DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Now that Vice President Joe Biden has decided not to run for president, the future is unclear for a man who has been in the federal government for more than four decades.
Biden on Wednesday ended a bid for the presidency that never really began. According to Ralph Begleiter, founding director of the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication, it was the sun setting of Biden's political career but almost certainly not his time in public service.
"He's young enough to be able to have an influence," Begleiter said. "He's experienced enough in foreign affairs, in domestic politics, in domestic economics to have an influence on virtually anything he chooses."
During his speech, Biden hinted at what he might choose.
"If I could be anything, I would have wanted to be the president who ended cancer," he said.
Brain cancer recently took the VP's son, and former Delaware attorney general, Beau Biden.
Biden called his goal a moonshot - implying it would take as much effort, possibly money, to end cancer as America put into going to the moon.
Dr. Rishi Sawhney, medical director of the Bayhealth Cancer Institute, said that of course cancer research needs more money and attention. However, he said it is important to realize cancer is not one disease but at least 200.
"Each behaves differently and has a different genetic code and makeup and different treatment," Sawhney said. "So, the question about finding a cure for cancer may be overly simplified. In fact, there are many kinds of cancers for which we do have cures."
Begleiter says recently we've seen just how much presidents and vice president can do after leaving office. He points to examples like Jimmy Carter with Habitat for Humanity and Al Gore with climate change.
"This is not a moment of crawling into a box and disappearing for Joe Biden. On the contrary, this is a moment of being free, feeling free to break loose of the constraints of raising money and running for president and deciding what is it I want to accomplish in the closing decades of my life," said Begleiter.
In the present, Biden said in his speech he plans to spend his remaining 15 months in office pushing for an "absolute national commitment to end cancer as we know it."