In the clip below, Biden says he’ll ultimately make up his mind sometime this summer. In the meantime, we’re left to speculate and wonder until he does.
Historically, the vice presidency has been a steppingstone to the Oval Office. It worked out (eventually) for Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush, to name just two examples. After eight years as the commander in chief’s top deputy, both men presumably benefited from their years as subordinates. Biden, if he runs, would almost certainly use this experience to his advantage.
On the other hand, his astonishing and growing list of gaffes aside, he would also be branded Barack Obama’s heir apparent -- a guy whose party, you might recall, got flatly rejected from coast to coast two months ago. His ties to the current administration cannot be severed or undone. And while Hillary Clinton will no doubt have the exact same problem he does, she at least officially cut ties with the administration years ago.
It’s impossible to predict if Biden will run or not. But perhaps what he told GQ in an interview two years ago might be of interest:
"I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States of America," he said one day at his residence in Washington. "But it doesn't mean I won't run." We were in the sunroom, which without explanation he called "the Cheney sunroom," as if the specter of the last guy who lived here had never quite vanished. The king of Jordan had just left; they had breakfast.
So apparently he’s A-OK with not running. Good to know. But if his own words aren’t convincing enough, National Journal’s Josh Krausharr throws cold water on the idea as well:
[T]he veep has done absolutely nothing to staff up for a prospective campaign – a necessity against a well-prepared, well-funded Clinton operation. At 72, he'd be the oldest future president in history. As vice president, he brings all the baggage that comes with serving under a polarizing president but carries none of the same excitement from the base. His approval numbers are weaker than President Obama's, and in his two past runs for president, he's fallen far short of expectations. He trails Clinton by nearly 60 points – 66 percent to 8 percent – in the latest CNN/ORC survey, conducted last month. A Biden campaign would be a bigger long shot than even Mitt Romney running a third time.
Ouch. An unsparingly honest and fair assessment. Nevertheless, he’s still keeping the door open, if only just a crack: