Joe Biden SuccessStory
Joe Biden is an American politician who is currently the president-elect of the United States of America after winning the 2020 presidential race. Competing with incumbent President Donald Trump, Biden won 74 million votes and the majority votes of the electoral college.
Childhood and Education
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was born on November 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Coming from a Catholic family, he was the eldest of four siblings. After struggling financially for years, his family moved to Clayton then to Wilmington Delaware where Biden Sr., found work as a car salesman. Biden attended Catholic schools from his elementary to his high school years. Although he excelled in sports particularly in football and baseball, he struggled in his academic work. He also had issues with his stutter which improved in his early 20s. He graduated from Archmere Academy in 1961.
Biden attended the University of Delaware with a double major in history and political science. He also played football. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965. After graduating from University of Delaware, he attended Syracuse University College of Law and earned a Juris Doctor in 1968. In 1969, he was admitted to the Delaware bar.
In 1969, Biden practiced law as a public defender and then formed a law firm with another attorney. He also briefly worked at managing properties. In the same year, Biden was elected to a county council seat at the New Castle County. He served on the council until 1972. One of his memorable works was opposing large highway projects that could destroy some Wilmington neighborhoods.
During the 1972 US Senate election in Delaware, Biden defeated Republican incumbent J. Caleb Boggs. This was a tough election campaign for him. Not only was he the only Democrat to challenge Boggs, but his campaign was also short on funds and depended on his family members to manage the campaign. His platform focused on withdrawal from the Vietnam war, environmental issues, civil rights and liberties, mass transit, equitable taxation, and health care. His passion and energy into his campaign plus the fact that he has an attractive young family and the ability to connect with voters' emotions worked to his advantage and he won the election with 50.5% of the vote. At 29 years old, he is the sixth youngest US Senator in history.
In his 36 years in the Senate, Biden worked on the platforms he promised to the public. During his early years, he focused on consumer protection and environmental issues and called for government accountability.
Biden was one of the leading senators who opposed the forced busing of students to end de facto segregation. Later on, he presided over the hearings of U.S. Supreme Court nominees Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.
Biden also worked to preserve Delaware’s favorable corporate climate. He also legislated against domestic violence and crafted an anti-crime bill that provided for 100,000 more cops on the nation’s streets, banned assault weapons, and mandated tougher penalties for drug dealers.
He is also very active in foreign policy work. He met with at least 150 leaders from 60 countries and international organizations. He voted against the Gulf War in 1991. In 2002, he voted in favor of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq and US invasion of Iraq. He eventually became a critic of the war and even opposed the troop surge of 2007.
When the SALT II Treaty signed in 1979 by Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev and President Jimmy Carter failed to be ratified by the US Congress, Biden met with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko to communicate American concerns, and secured changes that addressed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's objections. During the Reagan administration; Biden adamantly argued for strict adherence to the 1972 SALT I treaty in which the Reagan administration would allow the development of the Strategic Defense Initiative. He also criticized Secretary of State George Shultz at a Senate hearing for the Reagan administration's support of South Africa and its awful policy on apartheid.
During his visit to Belgrade in 1993, the senator called Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic a war criminal to his face during a 1993 visit to Belgrade. Almost a decade later, Biden voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq but soon he eventually became a critic of the way George W. Bush’s administration handled the conflict.
Biden also became a ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1981. In 1984, he was a Democratic floor manager for the passage of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act. This bill included the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and the Violence against Women Act.
In the 1988 Democratic presidential election, Biden declared his candidacy. His campaign after that was tumultuous and filled with scandals. He was accused of paraphrasing British Labour politician Neil Kinnock. Although at first he credited Kinnock in his prior speeches, he failed to do it again and even borrowed some of Kinnock's personal experiences stating that he was the first person in his family to go to college and his family worked as coal miners. Reports also surfaced that Biden allegedly lifted passages from Robert F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey, and was even caught exaggerating his academic credentials. Biden responded over these issues that politicians often borrow from one another without giving proper credit. However, this didn’t stop the scandals and in September 1987, he withdrew from the race.
Due to the tremendous stress he faced during the race, in February 1988, he collapsed and was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain aneurysm. While recuperating he also suffered pulmonary embolism. He was away from the Senate for seven months to recuperate.
US Vice President
20 years after he ran for president, Biden took his chances again for the White House. In his campaign, he focused on the Iraq war, his record as the chairman of major senate committees and his foreign policy experience. Unfortunately for Biden, he had difficulty raising funds and struggled and eventually failed to draw people in his rallies and gain traction against other candidates. After failing to gain enough votes in national polls of the Democratic candidate; specifically in the Iowa caucuses where garned 1% vote of the state delegates, he withdrew from the race.
Barack Obama then asked him to be his running mate after winning the Democratic nomination and in 2008 presidential elections, Obama and Biden beat their Republican opponents, John McCain and Sarah Palin by 52.9% of the popular votes. In 2012, the pair were reelected in the White House after defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan.
As the 47th vice president of the United States, Biden was charged in overseeing a $787 billion economic stimulus package to help counteract the recession in the late 2000s, running a middle-class task force and reviving the arms reduction treaty with Russia. He also played an advisory role to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
2020 US Presidential Run
During the 2016 presidential elections, Biden considered running for presidential candidacy but decided against it as he was still emotionally unstable due to the tragedy of the death of his eldest son, Beau Biden. When his vice presidency term ended, he became a professor at University of Pennsylvania, wrote a memoir, led efforts for cancer treatments and became a spokesperson of LGBT rights and climate change and even became a critic of President Donald Trump and his administration.
In April 2019, Biden announced his candidacy in the Democratic presidential primaries. He immediately entered the race with high name recognition. Biden ran alongside 28 other Democratic candidates. Throughout his campaign, Biden emphasized his working-class background, drawing a contrast with the wealthy upbringing of his opponent, President Trump. Initially behind in the race for the Democratic nomination, Biden bounced back with a big win in the South Carolina primary at the end of February 2020.
In May 2020, when the police killing of George Floyd spurred nation-wide protests, Biden traveled to Houston to meet with Floyd's family. It was his first major trip outside his home in Delaware since he had shifted his campaign away from public events amid the threat of COVID-19. As some protests and police response to protests escalated to violence, Biden called for racial justice, but also appealed to the country to heal.
In August 2020, Biden announced Kamala Harris as his Vice-Presidential running mate in the 2020 presidential race. Harris, a senator from California, had initially campaigned for the presidency. In the run-up to the election, Biden and Trump took part in two presidential debates.
A worldwide health crisis that the candidates and the whole United States were all concerned about was the coronavirus pandemic which had claimed more than 230,000 American lives and infected more than 9 million in the country. President Trump, himself, became infected with COVID-19 in October and received several treatments. A central argument in Biden's campaign was that Trump had failed to effectively lead in the fight against the virus.
Because of the concerns of the pandemic and racial tensions across US states, more Americans voted in the presidential election. Many states saw record numbers of people taking part in early voting as well as using mail-in ballots. The high number of early and mail-in ballots was partly why Americans waited four days to learn which candidate they had elected as president. Electoral college voting outcomes that initially looked positive for President Trump, shifted in Biden's favor as more votes were counted.
By November 7, the Biden vs. Donald Trump election resulted in an overwhelming Biden win. Despite the outcome, President Trump continued to challenge the election by pressuring election officials and by filing more than 50 lawsuits in state and federal court, claiming there was "massive fraud." But none of the courts ruled there was evidence of any significant voter fraud. On December 14, 2020, members of the Electoral College formally cast majority of votes for President-elect Biden.
Biden was elected the 46th president of the United States in November 2020. He defeated the incumbent, Donald Trump, becoming the first candidate to defeat a sitting president since Bill Clinton defeated George H. W. Bush in 1992. He is also expected to become the oldest president and the second Catholic president after John F. Kennedy.
Days after the election, Biden created the COVID-19 Advisory Board to replace the previous White House Coronavirus Task Force. He pledged a larger government response to the pandemic than Trump's, including increased testing, a steady supply of personal protective equipment, distributing a vaccine, and funds for schools and hospitals. Biden also pledged to use the Defense Production Act more than the Trump administration did in order to build up supplies. He also pledged to employ 100,000 contact tracers to track and limit outbreaks.
In August 1966, Biden married Neilia Hunter, a student at Syracuse University. They had three children: Joseph R. ``Beau" Biden III, Robert Hunter Biden, and Naomi Christina "Amy" Biden. A few weeks after his first senatorial election, in December 1972, Biden's wife and one-year-old daughter Naomi were killed in an automobile accident while Christmas shopping. Neilia's station wagon was hit by a tractor-trailer truck. Their sons Beau and Hunter survived the accident with wounds and injuries.
Now a widow and a single parent, Biden wanted to resign from his position but eventually maintained. To care for his sons, Biden commuted by train between his Delaware and Washington, D.C. and maintained this habit throughout his 36 years in the Senate.
Biden met second wife, teacher Jill Tracy Jacobs in 1975 through a blind date. They were then married in June 1977. They had one daughter Ashley Blazer who is a social worker. His eldest son, Beau Biden became an Army Judge Advocate in Iraq and later Delaware Attorney General. He died of brain cancer in 2015. Hunter Biden is a Washington attorney and lobbyist.
In January 2021, former senator and VP Joe Biden will officially be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States alongside his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris who will also become the first woman and person of color to serve as US Vice President. It may have took decades for Biden to become president, but the path is clear for him to become the world’s most powerful leader.