A nice catch from The Hill, as the NBC affiliate that interviewed Joe Biden doesn’t even bother to mention this exchange in their report. They stick to reporting on Biden’s cheerleading for Barack Obama’s meaningless executive actions on guns (“the more the American people learn what we’re doing and not doing, the more support (the action will get)”), but Keisha Grant also asks the VP whether he regrets not running to succeed his current boss in the Oval Office. “I regret it every day,” Biden says, but still thinks it was ultimately the correct decision:
Vice President Biden said Wednesday he regrets not running for president in 2016 but stressed it was ultimately the right call.
“I regret it every day, but it was the right decision for my family and for me, and I plan on staying deeply involved,” he said in an interview with NBC affiliate WVIT in Hartford, Conn.
It’s one of the first times Biden has publicly conveyed remorse about not jumping into the race to succeed President Obama.
Biden agonized over the decision for months during the late summer and early fall following the death of his son, Beau, from brain cancer.
But after road-testing his campaign message and holding dozens of meetings with advisers and family members, he chose not to run, saying it was too late to mount a viable campaign.
I wonder if that’s going to prove true, however. Bernie Sanders still draws large crowds and takes in plenty of cash even with the crowd-out effect of Hillary Clinton’s iron grasp on establishment donors. In a normal cycle, this might have been true, but it’s not a normal cycle in either party. In October, there still might have been room for a dark-horse bid that looked to unite the grassroots and the establishment.
The problem for Biden is he’s simply not that candidate, and wouldn’t have been in October 2014 either. Hillary Clinton’s been in Washington for 23 years; Biden’s been there 20 years longer than that. As Delaware’s Senator, Biden has carried a lot of water for big financial corporations, too, a track record that would hardly endear Team Bernie supporters to Uncle Joe’s banner. Plus, the establishment donors backing Hillary might not be terribly impressed with Biden’s track record of futility in presidential elections … although for some reason they don’t seem bothered by Hillary’s.
With that said, the Democratic Party may come to regret the lack of openings to other candidates in this race, reinforced by a debate schedule that seems to aim for My Mother The Car ratings. If Hillary Clinton boots another chance for the Clinton Restoration this fall, there will be plenty of recriminations, not regret, within their party about how their establishment closed ranks and locked out any potential for a better nominee.
Or maybe, they’ll be the political version of Scottie P. No ragrets, knowutimsayin’?