Well, if you ask me, this makes sense because he’s not actually a candidate yet. CNN setup the rules so that Biden could declare a candidacy all the way up to the day after the debate and still be included on stage. However, the Vice President did not take the bait and will not be participating in the first contest.
Report from CNN:
Vice President Joe Biden has extended his window for deciding whether to jump into the 2016 presidential campaign, several Democrats say, allowing the contest to play out even longer before he answers one of the biggest questions hanging over the race for the White House.
He is not preparing for the first Democratic debate on October 13 in Las Vegas and is not expected to participate, people close to him say, because he feels no pressure to reach a decision by then. He is likely to reveal his plans in the second half of October.
For more than two months, Biden has been studying the mechanics of what it would take to launch a candidacy. He and his team have been inundated by mounds of research and battle plans, but his original end-of-summer deadline passed without him reaching a conclusion.
I don’t think Biden wants to get in this race unless he sees Hillary Clinton making serious stumbles and he can come in as a savior for the party. If Hillary comes off with a good debate performance and strengthens her poll numbers, I bet he ends up passing on the opportunity. Clearly if he wanted to be in this race, he would have joined already.
On the other hand, if Hillary cannot recover from her email problems and Bernie Sanders continues raking in the money and the support, Biden may be inclined to get in as the “mainstream” Democratic alternative to Sanders. However, then he’d be going up against the Clintons which I don’t think he wants to do either. An interesting political situation to watch unfold before our very eyes.