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All the times Joe Biden was about to decide whether he's running for president

Johan Ordonez / AFP/Getty Image
Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

Is Joe Biden going to run for president? The political world has been wondering for months, and according to a Monday morning report by NBC News's Leigh Ann Caldwell and Kristen Welker, it looked like we were about to find out — the vice president "could" make a decision "within 48 hours."

But wait! By Monday afternoon, things didn't look so clear:

As Caldwell and Welker acknowledged in their initial report, it's far from the first time that anonymous sources have told reporters Biden is on the verge of making up his mind. At first, he was supposed to decide by the end of the summer. Then that slid back to early October. Now here we are in late October, still waiting, with ballot deadlines drawing ever nearer.

Considering what Biden's been through this year, it's understandable that he's having a tough time deciding— but at this point, it's getting pretty absurd. Here are some of the past timetables that have been floated in the press (with a hat tip to the Huffington Post's Michael Calderone and Sam Stein for compiling some of these), and you can also check out Philip Bump's version in chart form at the Washington Post:

June 17, 2015

  • When will Biden decide? By August 1.
  • According to whom? "Two Democratic sources who have been in contact with his family," per US News & World Report.

July 18, 2015

  • When will Biden decide? "At the end of the summer, targeted for September."
  • According to whom? "People close to Biden," per the Huffington Post.

August 1, 2015

  • When will Biden decide? Expected by early September.
  • According to whom? "Confidants," per the New York Times.

August 8, 2015

  • When will Biden decide? A decision is expected shortly after he returns from a vacation that ends August 13.
  • According to whom? "His aides and supporters," per the Associated Press.

September 4, 2015

  • When will Biden decide? His plans "could remain unsettled well into the fall."
  • According to whom? Biden himself, per the Wall Street Journal.

September 10, 2015

  • When will Biden decide? He's extended his timetable to "late September or early October, or possibly even later."
  • According to whom? "Biden's aides," per AP.

October 1, 2015

  • When will Biden decide? "Likely" in "the second half of October."
  • According to whom? "people close to him," per CNN.

October 3, 2015

  • When will Biden decide? "As early as within the next seven to 10 days" (hyped in headline as "in the next week").
  • According to whom? "Three people familiar with his deliberations," per CBS News.

October 5, 2015

  • When will Biden decide? "Next weekend, or shortly thereafter" (hyped in headline as "weekend decision").
  • According to whom? "Confidants," per Politico.

October 16, 2015 (mid-afternoon)

October 16, 2015 (late afternoon)

  • When will Biden decide? "In the coming days," and "signs point to him running," though he "could still pull back."
  • According to whom? "People familiar with the matter," per the Wall Street Journal.

October 19, 2015 (early morning)

  • When will Biden decide? It "could come within 48 hours."
  • According to whom? "Two sources," per NBC News.

October 19, 2015 (mid-morning)

  • When will Biden decide? The timing of when he'd announce isn't clear, but "Vice President Biden is likely to run."
  • According to whom? "Three solid sources," per Fox News.

October 19, 2015 (mid-afternoon)

  • When will Biden decide? He's "genuinely undecided" and there's no timeline for a decision, but "time is nigh."
  • According to whom? "A person involved in" Biden's deliberations, per ABC News's Jonathan Karl.

This piece has been updated with new anonymously sourced reports on Biden's decision-making process.

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