DES MOINES, Iowa -- " I think in the end, he did what Joe Biden always does. He kind of does a gut check, and made the decision from the heart," said former State Representative Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy was part of the Draft Biden movement. McCarthy wanted Joe to run, but says the calendar would have been tough. "If you just start at March 15, and work backwards in time, when you get to March 1, you`ve already hit 25 states that have their contest the first two weeks of March, and then prior to that you have the 4 early states. That`s 29 states to look at raising the money to campaign effectively in those states and developing the infrastructure."
Despite the challenging timeline, McCarthy says making the decision not to run was not an easy call for Vice President Biden. "This decision was so close and made so recent in time that what he really gave today was a morphed version of what his announcement speech was going to be and it`s my belief that this decision was made yesterday evening," said McCarthy. Polk County Treasurer Mary Maloney has known Biden since 1987, and has worked on both of his presidential campaigns. "In between those times, I would stop in to see him when I was in Washington, D.C., so I knew him and his entire family. With the Bidens, that`s kind of what you get; you know one of them, you know all of them," said Maloney. "I consider him a friend. I’ve kept in touch with the family, totally understand the situation after Beau died. You know, it’s hard. It’s hard to run for President anyway, when you have a family situation, and to him his family is very important to him, and so I understand," said Maloney.
Maloney isn't the only Iowa supporter that has kept in touch over the years and considers Biden a close friend. “I worked for him and really got to know him quite well during 2007-2008, when he last ran," said House District 34 State Representative Bruce Hunter. "We had dinner together. He’s been at the house. Anytime he’s in Iowa, we get together. Anytime I’m in Washington, we get together. In fact, he called me on Sunday and left a message. My mother had just died and he left a message of condolence and you know for the Vice President of the United States, with all he had on his mind, with what`s going on in Washington, and whether he was gonna run for President or not, he still took the time to give me a call. I think that says a lot about what kind of President he would be."
As for what impact Biden's decision will have on the race, that remains unclear. "On the Democratic side, nationally, Joe Biden has been polling anywhere from 20% to 25%. That means about 1 out of every 4 -5 nationwide Democratic voters was supporting somebody who wasn`t even in the race, and it`s going to be interesting to see where they go," said McCarthy.