From the White House Rose Garden, with his wife Dr. Jill Biden and President Barack Obama at his side, and White House staff and members of the Administration present, Vice President Joe Biden announced he will not run for president in 2016.
As part of his speech, Vice President Biden said we need to improve education and to do so by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. He also said we can’t be the world’s police force, sending American troops around the world every time a world leader does something bad.
Biden touched on all the points of the Democratic platform, from LGBT rights, restoring the Middle Class, immigration reform, and getting Congress to get to work doing the business of the nation. He called on both parties to get together and get things done, that compromise is not a bad thing.
But he also praised the President and his record over the past six and a half years, telling the Democratic candidates they should not only defend President Obama’s record, they need to run on it, what some consider a veiled message to former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
He also spoke of his family, leading off talking about his son Beau, who recently died after battling cancer. Biden said if he had been president he would want to be the one who ended cancer.
The Biden Family was his first priority in this speech, from his wife Dr. Jill Biden, to his children and sister. He said when you think of a loved one, it should bring a smile to your lips, not a tear to your eye. Apparently the Vice President isn’t there yet, in regards to his son Beau.
Neither Dr. Biden or President Obama spoke, giving the podium exclusively to the Vice President. With his 73rd birthday just weeks away, the Vice President is not just saying no to a run in 2016, he is putting the cap on his political career. He gave, in effect, his retirement speech.
Joe Biden has been in politics for most of his life, beginning with his election to the New Castle County Council (Delaware) in 1969. In 1973 he ran for the Senate seat and won against an incumbent Republican.
Shortly after winning that election his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident. It was a moment that defined his career. the Senate Majority Leader at the time, Mike Mansfield, persuaded Biden not to resign and on January 5, 1973, Biden was sworn in as a Senator from Delaware, the sixth youngest (age 30) person to ever be elected to the Senate. He always took the train home to Delaware every night to be with his family, while he was a Senator.
Biden served in the Senate until 2008 when President Obama won the presidential election, with Joe as his running mate.
There are a lot of disappointed Biden supporters who had made plans for him to run. Most of them will now turn to one of the existing campaigns, most likely that of Hillary Clinton and possibly Bernie Sanders.
(Top photo: Vice President Joe Biden with his wife Dr. Jill Biden and President Barack Obama, from a YouTube video)
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