Why Biden keeps missing his own VP deadlines

This kind of approach — being openly meditative about the issue at hand, with a penchant for missing his own deadlines as he mulls his options — is in line with how Mr. Biden has made other big political choices throughout his career. Those who have worked with him over the years describe nonlinear decision-making processes with input from allies and family members, a barrage of questions from Mr. Biden, and a habit of extending deadlines in a way that leaves some Democrats anxious and annoyed, while others say it brings him to a well-considered decision, eventually.

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That tendency was on display in 2019, as Mr. Biden grappled with whether to run for president, missing one self-imposed deadline after another to make a decision. A similar pattern played out ahead of the 2016 election, when Mr. Biden wrestled for months with whether to run before ultimately deciding against it, devastated by the 2015 death of his son Beau.

Ahead of the 2004 presidential race, he engaged in extensive deliberations about a bid, even going to Boston to discuss the contest with John F. Kerry, the eventual nominee, before ultimately deciding against running. He had a moment of indecision just before he announced his run for president in 1988, too, he wrote in a memoir.

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