Referencing his son Beau’s death Biden said during a speech in the White House Rose Garden, “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,” Biden stated.
Biden said he ran out of time. The Democrats just had their first debate and the Iowa Caucus are only three-and-a-half months away. He promised that while he was not running he will not be silent.
“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,” Biden added. “I intend to speak out clearly and forcefully, to influence as much as I can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation. And this is what I believe.”
Even without announcing Biden was polling third nationally with a 16.8 point RCP average. He was polling third in Iowa with a 17 percent average. Biden’s entry into the race could have caused problems for Hillary Clinton as polling has shown Biden with higher favorability numbers according to a recent poll by Quinnipiac. The same poll also found Biden to be more honest and trustworthy, and respondents believed Biden cared more about their problems.
So Clinton clears a potential roadblock, and with all of the Democratic candidates running to the left (now that former U.S. Senator Jim Webb is out) it’s unclear how much room there would be anyway.