Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. (born November 20, 1942) is one of the most prominent American politicians and a member of the Democratic Party. He will be functioning as the 46th President of the USA. He started his political career as the youngest and longest-serving (1973-2009) senator of Delaware and served as the 47th Vice president of the USA (2009-2016) alongside President Barack Obama.
Long before reaching one of the highest political offices in the nation, he grew up in the blue-collar city of Scranton in northeast Pennsylvania. In 1955, when he was 13 years old, the family moved to Mayfield, Delaware—a rapidly growing middle-class community sustained primarily by the nearby DuPont chemical company.
As a child, Biden struggled with a stutter which he overcame by reciting poetry and long speeches standing in front of a mirror. He continues to share his struggle with stuttering, reassuring thousands of people that it is nothing wrong to speak that way and it has nothing to do with their intelligence.
Bided graduated high school from Archmere Academy in Claymont in 1961. He was a standout halfback and wide receiver on the high school football team and a class president in junior and senior years. He then graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965 from the University of Delaware in Newark with a double major in history and political science, and a minor in English.
On August 27, 1966, Biden married Neilia Hunter (1942–1972) and had three children: Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III (1969–2015), Robert Hunter Biden (born 1970), and Naomi Christina "Amy" Biden (1971–1972). The same year, he earned a Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law and was admitted to the Delaware bar in 1969. He also tried for the military but was classified as unavailable due to asthma.
In 1968, Biden clerked at a Wilmington law firm headed by prominent local Republican William Prickett and, he later said he thought of himself as a Republican but disliked President Nixon. In 1969, Biden practiced law first as a public defender and then at a firm headed by a locally active Democrat, who named him to the Democratic Forum; Biden subsequently reregistered as a Democrat. In 1970, Biden ran for the 4th District Seat on the New Castle County. He won the general election, took office on January 5, 1971, and served till January 1, 1973.
In 1972, Biden defeated Republican incumbent J. Caleb Boggs to become the junior U.S. senator from Delaware. He was the only Democrat willing to challenge Boggs. His campaign had almost no money, and he was given no chance of winning but his energy, attractive young family, and ability to connect with voters' emotions worked to his advantage, and he won with 50.5 percent of the vote. On December 18, 1972, a few weeks after the election, Biden's wife Neilia and one-year-old daughter Naomi were killed in an. Their sons Beau and Hunter survived the accident and were taken to the hospital in fair condition. Biden was sworn in on January 5, 1973, by the secretary of the Senate Francis R. Valeo at the Delaware Division of the Wilmington Medical Centre beside his sons Beau and Hunter’s hospital bed in presence of other family members. At 30, he was the sixth-youngest senator in U.S. history. To see his son and tuck them safely in bed at night, he traveled by train between his Delaware home and Washington, D.C., 90 minutes each way, and maintained this habit throughout his 36 years in the Senate and grew fond of trains. He remarried Jill Tracy Jacobs at the United Nations Chapel in New York on June 17, 1977, and had a daughter Ashley Biden.
During his early years in the Senate, Biden focused on consumer protection and environmental issues and called for greater government accountability. In a 1974 interview, he described himself as liberal on civil rights and liberties, senior citizens' concerns, and healthcare but conservative on other issues, including abortion and the military conscription. Biden became a ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1981. In 1984, he was a Democratic floor manager for the successful passage of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act; over time, the law's tough-on-crime provisions became controversial and in 2019, Biden called his role in passing the bill a "big mistake". However, this bill also included the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and the Violence against Women Act, which he has called his most significant legislation.
In 1993, Biden voted for a provision that deemed homosexuality incompatible with military life, thereby banning gays from serving in the armed forces. In 1996, he voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, thereby barring individuals in such marriages from equal protection under federal law and allowing states to do the same. However, he owed to his mistakes and voted for the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015 under the Obama administration.
Biden formally declared his candidacy for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination on June 9, 1987. Although he was seen as a strong candidate due to his oratory abilities and moderate image, he later was blamed for plagiarizing his speeches, false claims regarding his early life, studies, and participation in the civil rights movement. As a result, his campaign weakened, and on September 23, 1987, Biden withdrew from the race, saying his candidacy had been overrun by "the exaggerated shadow" of his past mistakes.
Biden was a longtime member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. He chaired it from 1987 to 1995 and was ranking minority member from 1981 to 1987 and from 1995 to 1997. He was a longtime member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary where chaired from 1987 to 1995 and was a ranking minority member from 1981 to 1987 and from 1995 to 1997. He collaborated effectively with Republicans and sometimes went against elements of his party. During this time he met with at least 150 leaders from 60 countries and international organizations, becoming a well-known Democratic voice on foreign policy. Biden voted against the Iraq war in 1991. However, he strongly supported for Afghanistan war in 2001 and favored the Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq, approving the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2002. Biden eventually became a critic of the war and viewed his vote and role as a "mistake", but did not push for U.S. withdrawal and improvised his stand in these issues in a later year.
Years after his first presidential campaign, he decided to run for office again in 2007 but dropped from the race soon. Shortly after Biden withdrew from the presidential race, on August 22, 2008, Obama announced that Biden would be his running mate. He ran for both vice-president and senate seat re-election for Delaware. On November 4, 2008, Obama and Biden were elected with 53% of the popular vote and 365 electoral votes. On the same day, he was also reelected to the Senate, and having won both races, Biden resigned from the Senate and sworn in as the 47th Vice President of the USA on January 20th, 2009.
While Biden mostly served in the role of behind-the-scenes adviser to the president, he took particularly active roles in formulating federal policies relating to Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2010, the vice president used his well-established Senate connections to help secure passage of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation. He also played a major role in securing bipartisan deals with senate minority leader Mitch McConnell like Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, Budget Control Act 2011, and many more. Obama compared Biden to a basketball player "who does a bunch of things that don't show up in the stat sheet"
Obama and Biden got re-elected in the election of 2012 and continued their partnership. He voiced against women's violence, student assaults, and the support of same-sex marriage. Although speculations were made on Biden running for president in 2016, he declined it and cited his son's recent death as a large drain on his emotional energy and needed some time for emotional recovery. His son Beau Biden had died from cancer in 2015. On January 12, 2017, President Obama presented Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction, the nation's highest civilian honor, in a surprise ceremony at the White House. Obama called Biden "the best vice president America's ever had" and a "lion of American history," and told him he was being honored for ‘‘faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and a lifetime of service that will endure through the generations.’’
After leaving the vice presidency, Biden became a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, while continuing to lead efforts to find cancer treatments. He published his memoir Promise Me, Dad in 2017. Biden remained in the public eye, endorsing candidates while continuing to comment on politics, climate change, and the ongoing presidency of Donald Trump.
After various media speculations, Biden confirmed his candidacy and launched his presidential campaign on April 25, 2019. In March 2020, Biden committed to choosing a woman as his running mate. He met the party threshold and was given a ticket from the Democratic Party as a presidential candidate. On August 11, he announced U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California as his running mate, making her the first African American and South Asian American vice-presidential nominee on a major-party ticket. His campaign was highly effective and gained support from some high-profile republicans who widely criticized Trump and his actions.
The much-anticipated first presidential debate between Biden and Trump on September 29, 2020, was a messy affair marked by frequent interruptions and heated discussions that quickly spiraled off-topic. A second debate was scheduled for October 15, but after Trump's declination to do a virtual debate, town halls for both candidates were conducted. With microphones often muted during the third debate on October 22, Biden articulated his positions on health care, immigration overhaul, and green jobs with very few interruptions.
Biden and Harris won the presidential race on November 7, 2020, four days after the election. He won in major swing states including Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. He won 306 electoral votes compared to Trump's 232, with record-breaking 81 million-plus votes. Unable to bear the loss, Trump made several baseless claims on election frauds, which was even supported by some GOP leaders. When no enough evidence was found supporting his claims, his lawsuits were rejected one after another.
Despite all the effort of President Trump to overturn the election result, on December 14, 2020, all 538 electors in the Electoral College cast their vote, formalizing Biden’s victory. Initially, Trump declined any assistance for Biden's transition, but Trump's team eventually reached out and assisted the transitional process. He even forbade Biden from receiving any national and international security briefing, which all the president elects are given access to.
On January 6, 2021, a mob of Trump supporters stormed the capitol building and attempted a coup, while Congress members were formalizing Electoral College results. The congressional session resumed past midnight, and Vice President Mike Pence formally announced Biden's presidential win after midnight on January 7.
The historic article of impeachment for "Incitement of insurrection" was launched against Donald Trump, marking his second impeachment, for inciting violence and capitol riots and officially certified by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on January 13.
Finally, after the series of unexpected and unfortunate events, Joe Biden will be officially sworn in as 46th president of the USA on January 20, 2021, in an inauguration ceremony. More than 20,000 police and armed forces are mobilized in Washington D.C and around for security concerns. Festivities are sharply curtailed by efforts to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate the potential for violence near the Capitol. The live audience will be limited to members of the 117th United States Congress and one guest of their choosing for each while the ceremony will be broadcasted live on national television. Public health measures such as mandatory face coverings, testing, temperature checks, and social distancing will be used to protect participants in the ceremony.