|Vice President Joe Biden - Should he or shouldn't he?|
We respected his needing to weigh the emotional impact of his son Beau’s death on himself and his family against the total commitment required to mount and conduct an all-out campaign to become the President of the United States. But it soon became evident that his decision had as much to do with his assessment of the possibility of winning. The probability of his entering the race seemed more likely, when Bernie Sanders’ popularity was soaring and Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers were showing the eroding effect of her Republican opponents’ attacks regarding her use of a private e-mail server, and the main line media’s preoccupation with the subject.
We can assume that Mr. Biden was asking himself not just whether he was emotionally ready to run, but whether he was the logical person to replace the former Secretary of State as the establishment’s Democratic front runner for President. Secretary Clinton’s strong performance in the first debate and the subsequent surge in her poll numbers, along with the decline in his own ratings, must be giving the Vice President second thoughts.
Joe Biden has always wanted to be president. He has already lost two presidential bids. This is his last chance. Realistically, it is now or never again, given his age. But does he want to risk becoming a three-time loser? No wonder he has taken so long to make up his mind! It’s a terribly difficult decision.
As another more centrist candidate, Mr. Biden is well aware that his entering the race would draw more support from Hillary Clinton than from Bernie Sanders, a far left extremist who calls himself a Democratic Socialist. I suspect that he shares the conventional wisdom that Hillary would fare better in the general election than Bernie. If, therefore, his entering the race would result in Bernie’s winning a plurality in the primary, that would defeat his purpose entirely and jeopardize the primary premise for his entering, viz., assuring a Democratic victory in the general election.
Based on this analysis, here is what I wish Mr. Biden would do. I think it would be a huge boost to the Democratic cause if he were to make the following announcement immediately:
My fellow Americans, you know that I have been wrestling with the decision as to whether or not I should enter the presidential race. From the start I have been asking if I am emotionally ready for such a demanding challenge. I have balanced my and my family’s personal needs against my desire to do what is best for my country. I sincerely believe that I am well qualified to be President of the United States, and I have been ready to step into the race should I be needed, given the controversy that has plagued the current front runner, Hillary Clinton. Secretary Clinton is a personal friend and former colleague for whom I have the highest respect, and I am so glad that the Republican witch hunt against her has been exposed for what it is.
She has weathered the storm. Her performance in the first debate was outstanding. She is strong in the polls. I have been following her campaign very closely, and I have been very impressed by the breadth and depth of the various programs she has proposed. Like me she is a strong supporter of President Obama, though as with any candidate there some things she might want to change to meet the changing circumstances.
Senator Bernie Sanders is also a highly respected colleague. He has struck a chord with many voters who are resonating with his passionate opposition to the egregious income inequality between the wealthy few and the vast majority of hardworking Americans. Senator Sanders has a heart for social justice and I admire him greatly.
In my opinion, however, Hillary Clinton is better prepared to be the next President of the United States and the candidate most capable of defeating the Republican challenger, whoever that might be. Were I to enter the race, she and I would be competing for the same electorate, some of whom I know are very loyal to her and some of whom are pushing me to enter the race.
The result might be that neither of us would gain the support needed to win the primary.
For that reason I have decided not to enter the race. At the same time I am announcing my enthusiastic endorsement of Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic candidate for President of the United States. I urge all of my well-wishers to join me in giving our strong support to Hillary, who I believe is the best qualified of all the candidates of both parties to be President.
Thank you all for your confidence in me and for your wonderful support. I cherish your friendship and I covet your prayers for me and my family. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America!