Standing next to his wife, Jill, and President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he will not be running for President in 2016, ending the speculation about his potential candidacy that has plagued newspapers, blogs and social media in recent months.
The Vice President has had a long and prosperous career as a public servant, but in his remarks he announced that the window for running a successful campaign had closed. Mr. Biden contended that in the available timeframe, he would not have been able to run the campaign he wanted to.
But the truth is that the Vice President did run a silent, backdoor campaign for the nomination – one he lost to Hillary Clinton. In the days leading up to his announcement, the media described a “cold war” between the two, in which Clinton released the names of influential endorsements in key states, and Joe Biden met with important political figures, such as top union leaders and influential Senators.
Joe Biden was very much a candidate in the “invisible primary,” as “The New York Times” put it, referring to the scramble for prominent party endorsements and backing. When he could not find support outside of a few politicians from his home state of Delaware, Biden was left with only two options: run as an outsider or do not run at all. And for a sitting Vice President, the former would have been harder than it seems.
Ultimately, Joe Biden’s decision is the smart decision. It is extremely unlikely that Biden would have won, entering this late in the game, and he now exits the political arena with grace. Instead of the third-place, “also-ran” status that would humiliate any Vice President, Joe Biden now enjoys commendation from his cold war opponent Hillary Clinton, whose month just became more perfect.