How Joe Biden Navigated the Long Road to Not Running for President

Joe Biden has been commenting for months, but saying little.

ByABC News
October 21, 2015, 3:46 PM

— -- Would he or wouldn’t he run for president? That had been the question swirling around Vice President Joe Biden, which has now been answered. Biden announced today that he won’t be seeking the presidency.

Biden has run for top office twice, during the 1988 presidential election and in 2008. Biden, then a senator from Delaware, talked openly about considering another run.

Take a look at the timeline of Biden’s long and winding decision-making process through today, when he announced his final decision.

Election Day 2012

PHOTO:Joe Biden waves as he exits a voting booth after casting his ballot, Nov. 6, 2012, in Greenville, Del.
Joe Biden waves as he exits a voting booth after casting his ballot, Nov. 6, 2012, in Greenville, Del.

As Biden cast his vote early Nov. 6, 2012 -- Election Day -- in Wilmington, Delaware, he was already flirting with the idea of a third run.

Reporters there that day asked the vice president whether that would be his last time voting for himself.

"No, I don't think so,” Biden answered, raising speculation that he wasn’t quite done chasing America’s top office.

Feb. 24, 2014

Sitting down with the ladies of ABC’s “The View,” Biden assured them that he was focusing on the job at hand: being vice president.

But Biden also shared that he was divided on whether he would run in 2016 and argued he was “uniquely” positioned to be commander in chief.

“I think my knowledge of foreign policy, my engagement of world leaders, my experience uniquely positions me to follow through on the agenda Barack and I have of bringing up world peace that is real and substantive,” Biden said.

“It’s as likely that I run, as I don’t run. I just truly haven’t made up my mind,” Biden said.

The vice president said his wife, Jill Biden, would be supportive if he chose to run.

Jan. 15, 2015

It was months before Hillary Clinton would announce her candidacy for president, but Biden was being asked whether he would challenge Clinton in the 2016 race.

“Yes, there is a chance,” the vice president said with a smile in an interview on “Good Morning America.” “But I haven’t made my mind up about that. We’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then. There’s plenty of time.”

At that time, Biden said he wouldn't have a decision until summer.

Feb. 12, 2015

While on an official trip to Iowa, Biden said deciding to run for president is “a family personal decision that I'm going to make sometime at the end of the summer."

Biden told reporters that day that he was not engaging in any meetings about a potential candidacy.

Again, Biden noted that the timeline he set for himself to make his decision was summer.

March 25, 2015

When Biden was on Capitol Hill in March to listen to Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani’s address, he stopped to mingle with his old pal from his years in Congress, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

ABC News asked Biden whether he’d run for president against Graham, and Biden answered, "Hell, yeah!"

“We’re going to travel together, debate all over the country,” Biden went on.

April 13, 2015 (a day after Hillary Clinton announced she was running)

Just 24 hours after Hillary Clinton announced she was running for president -- back at a White House roundtable discussion, Biden told reporters that despite Clinton’s announcement, he hadn't made a decision, according to the Detroit News.

“I haven’t made up my mind on that. I have plenty of time to do that, in my view,” Biden said.

“There’s a lot the president and I care about that has to get done in the next two to three months,” Biden went on. “When you run for president you’ve got to run for president, and I’m not ready to do that, if I’m ever going to be ready to do that.”

Despite shutting down any speculation he would be running, Biden didn’t give up a chance to tease regional reporters.

"I'm announcing today that [Sen. Marco] Rubio and I are going to run together" Biden joked on the same day the Florida Republican senator announced he would be running for the GOP nomination.

Biden helped kickoff the Allegheny County Labor Day Parade with opening remarks in Pittsburgh.

Biden even played it cool when he was asked whether he would be running for president.

The vice president joked, “I’m going to run part of the parade!”

During his speech before union workers, he was interrupted and encouraged to run.

Biden said, “You’ve got to talk to my wife about that. I’ve got to talk to my wife about that.”

As he finished his speech, the crowd chanted, “Run, Joe, Run!”

Sept. 10, 2015

In a guest appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” Vice President Biden gave an emotional account on the death of son Beau.

The vice president said he felt like he was “letting down Beau” if he “didn’t just get up” after his death.

Biden shared memories of Beau, and even admitted to feeling “self-conscious” over the attention he has received since his son lost a battle to brain cancer.

Although the vice president is unsure if his family has the emotional capacity for a presidential run, he hasn’t completely ruled out the idea.

“Nobody has a right in my view to seek that office unless they’re willing to give it 110 percent of who they are,” he said. "I’m optimistic, I’m positive about where we’re going ... sometimes it just overwhelms you.

“I don’t think any man or woman should run for president unless number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president and number two, they can look folks out there and say I promise you, you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy, and my passion to do this,” Biden added. "I’d be lying if I said that I knew I was there."

Oct. 15, 2015

This month, Biden seemed to have everyone on the edge of their seats about his decision to join the race, and as he waited for the arrival of the South Korean president, Biden broke the silence -- sort of.

Biden joked with reporters as they pried him for the sought-after answer.

“Are you running for president?” a reporter yelled at Biden outside of his home at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

“I’ll answer in Korean,” Biden responded.

Despite the reporter’s persistence, Biden didn’t seem to crack.

“I can’t hear you,” he said, smiling.

Then he threw up his hands and replied, “I’ll tell you what, good to see you all,” Biden said. “And, I’ll talk to you all about that later.”

Oct. 21, 2015

Today from the rose garden alongside his wife and President Obama, the vice president announced his final decision.

"Unfortunately, I believe we're out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination," Biden said. "I have concluded it has closed. I know from previous experience that there's no timetable for this process."