audience, which had given Biden a standing ovation and was about
to break for post-lecture coffee and cake, stood in rapt
anticipation as Delaware's senior senator gave a Bidenesque
response which started out sounding like he was about to say
'yes', swung over to 'no', and ended up as 'undecided'.
he regards himself as qualified; did not like the prospects of
ordering his life to spend four or eight years in the
restrictive White House environment; and told the overwhelmingly
supportive audience that he probably will decide sometime during
the summer and make his answer known in or before October.
significant dispute with the way this [Bush] administration is
running the country," he said.
Specifically, he said he finds a problem with "preparing for war
and, at the same time, [proposing] a three quarters of a
trillion dollar tax cut that will mostly benefit those who least
however, that his role as the trusted former chairman and now
the ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee puts him in a position where he can best influence
public policy and contribute to the good of the country.
for instance, that his ability to relate with Secretary of Sate
Colin Powell would vanish instantaneously with an announcement
of a run for the presidency. "Powell knows he can confide in me.
If I was running, it would become a matter of loyalty [to
President Bush]. He's a soldier and he'd believe he was being
added that he also is able to work with others in the
administration and his colleagues in Congress. "Senator
[Richard] Luger and I do not have any great disagreements over
foreign policy," he said. Luger, a Republican from Indiana,
chairs the Foreign Relations Committee.
said he did not plan to remain a senator the rest of his life,
but added, "I believe my duty requires me to forego making
my decision now."
made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination in 1988.
his "fervent hope [is] to see someone in my party come along" to
seek the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination whom he would
feel confident to support. Biden indicated that Senator John
Kerry of Massachusetts might fill that bill.
of those fellows catches fire, I'll be glad to support him,"
Biden said. However, he did not refer to any other aspirant by