Vice President Joe Biden announced today that he would not seek the 2016 candidacy. After months of speculation that Biden might enter the race, Biden’s decision puts Democrat Hillary Clinton closer to the probably party nomination. The Biden family has struggled recently, following the death of their son Beau earlier this year.
At the press conference today Biden stated that the “window for a successful campaign had closed. Biden’s language suggested that he still felt he would be the best successor to President Obama, adding, “While I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent,” referring to his disapproval of Clinton’s earlier commentary that Republicans are her enemies and his belief that parties must work together for progress to be made.
Coming into the race so late would not have been easy for Biden, who undoubtedly would have had to snap up workers and support very quickly to get a campaign off the ground. His runningmates have already secured fundraising and support, putting Biden at a distinct disadvantage this late in the race.
Instead of running for president, Biden hopes to dedicate his remaining time in office to look for a cure for the cancer that killed his son. “If I could be anything, I would’ve wanted to be the president who ended cancer,” he said.
Hillary Clinton had only nice things to say in response to Biden’s announcement, tweeting that he is “a good friend and a great man. Today and always, inspired by his optimism and commitment to change the world for the better,” she said in a Tweet that appeared to come from her personally and not a campaign or personal aide.
Currently, Clinton has a lead on surprisingly popular Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, at 56% to his respective 33%. It is probable that because of her name recognition, frequent appearances, and heavy fundraising, Clinton will receive the DNC’s nomination.
CNN speculates that because Biden has elected not to run in this election, his long career in politics will too end with the Obama administration in January of 2017.