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First take/Biden

For all the talk in recent weeks that Vice President Joe Biden would jump into the presidential race, I haven’t thought he would – as a matter of practicality. His interest in becoming president was certainly real, as witness by his own previous runs for the job, and he had a base of support. A lot of people like Joe Biden, and think he would be a good president. But start with the fact that Biden has had the opportunity since 2009 to gradually lay groundwork for a presidential run – lining up fundraising, bringing supporters and campaign operatives on board – and he never did. If he wanted to get into the race, he could have done it a year ago, or up to early this year, and would have had a reasonable shot at the nomination. He and Hillary Clinton might have been serious competitors, and Bernie Sanders might have stayed out (that last depending in part on how the campaigns were being structured). If he had wanted that badly to do it, in other words, he could have. Now, too much of the financial and personnel you need to run (on the Democratic side) has been absorbed by other candidates, and the practical amount of time needed to mount a serious campaign in the early states is really too little. And to run for president you have to want it very badly indeed. Biden took the wise course. – rs

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