Vice President Joe Biden committed the most selfless act of his political career when he decided not to run for the Democratic nomination.
I’ve said all along what I’ve said time and again to others: that it may very well be that that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president: that it might close. I’ve concluded that it has closed.
Beau is our inspiration. Unfortunately, I believe we’re out of time. The time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination. But while I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent. I intend to speak out clearly and forcefully.
And this is what I believe. I believe that President Obama has led this nation from crisis to recovery, and we’re now on the cusp of resurgence. I’m proud to have played a part in that. This party, our nation will be making a tragic mistake if we walk away or attempt to undo the Obama legacy. The American people have worked too hard and we’ve come too far for that. Democrats should not only defend this record and protect this record, they should run on the record.
Vice President Biden could have entered the race for the Democratic nomination, even on a short timeframe, and he would have immediately been a serious candidate. The temptation had to have been nearly irresistible for a man who had harbored clear White House ambitions for decades.
In the end, Biden resisted and pledged to finish out his political career by President Obama’s side.
Most of the Biden speculation was driven by the media, as they desperately wanted the constantly quotable Vice President to challenge Hillary Clinton and set up a battle of two Democratic heavyweights. The television networks fed the speculation by continuing to poll on Biden as if he would be a candidate at any second, and CNN even went as far as to keep an extra podium handy in case Biden decided he wanted to jump into the debate.
In reality, there were no signs that Biden was ever running. Sure, he kicked around the idea in conversations, but there was no organization built, no fundraising undertaken, no staff hired, and no serious hints of a run.
If Biden had run, he would have weakened the Democratic frontrunner.
In a statement, Hillary Clinton praised the Vice President, “Joe Biden is a good man and a great Vice President. Serving alongside him in the Senate and then the administration, I saw first-hand his passion for our country and our people. Like millions of others, I admire his devotion to family, his grace in grief, his grit and determination on behalf of the middle class, and his unyielding faith in America’s promise. As Vice President, Joe has been by President Obama’s side for every pivotal decision. He helped save the auto industry and pull our economy back from the brink of depression. He continues to fight for higher wages, safer communities, and a more peaceful world. It’s a record to be proud of, defend, and build on. And I am confident that history isn’t finished with Joe Biden. As he said today, there is more work to do. And if I know Joe, he will always be on the front-lines, always fighting for all of us.”
Joe Biden would never be the kind of person who would undermine a selfless act by telling us how selfless it is, but make no mistake about it, VP Biden gave up his last best shot at the golden ring, so that the Democratic Party could stand united.
Biden lived up to John McCain’s old campaign slogan and truly put country first.
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