Saturday October 31, 2020
Joe Biden may still seem a bit unremarkable in Europe, but the Americans are familiar with the political veteran. The former vice-president has celebrated great successes professionally and suffered severe blows of fate in his private life.
Joe Biden embodies a lot that Donald Trump does not want to be. The 77-year-old has been part of the US political establishment for decades. The political veteran entered the battle for the White House on the grounds that another term of office for the Republican incumbent would fundamentally change the nature of the country forever. The opposition to Trump is Biden’s strongest argument ahead of the November 3rd election, in which he hopes a broad coalition will support him.
Biden was born on November 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The lawyer began his political career in the city council of Wilmington in the state of Delaware, where he now lives with his second wife Jill. At the age of 29, Biden was elected to the US Senate in 1972, where he represented Delaware until 2009. Before the 1988 and 2008 elections, Biden ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination. Now he is making what may be the last attempt to rule the USA from the Oval Office.
“I represent you all”
In 2009, Biden moved into the White House as Vice President in the administration of Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama. Obama said in August that he found a brother in Biden during his two terms in office. The Democrats advertise that Biden would bring reliability instead of unpredictability, selflessness instead of selfishness, calm instead of noise, decency instead of dishonesty to the White House.
Biden’s political experience is also highlighted. Biden says he’s running as a Democrat. When asked during the last TV duel with Trump what he would say in his inauguration speech if he won, he replied: “I am an American president, I represent you all, whether you voted for or against me.”
Biden, the family man
Jill Biden is the former Vice President’s second wife. The daughter Ashley Blazer comes from this marriage. Jill Biden is approachable and close to the people. At the Democratic Party conference, the 69-year-old was hooked up from a classroom in a high school in Wilmington where she had previously taught English. Jill Biden drew a very personal picture of a caring husband and father with a solid compass of values who stand up for other people.
At public appearances, the Biden’s dealings with each other seem loving. Joe Biden doesn’t skimp on his roots in his speeches. Sometimes he tells what he has learned from his father, or he introduces his sentences with “My mother would say …”. Again and again he speaks about the importance of the family for his life.
Biden’s triumph in the 1972 Senate election was overshadowed by a car accident in which his first wife, Neilia, and daughter, Naomi, were killed. The sons Beau and Hunter were injured. Biden says the sons – whom he looked after as a single father until he met Jill – saved him. Another stroke of fate occurred in 2015 when Beau died of complications from a brain tumor. Biden’s younger son Hunter lived unsteadily in the past, and now he speaks publicly about his addiction problem.
Republicans have long tried to make life miserable for Joe Biden over his son’s earlier controversial overseas deal. Hunter Biden had, among other things, a highly paid position at a scandal-ridden gas company in Ukraine for many years. Trump accuses Biden of trying to protect his son from the Ukrainian judiciary as Vice President. Hunter Biden now lives as an artist in California.
Return to the allies
Biden is not a visionary. He wants to bring the country “back to normal” and bring it together. He evokes the old days when he and Obama were in the White House and the US was seen as a predictable partner by allies. “The first thing I have to do, and I’m not joking, if I get elected, I have to call the heads of state and say America is back, you can count on us,” Biden said recently.
“I will be a president who will stand by our allies and friends,” he said elsewhere. “I will make it clear to our opponents that the days of ingratiation with dictators are over.”