Many Democrats were upset by the fact that Joe Biden didn’t enter the Democrat primaries in the race for the presidency. New details have emerged showing just what was going on in Mr. Biden’s life that led to his decision.
According to The Washington Examiner, former Vice President Joe Biden recently revealed that in 2014, former President Obama said he would have appointed Mr. Biden to the presidency if he were able to choose his successor. The details were discovered in Mr. Biden’s new memoir, Promise Me, Dad, which releases on November 14th.
The book is considered a glimpse into one year of Joe Biden’s life, and covers his struggle to deal with the death of his son, Beau, as well as his decision against entering the presidential race. He also discussed foreign policy issues and crises during his term as vice president, particularly in Iraq, Ukraine, and Central America.
In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Biden explained the brief exchange with Mr. Obama in late 2014. Mr. Biden said, “we were walking after lunch, and Barack said: ‘Joe, if I had the power of appointment, I’d appoint you president. We agree on the issues, I know your leadership skills, and I think you’d be the best president.’”
Mr. Biden admitted both of his sons wanted him to run. He explained, “They thought that what limited talents I have that may not have been suited for winning decades earlier were exactly what the public was looking for now.”
He admitted he was reluctant to confide in anyone about his son’s illness–especially President Obama. “What people don’t realize is that Beau was essentially diagnosed with a death sentence in 2013. Virtually nobody makes it. I had an obligation to tell the president because of my duties,” he said.
He continued, “It was complex. I didn’t want him to carry the burden of feeling sorry for me. Several times, when we talked about Beau, he started sobbing, and I had to console him. I didn’t want to put him through that, not with all the responsibility he had on his back.”
Mr. Biden revealed that he couldn’t announce his decision not to run until later on. “If I were to say ‘I am not going to run,’ in the face of all this data that’s coming in saying, you can do it. If I said that, everybody would have known there was something wrong with Beau. I would have violated my commitment to him to keep it secret.”
Ultimately, with his son’s terminal illness weighing heavily on him, Mr. Biden decided not to enter the election. Instead, Mr. Obama pledged his support to Hillary Clinton. “I think she wanted to be president and would have been a good president,” Biden admitted.
Philip Galanes of the NY Times asked: “We’re so dug in and divided now. Do you really think a President Biden could make a difference?”
Do you think President Obama would have made Joe Biden president?
“I don’t know. But I have always been good at bringing people together. Trying to understand the other person’s perspective, and trying to figure out how to get to ‘go.’ That skill was always useful, but it has a higher premium now that we don’t work together as much,” Mr. Biden replied.
He noted that the book wasn’t meant to be about grief or for anyone to feel sorry for him. He admitted writing it for his grandchildren and to celebrate his son’s life. The former vice president has not made it clear whether or not he will enter the presidential race in 2020–during which he will be 78 years old.
While Mr. Biden’s life story is a powerful one, and perhaps some can find a message of hope in his book. However, it is fortunate that he was not able to assume the presidency to carry on President Obama’s destructive legacy. Lack of leadership in foreign affairs and pacifist mentality that he would have continued could have led to a devastating future for America. Hopefully, Mr. Biden decides to retire altogether from any political office.