After seven years of playing nice old uncle Joe, just about everyone seems to have forgotten that Biden was part of a sort of triumvirate consisting of himself, Dick Gephart and Tom Daschle, who were the effective Senate leaders of the business friendly wing of the Democratic party, and who constantly frustrated efforts to turn the party in a progressive direction.
So, here is my theory about the great hoopla over Biden's now non-existent candidacy for President. I have to admit that it is just based on my experience of how things work, and not on any smoking gun evidence, but I am pretty confident about this. The DLC type sellouts in the Democratic party must have been watching in horror as Bernie Sanders' success has pulled Hillary to the left. Biden would have been a force pulling her back in the pro-business direction they wanted, so they put tremendous pressure on him to run, not to win, but just to neutralize the effect of Bernie.
Well, here's the thing- I don't think Hillary is responding that much to Bernie. I think she is finding her way bit by bit to a reasonably progressive set of positions which represents the best chance for her to be elected. I suspect Biden saw this too, and decided that helping out his corporate buddies was not worth the immense antipathy that he would generate by damaging a very smooth Democratic nominating process, which stands in such positive contrast to what is going on with the Republicans.
A big part of the Democrats' appeal in 2016 is going to be that they are adults who deal with issues in a rational faction, as contrasted to a pack of infantile demagogues. Biden's run would have seriously set back that narrative, so we can all be thankful that he saw the light.