After months of speculation, Vice President Joe Biden announced today that he will not run for president. In a press conference in the White House Rose Garden, he talked about how mourning the loss of his oldest son, Beau Biden, to brain cancer in May doesn’t leave room for the rigors of campaigning:
As the family and I have worked through the grieving process, I’ve said all along what I’ve said time and again to others: that it may very well be that that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president. That it might close. I’ve concluded it has closed. I know from previous experience that there’s no timetable for this process. The process doesn’t respect or much care about things like filing deadlines or debates and primaries and caucuses.
He also said that he still has work to do:
We intend—the whole family, not just me—we intend to spend the next 15 months fighting for what we’ve always cared about—what my family’s always cared about—with every ounce of our being, and working alongside the president and members of Congress and our future nominee, I am absolutely certain that we fully are capable of accomplishing extraordinary things. We can do this.
Biden enjoys consistently high favorability ratings. His decision to sit out the election cycle could clear the way for Hillary Clinton to build on her early frontrunner status in the battle for the Democratic party’s nomination.
Watch the full speech via C-Span.