Vice President of the United States Joe Biden stood next to his wife and Barack Obama in the White House Rose Garden on Wednesday morning and told the world he's not running for president.
"Unfortunately, I believe we're out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign," Biden said. "But while I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent," he added, vowing to continue to be an outspoken defender of Obama's legacy.
"I believe that President Obama has led this nation from crisis to recovery, and we're now in a resurgence. This country will be making a tragic mistake if we attempt to walk away from or undo the Obama legacy," the vice president said.
Biden said he's been waiting to decide until his family had finished grieving for his son, Beau, who died of a brain tumor in May. In dealing with grief, he said, "You hope there comes a time, when you think of your loved one, it brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye." He said the Biden family is finally at that point, but that there just isn't the time to run.
After last week's Democratic debate — where it was briefly rumored that Biden would show up — passed, rumors that the VP would soon announce his decision reached fever pitch.
On Monday afternoon, Ed Henry, chief White House correspondent for Fox News, tweeted that Biden was preparing his announcement. Other outlets also said they expected the announcement in 48 hours or so. Today, about 49 hours later, it came.
After Biden's son Beau died of brain cancer in May, the vice president appeared to be grappling with how a presidential run would affect him personally. "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," Biden told the press in September.
Even before his tragic loss, the 72-year-old former Delaware senator was open to discussing the possibility of his candidacy. Refinery29 outlined some serious perks to his entering the race: Biden introduced the Violence Against Women Act, fought for marriage equality, and lets his emotions show in the midst of doing high-impact work.
In late August, a poll suggested that if he did, in fact, run, Biden would beat out his biggest competition — Hillary Clinton and the major Republican candidates.
Ending his remarks and months of speculation, Biden said he'd found his life's work in public service and that he would continue fighting for everything he believes in for the 15 months he and Obama have left in office. Of note, Biden called for a "national commitment to end cancer as we know it today," in tribute to his late son.