By Dan Balz and Paul Kane,
On Monday morning, Vice President Biden returned from a weekend in Delaware to meet with some of his most senior advisers, under great pressure to make a decision about whether he would run for president. As he deliberated, the Washington rumor mill, which had been running wild for weeks, was in overdrive about a likely Biden campaign.
Allies outside Biden’s inner circle were increasingly confident he would run, based on their own reading of events. Throughout the day, cable news and others provided a continuous series of reports about an imminent decision, with Biden now ready to challenge Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the Democratic nomination.
In reality, Biden, 72, had not arrived in Washington with his mind made up. And as he and his advisers weighed options, things did not look favorable.
His advisers were confident that he could raise the money and recruit the talent for a successful campaign, and they told Biden so. But they all agreed that there were not enough days left to execute those tasks, while also participating in debates and campaigning actively in the early states, before the voting began in February.
As he and his family were going through the emotionally wrought grieving process after the death of his son Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer on May 30, the vice president had finally run out of time to mount and run a serious campaign.
The final decision did not come until Tuesday night, after late meetings with his family and senior advisers following a dinner for former president Jimmy Carter and former vice president Walter F. Mondale.
Hoping to avoid leaks, Biden made the announcement public on Wednesday in the White House Rose Garden, flanked by his wife, Jill Biden, and President Obama.
[Biden’s decision boosts Clinton]
The decision snuffed out the last flickers of Biden’s dream of occupying the Oval Office — a dream he had carried with him for more than four decades and one he was clearly reluctant to let go. But as much as he never wanted to say no to one final campaign, in the end, he couldn’t find a way to say yes.
There were many mixed signals along the way, and as it turned out, many missed ones as well. Biden never said publicly he was emotionally …Read More

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