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Biden’s not running. What happens now?

You can bet Hillary Clinton is breathing a sigh of relief now that Vice President Joe Biden is not running for president. I can almost hear the crystal champagne glasses toasting in her Brooklyn campaign headquarters.

Primary night might be months away, but for all practical purposes (realistic and idealistic), it is onto the general election for the Clinton camp. No more pandering to the far left. No more worrying about a Bernie Sanders threat because even if he wins in Iowa or New Hampshire, he doesn't have the infrastructure to support a national campaign.

That's essentially what this Biden announcement means to the Democratic race. It makes this a one-person race for Clinton to lose.




Vice President Joe Biden looks on as U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington October 22, 2015.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
Vice President Joe Biden looks on as U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington October 22, 2015.

In football, this is when the star quarterback is put on the sideline so he doesn't get injured before the playoffs. In politics, this is when the candidate avoids controversial issues or stump speeches that will alienate voters. It makes for a boring game — and a boring race.

Bernie Sanders supporters will rightfully disagree, saying their guy still has a shot. They can say the economy is ripe for an economic debate between the haves and the have-nots and can point to their overflowing crowds.They can even show registration forms that prove a new generation of voters "felt the Bern" and moved to action.

It makes for a great, future Netflix political documentary,but it's not enough to take him to the White House.

The Democratic race is now exactly where the pundits predicted it would be one year ago, when everyone assumed Clinton would be the presumed nominee.

Barring any major revelations or new scandals, Clinton's poll numbers will begin to rise as the party base begins to coalesce around the last "electable" alternative. The big party donors may not admit it but they know the country will not elect a socialist.

But what about that email scandal? Will it derail the Clinton machine?

You heard the crowds in the Democratic debate when that email question was legitimately raised. The Democratic choir doesn't want to hear any more preaching about a private email server that allowed Clinton to essentially evade any Freedom of Information Act requests involving the Secretary of State. The party faithful don't care that a FOIA request is one of the most powerful tools a free press can use to hold politicians accountable.To them, it's about using a private email for work – not a personal server to hide information that could be used against Clinton.

So what does this Biden loss mean to voters?

If you love Clinton, you're going to have a great New Year.

If you love Sanders, enjoy the ride while you can.

If you're disenfranchised by Clinton or Sanders, you're out of luck.

But for Republicans, this Biden news is exactly what they want to hear. The opponent is now known. They can prepare for Clinton's calculations, weaknesses and strengths. They have time to research and test campaign ads with focus groups and it's no longer a gamble if the candidate loses.

Either way, I personally think all voters lose with Biden electing to not run for president. It might be controversial to express an opinion on the race, but bold statements backed by facts – not fear - make us pay attention to the conversation. No one wants to hear a focus-group tested conversation at a cocktail party.

It's one of the reasons why Donald Trump and Sanders are loved by their faithful. They're like the bartender or hedge fund guy at the bar who tells you what he thinks.

In a way, Joe Biden was a bit like them and if you don't agree, just think back to some of his biggest gaffes. They were moments made in authenticity.

Commentary by Mark Macias, head of Macias PR, a global public relations firm that has run media and branding campaigns for politicians,tech start-ups, financial firms, nonprofits and companies. He's also author of the book, "Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media." Follow him on Twitter @markmacias.