WASHINGTON — Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced on Wednesday that he would not run for president, ending a period of remarkably public agonizing and clearing away one of the biggest potential obstacles to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s path to the Democratic nomination in 2016.
In a hurriedly arranged speech in the White House Rose Garden with President Obama at his side, Mr. Biden said that he and his family had overcome their grief at the death of his elder son enough to commit themselves to the rigors of a campaign. But with just days until the first filing deadlines, he said he had concluded that it was simply too late.
“Unfortunately, I believe we’re out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination,” Mr. Biden said. “But while I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent.”
Indeed, he used the rest of his 13-minute speech to outline the case he would have made as a candidate and even take a few implicit jabs at Mrs. Clinton over her hawkish foreign policy, hostility to Republicans and breaks with Mr. Obama on certain issues.

The end of Mr. Biden’s three-month flirtation with another bid for the White House came in the last few days as he and his advisers looked at the calendar and concluded that he did not have enough time to raise the necessary money and still campaign sufficiently in person in the first four primary states.
After skipping the first Democratic debate last week, Mr. Biden called a handful of operatives he hoped would work on a campaign and left them with the impression he was ready to run. With his advisers, Greg Schultz, Mike Donilon and Michael Schrum, listening on a speaker phone, Mr. Biden told the operatives that he had “the strongest chance to continue the work Barack has done,” according to Democrats who discussed the private calls on condition of anonymity. He added that he believed Mrs. Clinton could lose to the Republicans.
But when he asked their advice on how to raise the estimated $30 million he would need for the early states and $40 million he would need to reach the Super Tuesday contests, they told him it could not be done in the time available.
Mr. Biden’s advisers concluded he could raise the …Read More

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