(Photo Credit: Slate) Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he has decided against running for President in the 2016 Elections, clearing the path for frontrunner Hillary Clinton to get the Democratic nomination.
After months of speculation, Biden who ran unsuccessfully for President in 1988 and 2008, announced his decision in the White House Rose Garden alongside his wife and President Barack Obama.
According to Reuters, Biden stated that he was not ready to jump in the Presidential race due to his family still mourning the loss of his son earlier this year. He also said that the window for a successful Presidential campaign has been closed, but that does not mean that he will stay silent. He stated “While I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent. I intend to speak out clearly and forcefully to influence as much as I can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation.”
Even though the Draft Biden for President political action committee has been preparing some ground for a possible Biden candidacy, it would still be late for the Vice President to jump into the race, because of the need to raise funds and build a campaign infrastructure before the first nominating contests on the 1st of February in Iowa. Regarding these facts, Biden stated “Unfortunately, I believe we’re out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination. The process doesn’t respect or much care about filing deadlines or debate or primaries and caucuses. But, I also know I couldn’t do this if the family isn’t ready.”
During his speech he took a dig at Hillary Clinton for stating at the first Democratic Presidential debate that the Republican Party is her enemy and for not supporting President Obama’s policies. Clinton has swayed to the left while promoting her Presidential agenda, which breaks with Obama’s stances on issues such as the Keystone XL pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
According to Reuters, he stated that it would be a “tragic mistake” for a Democrat to walk away from President Obama’s legacy and not continue it. He also referred to Clinton’s statement of having Republican enemies and said “I don’t think we should look at Republicans as our enemies. They are our opposition, they are not our enemies.”
While Bernie Sanders was considered Clinton’s primary rival in the race for the Democrat nomination, there was a chance for Joe Biden to challenge Clinton while her poll numbers were dwindling because of her e-mail controversy. However, after the primary debates of the Democratic candidates this month, Clinton has regained her power and calmed the electorate showing that she still has a convincing lead at her party.
According to Reuters, Biden supporters will gravitate towards Clinton after his announcement that he will not run for the White House and Democratic strategist Bud Jackson said “It’s an easier path for Hillary Clinton now. Most polls reflect that without Biden in the race, it’s more beneficial to her.”
Reuters/Ipsos polls show that after the October debate, Clinton’s support is 49% of the poll participants, with 26% for Senator Sanders and 14.5% for Biden.