There will be more to say about what this means for the race later. For now, with only a little more than a year left in the Obama presidency, Biden’s exit is another reminder that the Obama era is coming to a close: Biden will, along with the President, soon pass into the realm of Democratic elders, though it’s always possible he could join a Hillary Clinton administration.
Biden probably made the right political move. There was never a clear policy lane for him to convincingly differentiate himself from Hillary Clinton, and polls had showed that Democratic voters trusted her far more than him on many major issues. Nor was there any clear clamor for Biden to enter.
In an “exclusive” story for Politico, longtime Beltway reporter Mike Allen put forth this headline: “Biden eyes weekend decision.”
Only: That story was
Oct. 5, and so it alleged that Biden was eyeing a decision the weekend of Oct. 10-11, “or shortly thereafter.” Another caveat from Allen: “If the decision is a ‘go,’ the announcement could be delayed as advisers begin assembling a campaign.” And the vice president was leaning toward “yes,” Allen reported, based on impressions from “[s]everal people who have visited Biden recently.” At the same time, Allen made clear that associates were unsure which direction Biden would choose.
Allen’s story just suffered quite a blow: Biden did indeed delay his announcement, and it was a no. Standing with President Obama and his wife, Jill, at the White House, Biden said, “I believe we’re out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign,” as he unwound the sort of address that would have come in handy in a presidential campaign.
No need to limit the criticism to Allen.
Via Taegan Goddard:
A new Monmouth poll finds that 52% of the American public feels that Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account during her time as Secretary of State was mainly a matter of convenience compared to 33% who say this behavior suggests she has something to hide.
In addition, 59% of the public are tired of hearing about this issue while just 32% say the media should continue to cover it.