WASHINGTON – Ballot access deadlines and other logistical hurdles won't take precedence over family considerations as Joe Biden ponders a run for the White House, the vice president said in an interview released Monday.
"For us, it's a family decision, and I just have to be comfortable that this is, that this'll be good for the family," Biden told America magazine in an interview conducted Thursday about Pope Francis' U.S. visit. "It's not quite there yet. And it may not get there in time to make it feasible to be able to run and succeed, because there are certain windows that will close.
"But if that's it, that's it. But it's not like I can rush it," Biden said. "It either happens or it doesn't happen."
Biden's oldest son, Beau, died May 30 after a battle with brain cancer, upending the timetable for the vice president to make a decision. As an independent "Draft Biden" political movement has worked to build support and Biden's closest advisers have sought to keep all options available to him when he is ready to decide, polls have continued to indicate interest in his candidacy.
But even as he's engaged in public events that offer a glimpse of what his campaign could look like, Biden has maintained that he would not run unless he could give it the full commitment it requires.
However, Biden also noted that the past campaigns he's run "have actually strengthened the family," and that politics has become something of a "family business."
He also revealed a message he received from the widow of Edward Kennedy, discussing how the late senator's family would deal with similar grief — by dedicating themselves to the causes of those who had passed on.
"That's the decision we've all made. … We are not going to walk away from the things that made Beau's life in his mind, beyond his family, worthwhile," Biden said.
The vice president will have a prominent role this week as Pope Francis visits the United States. Biden will join President Obama on Tuesday in welcoming Francis to the Washington area and will participate in meetings at the White House on Wednesday morning and attend mass in the afternoon. Thursday, Biden will attend the pope's address to a joint session of Congress. On Sunday, Biden will travel to Philadelphia for a departure ceremony.