Yesterday, Joe Biden’s office insisted on a correction in a Delaware Online story that had him attempting to get columnist Harry Themal to pressure his son into running for Biden’s old Senate seat, held provisionally by Ted Kaufman for the remainder of Biden’s term, which expires this year. The Vice President insisted that he told Themal to get Kaufman to run for the seat, although Kaufman pledged that he would only serve the interim term and would not run in the fall. Beau Biden made the reason for his father’s correction plain this morning in an e-mail to supporters (via HA reader William T):
As many of you know, since returning home from Iraq, I have been giving serious consideration to running for the United States Senate. I have received strong encouragement both here in Delaware and all across the country to undertake this effort – and this outpouring of support has truly been humbling.
I understand why people care so deeply about this election. The challenges we’re facing as a country are extraordinarily difficult. The economy. Jobs. Health care. Energy. Education. Climate change. Financial regulation. Foreign policy. These are not only the issues of the moment – they’re the issues that will determine our children’s future. And as someone who has had the privilege of serving with the bravest men and women on this planet, I care deeply about how we treat our returning veterans and how we resolve our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I feel strongly about these issues. However, my first responsibilities are here in Delaware. I have a duty to fulfill as Attorney General – and the immediate need to focus on a case of great consequence. And that is what I must do. Therefore I cannot and will not run for the United States Senate in 2010. I will run for reelection as Attorney General.
One of the primary reasons I ran for Attorney General was to protect the most vulnerable among us: children. As the father of two young children, I can think of no worse crime than those committed by child predators. It is why one of my first actions and top priorities as Attorney General was the creation of the Child Predator Task Force.
The idea that any child can be a victim of abuse is horrific. The fact that it has engulfed an entire community is unspeakable. The pain and trauma suffered by the children, their parents, and the families, can’t be measured. But justice can be done. And I am determined to see that it is.
I have a job to finish. And that’s what I must do.
Thank you for all your support,
Translation: This year looks bad for Democrats, and I’ll take a pass. After all, Biden wouldn’t have had to quit his AG job to run for the Senate, as his term would have expired anyway. There will be other AGs after Biden, since there will always be crime, and there will always be cases caught in the transition. That’s why AGs have career prosecutors in their offices. If Beau thought he could win, he would run.
The AP confirms Biden’s decision to pass on a Senate bid:
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden will not be running for the U.S. Senate seat once held by his father, Vice President Joe Biden.
The younger Biden told supporters in an e-mail Monday that he will run for re-election as attorney general rather than seek the Democratic nomination for Senate.
This is why Biden was desperate to get Themal to lean on Kaufman. As I explained in my update, it was an even clearer indication that Beau Biden wouldn’t run in the race, and after yesterday’s events, the younger Biden’s hand got forced.