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Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday night he "will not hesitate" to run for president next year — but only if his family is up to it.
"I'll be straightforward with you: The most relevant factor in my decision is whether my family and I have the emotional energy to run," Biden said during an appearance at a synagogue in Atlanta.
Biden's son Beau, the former attorney general of Delaware, died of brain cancer in May at age 46.
Biden said that while other issues were a concern — particularly whether he could build a strong campaign and raise money — the only question that matters is, "Can my family undertake an arduous commitment they would be proud to undertake under ordinary circumstances?"
If so, "I will not hesitate to do it," said Biden, a Democratic former senator from Delaware who unsuccessfully pursued the presidency in 1988 and 2008. But if not, "it would not be appropriate," he said.
Biden would be the oldest person ever elected president, turning 74 just 12 days after Election Day 2016.
The most recent Quinnipiac University poll, released Aug. 20, put Biden in a statistical tie for second in the race for the Democratic nomination, behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at 45 percent. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was at 22 percent and Biden was at 18 percent — within the poll's margin of sampling error.