strong>LAS VEGAS — Although CNN is holding an empty lectern backstage with the Joe Biden's name on it, Democrats confirmed the vice president will not be making a surprise appearance at the first Democratic debate in Las Vegas Tuesday night.

"No, Joe wont be there," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid told anxious reporters gathered at the Wynn hotel Tuesday afternoon.

When later asked about Biden's future plans, Reid added, "I am the least to advise Joe in politics. ... He doesn't need my advice."

Although the vice president has not announced whether he will run for the Democratic nomination, he is expected to make a decision in the coming days, and in preparation CNN has a lectern ready for Biden should he decide to suddenly arrive at the debate.

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