Joe Biden opens up to Stephen Colbert, talks personal tragedy, presidential doubts

/ Source: TODAY

Vice President Joe Biden is the man of the moment right now. All eyes are on him, waiting to see if he throws his hat into the presidential race. After all, that was the hope his son Beau, who died in January, had for him.

On Thursday night, Biden sat down with Stephen Colbert and opened up about his son, his personal loss and his presidential thoughts.

"He said, 'Dad, I know how much you love me. You've got to promise me something. Promise me you're going to be all right.'" Biden recalled of Beau's final wishes. "I don't know what it was about him. He had this enormous sense of empathy."

"It sounds like you loved him, sir," Colbert replied.

"Oh, jeez," Biden said of the scope of his love.

While that question was a no-brainer for the grieving father, the question of a presidential run isn't as simple. In fact, Biden seemed to express doubts during his "Late Show" appearance.

"I don't think any man or woman should run for president unless ... they can look at folks out there and say I promise you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy and my passion to do this," Biden explained. "I'd be lying if I said that I knew I was there. ... I'm being completely honest."

But don't count him out just yet. Bloomberg Politics managing editor Mark Halperin spoke to TODAY Friday morning and said he felt Biden is actually invested in the race now more than ever.

"I think he's more inclined [to run] than before," Halperin insisted. "Three things were on display: First, the incredible life of Joe Biden. Second, this is the most wide-open presidential race any of us have ever seen. There's a moment there for Joe Biden — he can see the possibility of being president. And finally, the personal moment for him right now — does his son's death make him more want to run, to fulfill ... the dream that both Bidens had of one of them being president?"

The vice president hasn't made up his mind yet, but Colbert expressed his feelings about it.

"I think your experience and your example of suffering and service is something that would be sorely missed in the race," the host said. "I think we'd all be very happy if you did run."

Follow Ree Hines on Twitter and Google+.