US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign website tells a story, of a man trying to strike a chord, to reach out, to be one among the masses. It's the first name all the way for this Democratic Party candidate -- Joe’s journey, Joe’s vision, Joe gear, Support Joe.
But when it comes to hardcore policy and political issues, Biden’s back in business – the website showcases The Biden Plan for Immigration, The Biden Plan for Infrastructure and, of course, the Biden Plan for Combating COVID-19 among other things. So, the message that comes across is: I am one among you and I mean business.
This man of ‘humble beginnings’ (as the campaign website puts it) was born Joseph Robinette Biden Jr, on November 20 1942, and grew up in the blue-collar city of Scranton in northeast Pennsylvania. His father, Joseph Biden Sr., cleaned furnaces and sold used cars. His mother was Catherine Eugenia Finnegan.
When Biden was 10, the family moved to Claymont, Delaware. It became Joe’s home thereafter. During his adolescent years, Biden was ‘swept up’ by the eloquence and conviction of Martin Luther King Jr. John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.
After double majors in history and political science, Biden enrolled at Syracuse University, where he earned his law degree. His first-ever campaign was for the New Castle County Council, which he won.
‘Sleepy Joe’s’ (Donald Trump actually called him that) current presidential race was preceded by a stint as the 47th vice president of the United States, with President Barack Obama, from 2009 to 2017. He also represented Delaware in the US Senate from 1973 to 2009.
This is Biden’s third run for the presidency, after two unsuccessful attempts at bagging the party nomination in 1988 and 2008.
The 77-year-old has been a fierce advocate of same sex marriage and backed a 1994 anti-crime bill that many say supported long sentences and mass imprisonment. His campaign has been marked by a strong pitch for good healthcare probably stemming from his personal tragedies
In 1972, soon after he won his first Senate race at the age of 29, his family was in a car accident where he lost his first wife, Neilia, and daughter, Naomi, in a car accident. He took the oath of office for his first Senate term from the hospital room of his toddler sons Beau and Hunter, who both survived the accident.
Throughout his Senate term, Biden commuted every day from Wilmington to Washington, a 2-hour drive, ‘in order to tuck his sons in bed at night and to see them in the morning.’
In 2015, tragedy struck the Biden family again when promising politician Beau died of brain cancer at the age of 46.
Biden has also been a big supporter of environment conservation and introduced the climate protection Act long before it became a big issue.
At the end of his vice-presidential term in 2017, Bidens took a train back home to Delaware, where they stayed till the White House beckoned again.
On April 25, 2019, Joe Biden decided to run for President. He made his announcement in a video posted on Twitter, declaring: “We are in the battle for the soul of this nation. If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”
And this was his rival Donald Trump’s response: “Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe. I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign. It will be nasty - you will be dealing with people who truly have some very sick & demented ideas. But if you make it, I will see you at the Starting Gate!”
Biden’s announcement of the 2020 presidential run was soon followed by several women making allegations that they felt he ‘violated their personal space.’
The allegations started with Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state assemblywoman, who claimed that Biden had placed his hands on her shoulders and kissed the back of her forehead in 2014. Other women soon came forward with similar allegations.
To this Biden responded, “Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying … Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful of personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it.”