BY SARAH HOLLOWAY – STAFF WRITER
Last month’s announcement from Washington was music to the ears of Clinton supporters as Vice President Joe Biden confirmed he would not be running for President. Biden’s three month flirtation with entering the race came to an end October 21 as he delivered a candidate-worthy speech outlining the case he would have made had he chosen to cross swords with Hillary.
With his wife Jill and President Barack Obama by his side in the White House Rose Garden, Biden recounted the tragedy he and his family had experienced earlier this year due to the death of his son Beau. The importance of the grieving process and being present with his family during that time took precedence over campaigning. Regrettably, this meant he did not have enough time to raise the necessary money and still campaign sufficiently in person in the first four primary states.
“I couldn’t do this if the family wasn’t ready. The good news is the family has reached that point,” Biden said. “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.”
The remainder of his speech—likely written for the original purpose of his campaign announcement—highlighted his stance on issues such as fighting for college education, child care, and immigration as well as advocated “an absolute national commitment to end cancer as we know it today.”
Although he didn’t name her specifically, Biden also took a jab at Hillary. Clinton’s comment in the first Democratic debate claiming that Republicans were probably the enemy she was most proud of making was a cause for concern from Biden’s perspective.
“It’s mean-spirited, it’s petty, and it’s gone on for much too long. I don’t believe, like some do, that it’s naive to talk to Republicans. I don’t think we should look at Republicans as our enemies. They are our opposition. They’re not our enemies,” Biden said.
Biden’s statement concerning detriments of intensely divisive partisan politics is supported by his actions during the nearly four decades he was in senate as he often worked across the aisle with Republicans, a rarity that voters value.
“I was someone who was a big supporter of Joe Biden and thought that he would give the best opportunity to maintain the cohesiveness within the Democratic Party but also work with Republicans in Congress to pass bipartisan legislation,” president of Centre Democrats and senior politics major Dennis Barrett said.
With Biden out of the way, Hillary can rest easy for the remainder of the fight for the nomination.
“It virtually assures that Hillary Clinton will become the Democratic nominee early next year,” Assistant Professor of Politics Dr. Benjamin Knoll said. “Joe Biden would likely have been the only candidate who could have presented a serious challenge.”
Clinton’s main threat remains to be challenge from the left from Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has proved more formidable than many expected but many in the party believe his effort is ultimately doomed because Democratic voters will be reluctant to make a “democratic socialist” their nominee.
While it is a time of celebration for Hillary and her backers, Biden’s choice not to run means the end of his long, successful political career. After being talked about as a potential President for almost forty years, it is regrettable that Biden must bow out just short of reaching his highest goal.