What Will Joe Biden Do Next? You Haven't Heard The Last From Obama's VP

Joe Biden will turn 74 in November — and he's worked in Washington since he was 30, the minimum age to become a U.S. Senator. So come January, he will have spent 44 years navigating congressional politics both from within the chamber and as Vice President. After the inauguration it would seemingly be all over. So what will he do next? Biden's not the type to sit at home on the sidelines. In an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, Biden said he's not planning to say goodbye, nor is he ruling out another run for office.

It does sound like a long shot, though. When Stephanopoulous asked him about running again, it was more a never-say-never. "I don't plan on that," Biden said. "But, you know, I've learned a long time ago, you don't say anything for absolutely certain." He did have more to say, though, about why he's not hanging it up just yet:

I don't plan on saying goodbye. My dad used to have an expression ... "It's a lucky person who gets up in the morning and puts both feet on the floor, knows what they're about to do, and thinks it still matters." I still care deeply about so many things.
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And he plans to talk about them: "What I plan on doing is staying engaged in all the issues I'm engaged in now," Biden told Wilmington, Delaware, newspaper The News Journal. Specifically, the issues he'll champion will likely include cancer research, foreign policy, domestic violence prevention, and tax reform. In other words, he's betting you don't need to be serving in elected office to create change on the ground, and most importantly in Washington. This meshes with what he said back in October when he announced he wouldn't be running for president:

But while I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent.

I intend to speak out clearly and forcefully, to influence as much as I can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation. And this is what I believe.

He expanded upon why staying vocal is important to him in the interview with Stephanopoulos: "I always judge people who spend a lot of time in public office, say they care about things, and if the day after they leave they no longer talk about them, then I don't think they cared much about them," Biden said.

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Biden, and his family, may also need more time to mourn the loss of his son Beau, who died of brain cancer last year. That was his main reason for not running in the Democratic presidential primary. He told The News Journal last week that he made the right decision, but he surely was left wondering where that path would have ended while addressing the DNC Wednesday.

Exactly what he will do has been speculation since at least October. Some formal or informal role in the possible Clinton administration has been mentioned, and until January he will be busy stumping for Clinton in "Rust Belt" states. USA Today reported that the Clinton campaign sees him as an asset in states like West Virginia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, where he was born. "Voters know he's genuinely speaking for them and it's a powerful endorsement," Clinton's deputy national press secretary Jesse Ferguson said.

Given Trump's plan to focus on Pennsylvania, Biden may become a big asset. How he moves from there come January is more of a guess — but it sounds like you'll hear from him.