With apologies to Bob Dylan, you can't tell which way the wind is blowing without a weather vane -- particularly if you are indoors looking out. We had no way of knowing what was happening in the bowels of the Justice Department and the White House before Joe Biden decided not to run. Now, we know:
There will be no indictment of Hillary Clinton.
Undoubtedly, Biden would have run if he had gotten word that an indictment was likely. He would have had to. The Democratic Party is determined not to nominate Bernie Sanders because they believe, correctly, that this would destroy their chances in November.
Biden's candidacy would have been indictment insurance in the same way that Gerald Ford's ascent to the Vice Presidency in 1973 was a form of impeachment insurance.
Faced with the inevitability of Spiro Agnew's rise to the presidency if Nixon were forced out, Republicans made damn sure that Agnew was indicted and had resigned the office of vice president before they moved to impeach Nixon. And so it has been with Hillary.
The Justice Department would never indict the putative Democratic candidate for president unless a viable alternative were waiting in the wings. And the reverse is true: Biden's decision not to run is the clearest indication that no indictment will be forthcoming.
Without a Hillary indictment, Biden would be unable to catch her. She leads him 54-16 with Sanders at 23 in the latest poll. But with an indictment, he could have won.
Now, whatever their original intention, we can be sure that Hillary will not be indicted. The FBI may be insulated from politics in its investigation, but the Justice Department is anything but insulated from it in making their decision on whether to act on the information the FBI gathers. The Democratic Party is now stuck with Hillary and the Democratic Administration won't put her in the defendant's box.