- Associated Press - Thursday, August 19, 2010

DOVER, Del. | Three months after he was sidelined by a mild stroke, Beau Biden is back to jogging three to four times a week and campaigning hard for re-election as Delaware’s attorney general, even though he has no Republican opponent.

But Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s eldest son remains coy about his long-range plans, specifically whether he is eyeing a 2014 bid for the Senate seat long held by his father.

“I’m focusing on being a great attorney general,” said Beau Biden, who - to the disappointment of many state Democrats - decided against running this year for the remaining four years of the term his father gave up to become vice president.

“Having long-term dreams is a good thing … but having a plan has never worked for me, because life always intervenes,” he said in his most extensive interview since he was hospitalized in May.

For Mr. Biden, the health scare is a reminder that he needs to balance his job with spending as much time as possible with his family. The 41-year-old was rushed to the hospital May 11.

“I remember it all,” he said, adding that he believes he may have been a “little dehydrated and overcaffeinated” from the night before, when he ran four miles before putting his two young children to bed and staying up late to work on a broken chainsaw.

The next morning, something was wrong.

“I was just a little off,” Mr. Biden explained. “My arm didn’t feel right. I was able to move it, but I just wasn’t myself.”

After his wife, Hallie, expressed concern, he asked her to take the children to school on her own.

“She thought better of that and called our doctor,” said Mr. Biden, who was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

“Stroke was the farthest thing from my mind when I went in,” said Mr. Biden, adding that he didn’t know enough to be scared, or to reflect on the brain aneurysm that nearly killed his father in 1987 at age 45.

“I wasn’t at that point equating it to my father’s experience at a similar age. … I just wasn’t thinking about being scared or equating it to the other family things.”

Mr. Biden’s stroke coincided with the release of an independent report critical of how authorities, including the state Department of Justice he oversees, handled investigations of former Delaware pediatrician Earl Bradley, who was arrested in December and is charged with sexually abusing more than 100 patients over more than a decade.

In his first public response to the report, Mr. Biden defended prosecutors who investigated Dr. Bradley in 2008 knowing he had been investigated in 2005 as well. Prosecutors declined to prosecute Dr. Bradley after both investigations.

“They were as aggressive as they could be with the facts that they had in front of them at the time,” said Mr. Biden, reiterating that he decided not to run for Senate this year because he wants to see the Bradley case through to the end.

In a February television interview, however, the vice president said his son had decided against a Senate bid at Thanksgiving. That’s almost two weeks before the alleged rape that finally led to Dr. Bradley’s arrest, but more than a month after Delaware’s popular Republican congressman Michael N. Castle entered the race

Mr. Castle, a former governor as well as congressman, has a clear lead in the polls over top Democratic challenger Chris Coons, the county executive for New Castle County who entered the race after Mr. Biden bowed out. The state primary will be held Sept. 14.

“My decision was made in light of the Bradley case, after the Bradley case broke,” Mr. Biden insisted, refusing to comment on his family’s Thanksgiving discussions.