Joe Biden had proven to be a moderate with the experience and empathy required to compensate for Donald Trump’s disruptive presidency. After struggling with adversity during a career saved by personal tragedy, he said he feels the pain of a nation that is nervous about economic crisis, unrest and a deadly pandemic.
Biden is a former vice president under Barack Obama and is the first candidate to garner more than 70 million votes nationwide in a presidential race, ultimately securing his way to becoming the 46th U.S. president.
A loving figure with decades of Washington experience, Biden has vowed to restore value to the presidency after four uniquely turbulent years under President Donald Trump, a former real estate magnet and reality TV host.
Both white male septuagenarians, the two rivals share at least one other trait: a famous “populist tribe” when it comes to dealing with the United States. On most other points, however, the veteran Democrat Trump is the polar opposite, an experienced politician with a history of creating two-party agreements, overcoming setbacks, expressing compassion and owning up to past mistakes.
Known for his personal warmth and resilience, Biden turns 78 when he moves into the White House in January, making him the oldest presidential term in the country’s history – 32 years after the first of his three presidential elections ended in a humiliating withdrawal. .
The former Delaware senator also ran for Democratic nomination in 2008 before dropping out and joining the Obama ticket. His eight years as Obama’s aide have enabled him to claim much of the former president’s legacy, including the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare,” and the economic stimulus package that brought the U.S. auto industry back from the brink of collapse. .
The existing alliance with the country’s first black president – who has called Biden “the best vice president the United States has ever had” – helped mobilize support from African American voters during the democratic primaries, just as Biden had helped win white fighters for Obama 2008.
Once again, these working-class data proved crucial in the November 3 election, enabling Biden to retake important battlefield states in the “Rust Belt” beginning with his birthplace, Pennsylvania, which Trump turned over four years ago.
Political triumphs, personal tragedies
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was born on November 20, 1942, in Scranton, a large city in northeastern Pennsylvania, to a Catholic family of Irish descent. He was 13 when the family moved to the Delaware neighborhood, a state he would later represent in the U.S. Senate for nearly four decades.
Biden often talks about his working class background and tells his parents that they introduced the values of hard work and perseverance. He has often said that his father, who worked as an oven cleaner and car salesman, would say, “The measure of a man is not how often he is beaten down, but how quickly he gets up.”
Long before Trump called him “Sleepy Joe”, the young Biden was bullied at school and nicknamed “Dash” because of a debilitating stutterer, which he eventually overcame by reading poetry aloud in front of a mirror. But bigger challenges would follow.
After graduating from law school in 1968, Biden briefly worked for a law firm before becoming a general defender when Delaware cracked down on outbreaks in response to Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder. He was only 29 when he turned to politics and stunned a popular Republican sitting in a Senate race in November 1972 to become the fifth youngest American senator in history.
But the joy was short-lived. Just days before Christmas, his first wife Neilia and infant daughter Naomi were killed when a tractor-trailer crashed into the family station wagon, an accident that also left his toddlers Beau and Hunter in hospital. Biden was ready to relinquish his seat he had just won to focus on his family and was convinced to serve his time by Senate colleagues and swore in praise of his son’s hospital bed.
Biden commuted daily by train between Washington and the family home in Wilmington, Delaware, a practice he has maintained during his Senate career to stay close to his family.
Biden later had another daughter, Ashley, with his second wife Jill, his partner for more than 40 years. But the personal tragedy would strike again during his second term as vice president when his son Beau, a Delaware attorney general who was considering running for governor, died of brain cancer in 2015 at the age of 46. In his tributes to Beau on the campaign track, Biden has credited his deceased son for encouraging him to start another run for the White House.
Reach the aisle
During his six terms as US senator, Biden gained broad respect and cultivated friendships on both sides at a time. But his career could easily have ended in 1988, after the double blow of a brief first presidential run and the discovery of two life-threatening brain aneurysms. Complications from the subsequent brain surgery led to blood clots in the lungs and further surgery, but the defective senator was soon back in his place.
Biden designed the dismissal of former President Ronald Reagan’s nominee Supreme Court Justice Robert Bork, an arch-conservative, while serving as head of the Senate Judiciary Committee. His ability to drive moderate Republicans would be a hallmark of his success in creating political compromise – which gave him less visibility but undoubtedly more impact than more song liberals in his own party.
A few years later, Biden used the same skills to construct a two-party compromise on some of Bill Clinton’s signature initiatives, including a ban on assault weapons and the approval of the 1994 violence against women.
Biden sought to resume his role as a political peacemaker during his tenure as vice president, although the task was weakened by the growing insolubility of the Republican camp – driven in part by the Tea Party movement and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who pressured Republicans not to compromise on Obama. administration. McConnell once famously said that the “most important thing” for his party was to make Obama a president.
Still, Biden proved crucial in mediating last-minute deals in increasingly tough budget contests with the GOP to stave off or stop government shutdowns.
He was equally active on the foreign policy front, although he was often lost at the end of internal discussions. He advised against raiding Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, a sovereign US ally, until the intelligence service about his whereabouts was more secure, as well as the 2009 troop uprising in Afghanistan.
On the campaign track, Biden has promised to restore Trump’s signature on foreign policy, beginning with his decision to conclude the climate agreement in Paris, and has promised to reach out to US allies who are ally of Trump and renegotiate with Iran over its disputed nuclear weapons. program.
A candidate on fire
Since emerging as the Democratic front-runner, Biden and his family have faced debilitating attacks from the US president, who famously famously praised his Ukrainian counterpart for investigating Biden’s youngest son Hunter. That request led to Trump being accused by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives of allegations of abuse of power and obstacles to Congress, even though he was subsequently acquitted by the Republican-led Senate.
Biden’s long Senate career has also provided critics within his own Democratic party with plenty of material for attacks. In front of the party premieres, he was sharply criticized for his handling of allegations of sexual harassment that Anita Hill directed against the Supreme Court, nominated Clarence Thomas in 1991 while Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republican committee members questioned her credibility, and Hill has said that Biden failed to rein in his colleagues during the hearing. Last year, Biden apologized to Hill, who has since said she would be willing to work with him on gender issues.
His record was once again in place during the first primary debate when rival Democratic candidate Kamala Harris took on the task of opposing court decisions to integrate schools. In a subsequent interview, Biden claimed that the federal bus service mandate “did not work” but that he was for local bus transactions aimed at deregistering schools.
Biden would later choose Harris as her VP, making her the first woman in color to drive a large party ticket.
During the primary contest, the former vice president was also described as too moderate and out of touch with the increasingly vocal left wing of the Democratic Party gathered behind Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Biden’s supporters countered by emphasizing that he spent his decades fighting for racial justice in the United States and abroad, including a passionate Senate speech on the “disgusting, disgusting” regime in apartheid South Africa. They also cited his approval of gay marriage during the 2012 campaign – before a more cautious Obama – as evidence of his progressive references and political courage.
The amiable, contact-loving former vice president has also been forced to ward off any allegations of misconduct in his interactions with female assistants. He has defended his habit of hugging and touching people he meets, saying that he has always seen politics as a matter of “personal connection”. But while Trump has openly boasted about groping and kissing women vigorously, Biden has promised to be “more attentive to the personal space of the future.”
He has certainly proven to be more aware of social distancing rules, sporting a protective face mask from the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, although his Republican rival dismissed the importance of masks and downplayed a virus that has killed more than 200,000 Americans and infected dozens of people working in Vita the house.
Throughout the campaign, Biden repeatedly characterized the 2020 US election as a “struggle for the soul of the nation.” In a CNN interview, he asked if he was the “polar opposite” of Trump, crossed a smiling Biden and said, “I hope so.”
After suffering a series of early setbacks in the race for the Democratic nomination – including a bruise fifth place in the New Hampshire primary that may have taken the stop of a minor candidate – Biden came up again and eventually sailed past his rivals. In March, after a resounding victory on Super Tuesday that revived his political fortunes, he greeted supporters with a line that reflects his own life story: “For those who have been beaten, figured out, left – this is your campaign.”