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GRAND PRAIRIE — When Joe Biden was considering running for the White House four years ago, he faced considerable challenges, including comforting a dying son.
Ultimately Biden opted against a run for president and the Democratic nomination went to Hillary Clinton, who lost a close contest to Donald Trump.
Now Biden is confronted again with the question of whether to pursue the presidency, this time under less trying circumstances.
But on Thursday Biden, who was at The Theatre at Grand Prairie to his talk about his memoir, Promise Me, Dad, he said nothing about whether he would seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.
Instead he stuck to the themes outlined in his book, a relatively quick read at 260 pages that deals with the death of his elder son, Beau, his foreign policy work as vice president and the decision not to run for president in 2016.
"I get up every morning and hope Beau is proud of me," Biden said. "He made me promise not to quit."
He said he wrote the book to help others dealing with loss.
"I wanted to give people hope that there’s a way through this," Biden said.
In his conversation with best-selling author Rachel Hollis before a crowd of about 1,000, Biden did seek to dispel the narrative that his son, on his dying bed, made him promise to run for president. Biden said his son made him promise to stay engaged, adding that he couldn’t tell people he was out of the presidential sweepstakes because few people knew about his son’s illness.
"Beau wanted me to run for president and I did intend to run for president until we got his diagnosis," Biden said.
"He said ‘Dad, give me your word as a Biden that you will stay engaged," Biden said. "I did."
Biden didn’t mention Trump during his speech.
The Democratic presidential field is growing quickly. Candidates that have announced or are exploring campaigns include former San Antonio mayor and former U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Many other Democrats are considering campaigns, including former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Biden.
Angela Tillman of Arlington, who works in communications and attended the event, said Biden should run for president.
"I honestly think the promise to his son was to run for president," she said. "He should do it."