Bye Bye Biden

The vice president says he won’t be running for president.

Jose Luis Magana/AP

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Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he will not run for president in 2016. In a speech in the White House Rose Garden, with President Barack Obama by his side, Biden said he has missed his window to run as he’s mourned the death of his son Beau in May. “I’ve concluded it has closed,” Biden said.

“Unfortunately, I believe we are out of time,” he said.

Although Biden will not be mounting a presidential campaign, he sounded eager to continue pushing his ideas. “While I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent,” he said, adding that any Democrat who wants to replace Obama needs to support the legacy of the current president. “Democrats should not only defend this record and protect this record, they should run on this record.”

Biden’s decision not to run leaves Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination. Polls showed Biden consistently behind Clinton and Sanders and indicated that he would have chipped largely at Clinton’s base of support if he entered the race. Biden didn’t sound particularly eager to back Clinton at this time. “I don’t believe, as some do, that it’s naïve to talk to Republicans,” Biden said, an apparent dig at Clinton’s boast in the last debate about making Republican enemies. “I don’t believe that we should look at Republicans as our enemies.”

Biden has been flirting with a presidential run all year. This spring, a small band of former Obama staffers and volunteers formed a Draft Biden super-PAC encouraging the vice president to run. Initially a small-scale, unaffiliated group, Draft Biden eventually hired old Biden hands, lending it an air of legitimacy. Biden-mania picked up full steam when Maureen Dowd wrote a New York Times column in August detailing how Beau, on his deathbed, encouraged his father to run for president again—information that appears to have come from the vice president himself.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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