The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday March 20th

View from the Hill

Biden definitely won't run for president (we're sure this time)

Vice President Joe Biden finally ended months of speculation — he announced Thursday he would not run for president in the 2016 election, abandoning a lifelong dream (of his and many Democrats).

This puts Hillary Clinton in a stronger position to capture the Democratic nomination and offers Bernie Sanders an opportunity to capitalize on undecided voters.

It also means the window of opportunity for Biden to assume the presidency has now likely closed, as he is currently 72 — barring any instance in which he would take over for President Obama.

Biden sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and in 2008, but dropped out early both times. He has served two terms as vice president in President Obama's administration.

His decision was reportedly due to a lot of factors, including personal grief and his would-be late entrance to the race (much like me during any 5K ever).

“It was a very unusual process, there was a lot of hesitating and making clear of his hesitations,” said Frank Baumgartner, UNC political science professor. “I’m glad it is over because it wasn’t a very pretty thing to watch that he was bringing his personal issues to the public.”

Biden has been dealing with personal loss with the death of his son Beau to brain cancer in May.

Biden's decision to officially not enter the race gives more focus to the two Democratic frontrunners, Clinton and Sanders — good news for both campaigns, since it takes a very viable contender out of the running.

“It is a bit surprising because he is one of the most electable candidates,” said Andy Yates, co-founder and senior partner at the Red Dome Group.

Yates said it will give Bernie especially an opportunity to consolidate anti-Clinton votes, as the people who had been waiting for Biden to run — almost 20 percent of polls — will be looking to support somebody new.

Baumgartner said there is a chance other people might enter the race last minute if there are some signs that the Clinton campaign might falter, which he said is unlikely as she has been in the public limelight for more than thirty years.

Now, if people would only stop talking about those "damn emails."

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