Biden's Not Sure He Will Run For President — And His Reason Will Break Your Heart

Photo: Cindy Barrymore/REX Shutterstock.
Vice President Joe Biden hasn't hidden that he's considering a run for the White House, and he's been refreshingly frank about the fact that he's not sure he's up for it. When the 72-year-old talks about why he's on the fence, it might be good to have some tissues ready.

At an event in Atlanta on Thursday, Biden took a break from talking about the historic nuclear deal with Iran to answer a question about his thoughts regarding 2016. Going up against Hillary Clinton, and the challenges of fundraising and organizing a campaign, are no match for Biden's fresh grief over the death of his son Beau in May. The younger Biden passed away from brain cancer at the age of 46.

"Unless I can go to my party and the American people and say that I am able to devote my whole heart and my whole soul to this endeavor, it would not be appropriate," he said, according to CBS News. Biden's first wife and daughter died in a car accident in 1972. Beau Biden and his brother Hunter were also seriously injured in the crash.

"If I can reach the conclusion that we can do it, in a fashion that would still make it viable, I would not hesitate to do it. But, I have to be honest with you and everyone who has come to me. I can't look you straight in the eye and say now, I know I can do that. That's as honest as I can be."

Biden also said he didn't want to put his family through the stress of a campaign if they need more time to grieve.

It's not surprising that he would be so candid. Since his unsuccessful attempt to gain the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2008, Biden has developed a reputation for blunt speech and goofy behavior, but his passion is always clear — whether he's speaking about his commitment to ending violence against women or his wife's professional achievements. Biden also spoke movingly about loss and living with grief at a speech to military families in 2012.

"Just when you think, ‘maybe I’m going to make it,’ you’re riding down the road and you pass a field and you see a flower, and it reminds you,” Biden said. “Or, you hear a tune on the radio. Or, you just look up in the night. You know, you think, ‘maybe I’m not going to make it, man.' Because you feel at that moment the way you felt the day you got the news."