focusing on his remaining days serving President Obama. The statement was made with his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and President Obama in attendance standing behind him.
Here is video of Biden’s announcement:
Report from CBS News:
Vice President Joe Biden is decided to forgo a 2016 presidential bid, sources close to Biden tell CBS News’ Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett.
The decision ends months of speculation about whether Biden would step up to challenge Hillary Clinton, the current front runner for the Democratic nomination and his former Obama administration colleague.
The vice president took his time to consider whether he and his family had the “emotional energy” to endure another campaign, following the tragic death over the summer of his 46-year-old son Beau. While his fellow Democrats gave him his space, pressure mounted for Biden to come to a decision as Democratic voters, party operatives and deep-pocketed donors considered which candidate to line up behind.
Biden was also running up against logistical deadlines: The first filing deadline for appearing on a 2016 primary ballot is November 6 in Alabama. Additionally, the Democratic primary debates are already underway; CBS News hosts the next Democratic debate on November 14 in Iowa.
I wasn’t sure whether to make the image associated with this post one of Hillary Clinton smiling, or of Joe Biden speaking, though I chose the latter. This all-but clears the path for a Clinton nomination, nearly guaranteed by Biden’s decision not to run, and by Bernie Sanders’ defense of Hillary at the first debate.
To wait this long meant the Vice President had some serious reservations about whether he was willing to go all-in for a 2016 campaign. He could have announced months ago but clearly he was waiting until the last possible minute, perhaps to see if Hillary Clinton would stumble in some way which would practically force him into the race.
The Democratic nomination will now enter a difference phase as the lineup is set and the current candidates, only four remaining, will duke it out a few more times on the debate stage before primary voting begins in February.