Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. better known as Joe Biden is all set to be the 46th president of the United States of America. After a last-minute vote count tussle, his home state Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes put Biden over the 270 electoral votes needed to win. His running mate Kamala Harris is set to become the first woman and the first person of colour (part African, part Indian) to be the vice president.
Joe Biden has earlier served as the 47th vice president of the United States in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017
Joe Biden’s school and college days:
Born on November 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, US, Joe Biden’s family moved to the Wilmington, Delaware area when he was 10. Biden received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in 1965 and a law degree from Syracuse University in New York in 1968. As a law graduate, Biden left NY and worked as an attorney in Delaware before quickly turning to politics, serving on the New Castle county council from 1970 to 1972. He was elected to the US Senate in 1972 at the age of 29, becoming the fifth-youngest senator in history.
At the age of 24, during his college years, he married Neilia Hunter in 1966, and the couple later had three children. Tragedy struck when his wife and infant daughter Naomi were killed in a car accident in 1972, and his two sons were seriously injured.
In 1977 he married Jill Jacobs, an educator. The couple has a daughter, Ashley. In May 2015, tragedy struck again after his son Joseph Robinette ‘Beau’ III died of brain cancer. His (1970-born) second son, Robert Hunter Biden is a lawyer and investment advisor.
A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the United States Senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009. Though he began his political career in 1972, it is said that after the death of his first wife and daughter, Joe Biden wanted to suspend his political career but he was persuaded to join the Senate in 1973, instead. He is said to have taken the oath to office from the bedside of his two sons who were battling grievous injuries. The victory run there continued and he won reelection not once or twice, but a whopping six times, becoming Delaware’s longest-serving senator. Biden has served as an adjunct professor (1991–2008) at the Wilmington, Delaware, branch of the Widener University School of Law.
Bid for the presidential office:
Biden launched his first presidential bid in June 1987. He withdrew his candidacy after a brief controversy over a speech. He then collapsed the following February from a life-threatening brain aneurysm, underwent two surgeries and took a seven-month leave from the Senate. In 2008, almost 20 years later, he made another bid to the White House. This time Barack Obama beat him to the Democratic nomination as Biden could secure only 1 per cent of the delegates in the Iowa Democratic caucuses. Barack Obama picked him as his running mate after winning the Democratic nomination.
In the November 2008 presidential elections, Obama and Biden defeated their Republican opponents, John McCain and Sarah Palin and again in 2012 they defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan.
Sadly, his son Beau died in 2015, and it is said that Biden decided against filing his nomination for the presidential primaries candidate. For the next elections, on April 25, 2019, Biden announced his candidacy in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. As a popular former vice president, he immediately entered the race with high name recognition.
In a crowded primary with 28 other heavyweights, Biden’s more establishment policies won him the official Democratic Party nominee on August 17, 2020. He picked California senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, creating history in the process as Harris became the first Black and Asian (Indian) American woman to be named on a major party’s ticket.
Having defeated the team of the incumbent President Donald Trump and Vice -President Mike Pence, team Biden-Harris will now be inaugurated on 20 January 2021. Biden is set to be the 46th President of the United States, and the 77-year-old will be the oldest president ever to take office.
Public and voter opinion:
We asked a few American citizens about what they think of his policies and governance from past experience.
“I would say Joe’s single biggest achievement is helping pass the “Obama Care” health insurance plan. And providing 20 million people with affordable healthcare. My family has personally benefitted from it. Entrepreneurial Americans were finally able to get health care at affordable rates instead of being uninsured. We had healthcare from our employers for years and then suddenly when we started businesses we were uninsured – until Obama and Biden came along,” said Munira Hamza, a self-employed IT professional/ Business Analyst from New Jersey.
A Democrat to his bones, Joe Biden – as Vice-President to then-US President Barack Obama – played a key role in negotiating with Republicans on Capitol Hill after his election as vice president in 2008.
1986: Sponsored one of the first climate change bills in the Senate
2007: Proposed curbing greenhouse gas emissions
2008: Passed the PROTECT Our Children Act aimed at safeguarding children’s safety online
2010: Spearheaded Prez Obama’s Tax Relief Act, the Budget Control Act of 2011, and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012