— Billmon (@billmon1) October 21, 2015
[Warning: Continuing autoplay]
This will no doubt get me labelled a Hilbot Harpy, but the details are still interesting. Per the NYTimes:
…After skipping the first Democratic debate last week, Mr. Biden called a handful of operatives he hoped would work on a campaign and left them with the impression he was ready to run. With his advisers, Greg Schultz, Mike Donilon and Michael Schrum, listening on a speaker phone, Mr. Biden told the operatives that he had “the strongest chance to continue the work Barack has done,” according to Democrats who discussed the private calls on condition of anonymity. He added that he believed Mrs. Clinton could lose to the Republicans.
But when he asked their advice on how to raise the estimated $30 million he would need for the early states and $40 million he would need to reach the Super Tuesday contests, they told him it could not be done in the time available.
Mr. Biden’s advisers concluded he could raise the money but not without sacrificing necessary days on the ground in the early states campaigning. After subtracting the time needed for an estimated 40 fund-raisers, the holiday period when little campaigning is done and time for debate preparations, that would leave Mr. Biden with perhaps 40 to 45 days to devote to retail stumping before the Iowa caucuses in February…
The reaction I'm picking up from Biden insiders (even ones who wanted him to run) is relief that he's not jeopardizing his legacy
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) October 21, 2015
Politico‘s Glenn Thrush: “In the words of a longtime ally, it became increasingly clear that the planning was ‘more fantasy football than football.’”
There was so, so much going for a Joe Biden presidential campaign — wasn’t there? His shaggy-dog “authenticity,” the tantalizing possibility of a Hillary Clinton face plant, the endless egging-on by a D.C. press corps that coveted a Joe-vs.-Hillary fight over a dreary, substance-y battle between Clinton and a Larry David doppelgänger.
The solitary item in the “no” column: reality.
Joe Biden was a bad presidential candidate in 1988 and 2008, and he didn’t seem to be brandishing many new skills (especially discipline or a measured tongue) in his more than four decades of public life.
At 72, with his 46-year-old son, Beau (whom he viewed as the most likely president in the Biden family), buried less than six months ago, the vice president’s restless mind alighted on an unexpected path to a political future — until his gaze returned to reality and legacy. In the end, he opted to stop where he stood — as an uncommonly powerful and collaborative vice president…
Harry Reid to Ted Barrett: "Well, I served with Joe for over thirty years here. He'd be a good candidate but he made the right decision."
— David Chalian (@DavidChalian) October 21, 2015
Renowned number-cruncher Nate Cohn, in the NYTimes, says “Joe Biden Ran in the Invisible Primary, and Lost to Hillary Clinton”:
… Mr. Biden’s decision was informed by personal considerations, as he said Wednesday in bowing out, not just the cold calculus of building a national campaign. But the reality was that he would have struggled for the same reason that other traditional, establishment-friendly candidates decided not to run. The support from party operatives, donors and officials wasn’t quite there. The party had already decided, for Mrs. Clinton.
That’s why there was no grand movement to “draft” Mr. Biden into the race, even after the F.B.I. began its investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and even after Mr. Biden began to reconsider a presidential run. My colleagues Carl Hulse and Jason Horowitz reported that many of Mr. Biden’s likeliest allies were discouraging him. So were prominent public figures from Team Obama, like David Axelrod. There were few or no defections from Mrs. Clinton’s camp.
What has happened over the last few months is exactly what one would anticipate in a “Party Decides” framework. As my colleague Brendan Nyhan wrote in August, Mr. Biden was already running for president in the invisible primary. Like most candidates who test the waters, he didn’t find enough support to justify entering the race...
This is Biden's version of O.J.'s "If I Did It."
— Scott Conroy (@ScottFConroy) October 21, 2015
The Boston Globe has some quibbles:
… Considering how popular Hillary Clinton is within the Democratic Party, and considering that a Biden run would have likely been a lost cause, the rationale for his candidacy has always been difficult to decipher. There are precious few policy differences between Biden and Clinton. At least Bernie Sanders can say he’s running on an agenda of dealing with income inequality more forcefully than Clinton. What issue would have defined Biden’s candidacy in contrast to Clinton?…
To make matters worse, Biden’s remarks Wednesday, which sounded like an announcement speech changed at the last minute to an “I’m not running speech,” largely focused on his policy priorities. He offered few words of support for Clinton and, amazingly, even took a veiled shot at her, arguing that contrary to the joking reference Clinton made at the Democratic debate, Republicans are not the “enemy.” A lot of Democrats would disagree with the vice president about that. But whatever one’s views, Biden’s comments are decidedly unhelpful. So as a Democratic vice president who should, at least theoretically, clearly want a Democrat to win in 2016, why say it? Why use his speech to undercut the likely nominee of his party?…
now the media will never get to transition from "Biden: decent and likeable guy" to "Biden: cringey gaffe-monster" like they wanted :( :( :(
— Jason Linkins (@dceiver) October 21, 2015
Sounds like @MartinOMalley burning up phones w woulda-been Biden folks today.
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) October 21, 2015