Nobody fully respects a guy who, when faced with a momentous career decision, ponders and frets and dithers and says “I don’t know if I’m ready,” etc. I don’t care what tragedy has befallen you or how gut-punched you feel. A person wanting to be president has to have the stomach to push through all that and do the hard thing regardless. In the end Joe Biden‘s Irish-heartbreak emotions won out, and on a personal level that’s fine. But if he had decided to run, people would be wondering “what if Joe’s going through a difficult emotional time when the next major crisis hits? Does he have the steel for this job?”