Joe Biden Can Join CNN's Democratic Debate Day Of If He Wants

He's eligible to do so if he has the intent.

Vice President Joe Biden has been revered as a leader of this country ever since he first won a Senate seat in 1972 at the age of 30. There's been plenty of murmur recently about him joining the Democratic field in a bid for the 2016 presidency and for good reason — few politicians are as candid and honest about their personal feelings and views. Although he hasn't officially declared his intent to run, according to CNN's debate criteria, he can participate in the first Democratic debate on Oct. 13 if he publicly acknowledges his desire as late as that day.

Biden has dealt with more tragedy than anyone should have to go through, which certainly informs his demeanor as a caring, sensitive man in politics. Tragically, just weeks after his first senate victory in 1972, his first wife and 1-year-old daughter were killed in a car accident while Christmas shopping, and his two sons, Beau and Hunter, were sent to the hospital with major injuries. More recently, Beau passed away at the age of 46 after a two-year battle with brain cancer.

Speaking candidly with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Biden acknowledged that now is a tough time for him with respect to Beau's recent death and he's simply not sure if he is emotionally capable of running a national campaign. The fact that he's willing to be vulnerable on such a big stage is honorable enough on its own, but admitting that he doesn't know if he's fit to run is almost unheard of in a political landscape marked by endless peacocking and shrouding of any possible weaknesses.

So far, Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, and Jim Webb have been invited to the first Democratic debate. If Biden decides to run, Americans can be sure it's not only because he feels ready and willing to lead the country, but because he actually thinks he'd actually be the best person to do it. That's a rare truth to know about any candidate in American politics.

Cover image: Wikimedia