JOSEPH ROBINETTE BIDEN JR. (/ˈdʒoʊsᵻf rɒbᵻˈnɛt ˈbaɪdən/
; born November 20, 1942) is an American politician who was the 47th
Vice President of the United States
Vice President of the United States from 2009 to 2017, having been
jointly elected twice with President
Barack Obama . A member of the
Democratic Party , he represented
Delaware as a
United States Senator
from 1973 until becoming Vice President in 2009.
Biden was born in
Scranton, Pennsylvania , in 1942, and lived there
for ten years before moving with his family to Delaware. He became an
attorney in 1969, and was elected to the New Castle County council in
1970. He was first elected to the Senate in 1972, and became the
sixth-youngest senator in U.S. history. He was re-elected to the
Senate six times, and was the fourth most senior senator at the time
of his resignation to assume the Vice Presidency in 2009. He was a
long-time member and former chairman of the Foreign Relations
Committee . He opposed the
Gulf War in 1991, but advocated U.S. and
NATO intervention in the
Bosnian War in 1994 and 1995. He voted in
favor of the resolution authorizing the
Iraq War in 2002, but opposed
the surge of U.S. troops in 2007. He has also served as chairman of
the Senate Judiciary Committee , dealing with issues related to drug
policy, crime prevention, and civil liberties, and led the legislative
efforts for creation of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement
Act , and the
Violence Against Women Act . He chaired the Judiciary
Committee during the contentious
U.S. Supreme Court nominations of
Robert Bork and
Clarence Thomas .
Biden unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in
1988 and in 2008 , both times dropping out after lackluster showings.
In the 2008 U.S. presidential election ,
Barack Obama chose Biden to
be his running mate in the race, which they won. He became the first
Catholic , and the first Delawarean, to be Vice President of the
United States .
As Vice President in the
Obama administration , Biden oversaw the
infrastructure spending aimed at counteracting the
Great Recession ,
and U.S. policy toward
Iraq up until the withdrawal of U.S. troops in
2011. His ability to negotiate with congressional Republicans helped
bring about legislation such as the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance
Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 that resolved a taxation
Budget Control Act of 2011 that resolved that year's
debt ceiling crisis , and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
that addressed the impending "fiscal cliff ". In 2011, he opposed
going ahead with the military mission that resulted in the death of
Osama bin Laden . Obama and Biden were re-elected in 2012 . In October
2015, after months of speculation, Biden chose not to run for
President of the United States
President of the United States in 2016 . In December 2016, he refused
to rule out a potential bid for President in 2020 , but announced on
January 13, 2017, that he would not run, only to seemingly backtrack
just four days later, again refusing to rule out a potential bid. On
January 12, 2017, Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom
, with distinction. After leaving office, Biden was named the Benjamin
Franklin Presidential Practice professor at the University of
* 1 Early life
* 2 Early political career and family life
United States Senator
* 3.1 Election and tragedy; recovery and new family
* 3.2 Early Senate activities
* 3.3 1988 presidential campaign
* 3.4 Judiciary Committee
* 3.5 Foreign Relations Committee
* 3.7 Characteristics as senator
* 4 2008 presidential election
* 4.1 Biden presidential campaign
* 4.2 Democratic nominee for vice president
* 5 Vice Presidency (2009–2017)
* 5.1 Post-election transition
* 5.2 First term (2009–13)
* 5.3 2012 re-election campaign
* 5.3.1 Post-election
* 5.4 Second term (2013–17)
* 5.4.1 Death of Beau
* 6 2016 presidential race
* 7 Post-vice presidency
* 7.1 Comments on President Trump
* 7.1.1 Climate change
* 7.1.2 Healthcare
* 8 Political positions
* 9 Distinctions
* 10 Almanac
* 11 Writings by Biden
* 12 See also
* 13 Notes
* 14 References
* 15 Further reading
* 16 External links
Biden was born on November 20, 1942, at St. Mary's Hospital in
Scranton, Pennsylvania , to Catherine Eugenia "Jean" Biden (née
Finnegan) and Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden Sr. He was the first of
four siblings in a
Catholic family, with a sister, Valerie, and two
brothers, James and Frank, following. His mother was of Irish
descent, with roots variously attributed to
County Louth or County
Londonderry . His paternal grandparents, Mary Elizabeth (Robinette)
and Joseph H. Biden, an oil businessman from
Baltimore, Maryland ,
were of English , French , and Irish ancestry. His paternal
great-great-great grandfather, William Biden, was born in
England, and immigrated to the United States. His maternal
great-grandfather, Edward Francis Blewitt, was a member of the
Pennsylvania State Senate
Pennsylvania State Senate .
Biden's father had been very well-off earlier in his life, but
suffered several business reversals by the time his son was born. For
several years, the family had to live with Biden's maternal
grandparents, the Finnegans. When the Scranton area went into
economic decline during the 1950s, Biden's father could not find
enough work. In 1953, the
Biden family moved to an apartment in
Delaware , where they lived for a few years before moving to
a house in Wilmington,
Joe Biden Sr. was then more
successful as a used car salesman , and the family's circumstances
were middle class.
Biden attended the
Archmere Academy in Claymont,
Delaware , where he
was a standout halfback /wide receiver on the high school football
team; he helped lead a perennially losing team to an undefeated season
in his senior year. He played on the baseball team as well. During
these years, he participated in an anti-segregation sit-in at a
Wilmington theatre. Academically, he was an above-average student ,
was considered a natural leader among the students, and was elected
class president during his junior and senior years. He graduated in
He earned his BA in 1965 from the University of
Delaware , with a
double major in history and political science , graduating with a
class rank of 506 out of 688. His classmates were impressed by his
cramming abilities, and he played halfback with the Blue Hens
freshman football team . In 1964, while on spring break in the
Bahamas , he met and began dating Neilia Hunter, who was from an
affluent background in Skaneateles, New York and attended Syracuse
University . He told her that he aimed to become a Senator by the
age of 30 and then President. He dropped a junior year plan to play
for the varsity football team as a defensive back , enabling him to
spend more time visiting out of state with her.
He then entered
Syracuse University College of Law , receiving a half
scholarship based on financial need with some additional assistance
based on academics. By his own description, he found law school to be
"the biggest bore in the world" and pulled many all-nighters to get
by. During his first year there, he was accused of having
plagiarized 5 of 15 pages of a law review article. Biden said it was
inadvertent, due to his not knowing the proper rules of citation, and
he was permitted to retake the course after receiving an "F" grade,
which was subsequently dropped from his record (this incident would
later attract attention when further plagiarism accusations emerged in
1987). He received his
Juris Doctor in 1968, graduating 76th of 85
in his class. Biden was admitted to the
Delaware bar in 1969.
Biden received student draft deferments during this period, at the
peak of the
Vietnam War , and in 1968, he was reclassified by the
Selective Service System as not available for service due to having
had asthma as a teenager. He never took part in anti-war
demonstrations , later saying that at the time he was preoccupied with
marriage and law school, and "wore sports coats ... not tie-dyed".
Negative impressions of drinking alcohol in the Biden and Finnegan
families and in the neighborhood led to
Joe Biden becoming a
teetotaler . Biden suffered from stuttering through much of his
childhood and into his twenties, and overcame it by spending many
hours reciting poetry in front of a mirror.
EARLY POLITICAL CAREER AND FAMILY LIFE
On August 27, 1966, Biden, while still a law student, married Neilia
Hunter. They overcame her parents' initial reluctance for her to wed
a Roman Catholic, and the ceremony was held in a
Catholic church in
Skaneateles . They had three children, Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III
(1969–2015), Robert Hunter (born 1970), and Naomi Christina
During 1968, Biden clerked for six months at a Wilmington law firm
headed by prominent local Republican William Prickett and, as he later
said, "thought of myself as a Republican". He disliked the
conservative racial politics of incumbent Democratic Governor of
Charles L. Terry and supported a more liberal Republican,
Russell W. Peterson , who defeated Terry in 1968. The local
Republicans tried to recruit him, but he resisted due to his distaste
for Republican presidential candidate
Richard Nixon , and registered
as an Independent instead.
In 1969, Biden resumed practicing law in Wilmington, first as a
public defender and then at a firm headed by Sid Balick, a locally
active Democrat. Balick named him to the Democratic Forum, a group
trying to reform and revitalize the state party, and Biden switched
his registration to Democrat. He also started his own firm, Biden and
Corporate law , however, did not appeal to him and criminal
law did not pay well. He supplemented his income by managing
Later in 1969, Biden ran as a Democrat for the New Castle County
Council on a liberal platform that included support for public housing
in the suburban area. He won by a solid, two-thousand vote margin in
the usually Republican district and in a bad year for Democrats in the
state. Even before taking his seat, he was already talking about
running for the
U.S. Senate in a couple of years. He served on the
County Council from 1970 to 1972 while continuing his private law
practice. Among issues he addressed on the council was his opposition
to large highway projects that might disrupt Wilmington neighborhoods,
including those related to
Interstate 95 .
UNITED STATES SENATOR
ELECTION AND TRAGEDY; RECOVERY AND NEW FAMILY
Biden's entry into the 1972
U.S. Senate election in Delaware
presented a unique circumstance. Longtime
Delaware political figure
and Republican incumbent Senator
J. Caleb Boggs was considering
retirement, which would likely have left U.S. Representative Pete du
Pont and Wilmington Mayor
Harry G. Haskell Jr. in a divisive primary
fight. To avoid that, U.S. President
Richard M. Nixon
Richard M. Nixon helped convince
Boggs to run again with full party support. No other Democrat wanted
to run against Boggs. Biden's campaign had virtually no money and was
given no chance of winning. It was managed by his sister Valerie
Biden Owens (who would go on to manage his future campaigns as well)
and staffed by other members of his family, and relied upon handed-out
newsprint position papers and meeting voters face-to-face; the small
size of the state and lack of a major media market made the approach
feasible. He did receive some assistance from the
Patrick Caddell . His campaign issues focused on
withdrawal from Vietnam, the environment, civil rights, mass transit,
more equitable taxation, health care, the public's dissatisfaction
with politics-as-usual, and "change". During the summer, he trailed
by almost 30 percentage points, but his energy level, his attractive
young family, and his ability to connect with voters' emotions gave
the surging Biden an advantage over the ready-to-retire Boggs. He won
the November 7, 1972, election in an upset by a margin of 3,162 votes.
On December 18, 1972, a few weeks after the election, Biden's wife
and one-year-old daughter Naomi were killed in an automobile accident
while Christmas shopping in Hockessin,
Delaware . Neilia Biden's
station wagon was hit by a tractor-trailer as she pulled out from an
intersection; the truck driver was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Biden's sons Beau and Hunter survived the accident and were taken to
the hospital in fair condition, Beau with a broken leg and other
wounds, and Hunter with a minor skull fracture and other head
injuries. Doctors soon said both would make full recoveries. Biden
considered resigning to care for them, but was persuaded not to by
Senate Majority Leader
Mike Mansfield . Subsequent to the accident,
Biden commented that the truck driver had been drinking alcohol prior
to the collision, but these allegations were denied by the driver's
family and were never substantiated by the police. Drawer of
chamber desk XCI occupied by Biden in the U.S. Senate. Note signature
at upper center inside of drawer. President
John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy once
occupied the desk in the U.S. Senate.
Joe Biden met his second
wife, Jill (here seen dancing together in 2009), in 1975 and they
married in 1977.
Biden was sworn into office on January 5, 1973, by
Francis R. Valeo ,
the Secretary of the Senate in a small chapel at the
of the Wilmington Medical Center . Beau was wheeled in with his leg
still in traction; Hunter, who had already been released, was also
there, as were other members of the extended family. Witnesses and
television cameras were also present and the event received national
At age 30 (the minimum age required to hold the office), Biden became
the sixth-youngest senator in U.S. history, and one of only 18
senators who took office before reaching the age of 31. But the
accident left him filled with both anger and religious doubt: "I liked
to at night when I thought there was a better chance of finding a
fight ... I had not known I was capable of such rage ... I felt God
had played a horrible trick on me." To be at home every day for his
young sons, Biden began the practice of commuting every day by Amtrak
train for 1½ hours each way from his home in the Wilmington suburbs
to Washington, D.C., which he continued to do throughout his Senate
career. In the aftermath of the accident, he had trouble focusing on
work, and appeared to just go through the motions of being a senator.
In his memoirs, Biden notes that staffers were taking bets on how long
he would last. A single father for five years, he left standing
orders that he be interrupted in the Senate at any time if his sons
called. In remembrance of his wife and daughter, Biden does not work
on December 18, the anniversary of the accident.
Biden's elder son, Beau , became
Delaware Attorney General and an
Judge Advocate who served in Iraq; his younger son, Hunter ,
became a Washington attorney and lobbyist. On May 30, 2015, Beau died
at the age of 46 after a two-year battle with brain cancer. At the
time of his death, Beau had been widely seen as the frontrunner to be
the Democratic nominee for Governor of
Delaware in 2016 .
In 1975, Biden met Jill Tracy Jacobs , who grew up in Willow Grove,
Pennsylvania , and would become a teacher in Delaware. They had met
on a blind date arranged by Biden's brother, although it turned out
that Biden had already noticed a photograph of her earlier in an
advertisement for a local park in Wilmington,
Delaware . Biden would
credit her with renewing his interest in both politics and life. On
June 17, 1977, Biden and Jacobs were married by a
Catholic priest at
the Chapel at the United Nations in New York.
Jill Biden has a
bachelor's degree from the University of
Delaware ; two master's
degrees, one from
West Chester University , and one Villanova
University ; and a doctorate in education from the University of
Delaware. They have one daughter together, Ashley Blazer (born 1981),
who became a social worker and staffer at the
Delaware Department of
Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families . Biden and his wife
are Roman Catholics and regularly attend Mass at St. Joseph\'s on the
Brandywine in Greenville,
EARLY SENATE ACTIVITIES
Biden with President
Jimmy Carter in the
During his first years in the Senate, Biden focused on legislation
regarding consumer-protection and environmental issues and called for
greater accountability on the part of government. In mid-1974,
freshman Senator Biden was named one of the 200 Faces for the Future
by Time magazine, in a profile that mentioned what had happened to his
family and characterized Biden as "self-confident" and "compulsively
Biden became ranking minority member of the
U.S. Senate Committee on
the Judiciary in 1981. In 1984, he was Democratic floor manager for
the successful passage of the
Comprehensive Crime Control Act ; civil
libertarians praised him for modifying some of the Act's provisions,
and it was his most important legislative accomplishment at that point
in time. He first considered running for president in that year,
after he gained notice for giving speeches to party audiences that
simultaneously scolded and encouraged Democrats. Senator Biden,
Frank Church and
President of Egypt Anwar el-Sadat after
Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty
Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty , 1979
Regarding foreign policy, during his first decade in the Senate,
Biden focused on arms control issues. In response to the refusal of
U.S. Congress to ratify the
SALT II Treaty signed in 1979 by
Leonid Brezhnev and President
Jimmy Carter , he took the
initiative to meet the Soviet Foreign Minister
Andrei Gromyko ,
educated him about American concerns and interests, and secured
several changes to address objections of the Foreign Relations
Committee. When the
Reagan administration wanted to interpret the
SALT I Treaty loosely in order to allow the Strategic Defense
Initiative to proceed, Biden argued for strict adherence to the
treaty's terms. He clashed again with the
Reagan administration in
1986 over economic sanctions against South Africa ; he received
considerable attention when he excoriated Secretary of State George P.
Shultz at a Senate hearing because of the administration's support of
that country, which continued to practice the apartheid system.
1988 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
Joe Biden presidential campaign, 1988 Biden's
1988 campaign logo
Biden ran for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination , formally
declaring his candidacy at the Wilmington train station on June 9,
1987. He was attempting to become the youngest president since John
F. Kennedy . When the campaign began, he was considered a potentially
strong candidate because of his moderate image, his speaking ability
on the stump, his appeal to Baby Boomers , his high-profile position
as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the upcoming Robert Bork
Supreme Court nomination hearings, and his fundraising appeal. He
raised $1.7 million in the first quarter of 1987, more than any other
By August 1987, Biden's campaign, whose messaging was confused due to
staff rivalries, had begun to lag behind those of
Michael Dukakis and
Dick Gephardt , although he had still raised more funds than all
candidates but Dukakis, and was seeing an upturn in Iowa polls. In
September 1987, the campaign ran into trouble when he was accused of
plagiarizing a speech that had been made earlier that year by Neil
Kinnock , leader of the British Labour Party . Kinnock's speech
included the lines:
"Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to
get to university? Why is Glenys the first woman in her family in a
thousand generations to be able to get to university? Was it because
all our predecessors were thick?"
While Biden's speech included the lines:
"I started thinking as I was coming over here, why is it that Joe
Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university? Why is
it that my wife who is sitting out there in the audience is the first
in her family to ever go to college? Is it because our fathers and
mothers were not bright? Is it because I'm the first Biden in a
thousand generations to get a college and a graduate degree that I was
smarter than the rest?"
Biden had in fact cited Kinnock as the source for the formulation on
previous occasions. But he made no reference to the original source
at the August 23 Democratic debate at the
Iowa State Fair
Iowa State Fair being
reported on, nor in an August 26 interview for the National Education
Association . Moreover, while political speeches often appropriate
ideas and language from each other, Biden's use came under more
scrutiny because he fabricated aspects of his own family's background
in order to match Kinnock's. Biden was soon found to have earlier
that year lifted passages from a 1967 speech by
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy (for
which his aides took the blame), and a short phrase from the 1961
inaugural address of
John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy ; and in two prior years to have
done the same with a 1976 passage from
Hubert H. Humphrey .
A few days later, Biden's plagiarism incident in law school came to
public light. Video was also released showing that when earlier
questioned by a
New Hampshire resident about his grades in law school,
he had stated that he had graduated in the "top half" of his class,
that he had attended law school on a full scholarship, and that he had
received three degrees in college, each of which was untrue or
exaggerations of his actual record.
The Kinnock and school revelations were magnified by the limited
amount of other news about the nomination race at the time, when most
of the public were not yet paying attention to any of the campaigns;
Biden thus fell into what
The Washington Post
The Washington Post writer Paul Taylor
described as that year's trend, a "trial by media ordeal". He lacked
a strong demographic or political group of support to help him survive
the crisis. He withdrew from the nomination race on September 23,
1987, saying his candidacy had been overrun by "the exaggerated
shadow" of his past mistakes.
After Biden withdrew from the race, it was revealed that the Dukakis
campaign had secretly made a video highlighting the Biden–Kinnock
comparison and distributed it to news outlets. Later in 1987, the
Delaware Supreme Court 's Board of Professional Responsibility cleared
Biden of the law school plagiarism charges regarding his standing as a
lawyer, saying Biden had "not violated any rules".
In February 1988, after suffering from several episodes of
increasingly severe neck pain, Biden was taken by long-distance
Walter Reed Army Medical Center and given lifesaving
surgery to correct an intracranial berry aneurysm that had begun
leaking; the situation was serious enough that a priest had
administered last rites at the hospital. While recuperating, he
suffered a pulmonary embolism , which represented a major
complication. Another operation to repair a second aneurysm, which
had caused no symptoms but was also at risk from bursting, was
performed in May 1988. The hospitalization and recovery kept Biden
from his duties in the
U.S. Senate for seven months. Biden has had no
recurrences or effects from the aneurysms since then. In retrospect,
Biden's family came to believe that the early end to his presidential
campaign had been a blessing in disguise, for had he still been
campaigning in the midst of the primaries in early 1988, he might well
have not have stopped to seek medical attention and the condition
might have become unsurvivable.
U.S. Senate photo
Biden was a long-time member of the
U.S. Senate Committee on the
Judiciary . He chaired it from 1987 until 1995 and he served as
ranking minority member on it from 1981 until 1987 and again from 1995
While chairman, Biden presided over the two most contentious U.S.
Supreme Court confirmation hearings in history, those for Robert Bork
in 1987 and
Clarence Thomas in 1991. In the Bork hearings , he stated
his opposition to Bork soon after the nomination, reversing an
approval in an interview of a hypothetical Bork nomination he had made
the previous year and angering conservatives who thought he could not
conduct the hearings dispassionately. At the close, he won praise for
conducting the proceedings fairly and with good humor and courage, as
his 1988 presidential campaign collapsed in the middle of the
hearings. Rejecting some of the less intellectually honest arguments
that other Bork opponents were making, Biden framed his discussion
around the belief that the U.S. Constitution provides rights to
liberty and privacy that extend beyond those explicitly enumerated in
the text, and that Bork's strong originalism was ideologically
incompatible with that view. Bork's nomination was rejected in the
committee by a 9–5 vote, and then rejected in the full Senate by a
In the Thomas hearings , Biden's questions on constitutional issues
were often long and convoluted, sometimes such that Thomas forgot the
question being asked. Viewers of the high-profile hearings were often
annoyed by Biden's style. Thomas later wrote that despite earlier
private assurances from the senator, Biden's questions had been akin
to a beanball . The nomination came out of the committee without a
recommendation, with Biden opposed. In part due to his own bad
experiences in 1987 with his presidential campaign, Biden was
reluctant to let personal matters enter into the hearings. Biden
initially shared with committee, but not the public,
Anita Hill 's
sexual harassment charges, on the grounds she was not yet willing to
testify. After she did, Biden did not permit other witnesses to
testify further on her behalf, such as Angela Wright (who made a
similar charge) and experts on harassment. Biden said he was striving
to preserve Thomas's right to privacy and the decency of the hearings.
The nomination was approved by a 52–48 vote in the full Senate,
with Biden again opposed. During and afterwards, Biden was strongly
criticized by liberal legal groups and women's groups for having
mishandled the hearings and having not done enough to support Hill.
Biden subsequently sought out women to serve on the Judiciary
Committee and emphasized women's issues in the committee's legislative
Joe Biden at the
World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum in Jordan in 2003
Biden was involved in crafting many federal crime laws. He
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,
also known as the Biden Crime Law, which included the Federal Assault
Weapons Ban , which expired in 2004 after its ten-year sunset period
and was not renewed. It also included the landmark Violence Against
Women Act (VAWA), which contains a broad array of measures to combat
domestic violence . In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled in United States
v. Morrison that the section of VAWA allowing a federal civil remedy
for victims of gender -motivated violence exceeded Congress's
authority and therefore was unconstitutional. Congress reauthorized
VAWA in 2000 and 2005. Biden has said, "I consider the Violence
Against Women Act the single most significant legislation that I've
crafted during my 35-year tenure in the Senate." In 2004 and 2005,
Biden enlisted major American technology companies in diagnosing the
problems of the
Austin, Texas -based National Domestic Violence
Hotline , and to donate equipment and expertise to it in a successful
effort to improve its services.
Biden was critical of the actions of Independent Counsel Kenneth
Starr during the 1990s
Whitewater controversy and Lewinsky scandal
investigations, and said "it's going to be a cold day in hell" before
another Independent Counsel is granted the same powers. Biden voted
to acquit on both charges during the impeachment of President Clinton
As chairman of the
International Narcotics Control Caucus , Biden
wrote the laws that created the U.S. "
Drug Czar ", who oversees and
coordinates national drug control policy. In April 2003, he introduced
the controversial Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act,
also known as the
RAVE Act . He continued to work to stop the spread
of "date rape drugs" such as flunitrazepam , and drugs such as Ecstasy
Ketamine . In 2004, he worked to pass a bill outlawing steroids
like androstenedione , the drug used by many baseball players.
Biden's "Kids 2000" legislation established a public/private
partnership to provide computer centers, teachers, Internet access,
and technical training to young people, particularly to low-income and
FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE
Biden was also a long-time member of the
U.S. Senate Committee on
Foreign Relations . In 1997, he became the ranking minority member and
chaired the committee in January 2001 and from June 2001 through 2003.
When Democrats re-took control of the Senate following the 2006
elections , Biden again assumed the top spot on the committee in 2007.
Biden was generally a liberal internationalist in foreign policy.
He collaborated effectively with important Republican Senate figures
Richard Lugar and
Jesse Helms and sometimes went against
elements of his own party. Biden was also co-chairman of the NATO
Observer Group in the Senate. A partial list covering this time
showed Biden meeting with some 150 leaders from nearly 60 countries
and international organizations. Biden held frequent hearings as
chairman of the committee, as well as holding many subcommittee
hearings during the three times he chaired the Subcommittee on
European Affairs . Senator Biden travels with President Clinton
and other officials to Bosnia in 1997
Biden became interested in the
Yugoslav Wars after hearing about
Serbian abuses during the
Croatian War of Independence
Croatian War of Independence in 1991. Once
Bosnian War broke out, Biden was among the first to call for the
"lift and strike " policy of lifting the arms embargo, training
Bosnian Muslims and supporting them with
NATO air strikes, and
investigating war crimes . Both the
George H. W. Bush administration
Clinton administration were reluctant to implement the policy,
fearing Balkan entanglement. In April 1993, Biden spent a week in
the Balkans and held a tense three-hour meeting with Serbian leader
Slobodan Milošević . Biden related that he told Milošević, "I
think you're a damn war criminal and you should be tried as one."
Biden wrote an amendment in 1992 to compel the Bush administration to
arm the Bosnians, but deferred in 1994 to a somewhat softer stance
preferred by the Clinton administration, before signing on the
following year to a stronger measure sponsored by
Bob Dole and Joe
Lieberman . The engagement led to a successful
effort. Biden has called his role in affecting Balkans policy in the
mid-1990s his "proudest moment in public life" that related to foreign
policy. In 1999, during the
Kosovo War , Biden supported the NATO
bombing campaign against Serbia and Montenegro , and co-sponsored
with his friend
John McCain the McCain-Biden
Kosovo Resolution, which
called on President Clinton to use all necessary force, including
ground troops, to confront Milosevic over Serbian actions in
Congressional Quarterly named Biden one of "Twelve Who Made
a Difference" for playing a lead role in several foreign policy
NATO enlargement and the successful passage of
bills to streamline foreign affairs agencies and punish religious
persecution overseas. Biden receiving a 1997 tour of a new
facility at Delaware's
Dover Air Force Base
Biden had voted against authorization for the
Gulf War in 1991,
siding with 45 of the 55 Democratic senators; he said the U.S. was
bearing almost all the burden in the anti-
Iraq coalition . Biden was
a strong supporter of the 2001 war in Afghanistan , saying "Whatever
it takes, we should do it." Regarding Iraq, Biden stated in 2002 that
Saddam Hussein was a threat to national security, and that there was
no option but to eliminate that threat. In October 2002, Biden voted
in favor of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against
Iraq War . While he soon became a critic of the war
and viewed his vote as a "mistake", he did not push to require a U.S.
withdrawal. He supported the appropriations to pay for the
occupation, but argued repeatedly that the war should be
internationalized, that more soldiers were needed, and that the Bush
administration should "level with the American people" about the cost
and length of the conflict.
By late 2006, Biden's stance had shifted, and he opposed the troop
surge of 2007 , saying General
David Petraeus was "dead, flat wrong"
in believing the surge could work. Biden was instead a leading
advocate for dividing
Iraq into a loose federation of three ethnic
states. In November 2006, Biden and
Leslie H. Gelb , President
Emeritus of the
Council on Foreign Relations
Council on Foreign Relations , released a
comprehensive strategy to end sectarian violence in
Iraq . Rather
than continuing the present approach or withdrawing, the plan called
for "a third way": federalizing
Iraq and giving Kurds , Shiites , and
Sunnis "breathing room" in their own regions. In September 2007, a
non-binding resolution passed the Senate endorsing such a scheme.
However, the idea was unfamiliar, had no political constituency, and
failed to gain traction. Iraq's political leadership united in
denouncing the resolution as a de facto partitioning of the country,
and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad issued a statement distancing itself.
In March 2004, Biden secured the brief release of Libyan democracy
activist and political prisoner
Fathi Eljahmi , after meeting with
Muammar Gaddafi in
Tripoli . In May 2008, Biden sharply
George W. Bush
George W. Bush for his speech to
Knesset in which he suggested that some Democrats were acting in the
same way some Western leaders did when they appeased Hitler in the
runup to World War II. Biden stated: "This is bullshit. This is
malarkey. This is outrageous. Outrageous for the president of the
United States to go to a foreign country, sit in the
Knesset ... and
make this kind of ridiculous statement." Biden later apologized for
using the expletive. Biden further stated, "Since when does this
administration think that if you sit down, you have to eliminate the
word 'no' from your vocabulary?"
Biden was a familiar figure to his
Delaware constituency, by virtue
of his daily train commuting from there, and generally sought to
attend to state needs. Biden was a strong supporter of increased
Amtrak funding and rail security; he hosted barbecues and an annual
Christmas dinner for the
Amtrak crews, and they would sometimes hold
the last train of the night a few minutes so he could catch it. He
earned the nickname "
Amtrak Joe" as a result (and in 2011, Amtrak's
Wilmington Station was named the Joseph R. Biden Jr. Railroad Station,
in honor of the over 7,000 trips he made from there). He was an
Delaware military installations, including Dover Air
Force Base and
New Castle Air National Guard Base .
In 1975, Biden broke from liberal orthodoxy when he took legislative
action to limit desegregation busing . In doing so, he said busing
was a "bankrupt idea the cardinal rule of common sense," and that his
opposition would make it easier for other liberals to follow suit.
Three years later, Wilmington\'s federally mandated cross-district
busing plan generated much turmoil, and in trying to legislate a
compromise solution, Biden found himself alienating both black and
white voters for a while.
Beginning in 1991, Biden served as an adjunct professor at the
Widener University School of Law , Delaware's only law school,
teaching a seminar on constitutional law . The seminar was one of
Widener's most popular, often with a waiting list for enrollment.
Biden typically co-taught the course with another professor, taking on
at least half the course minutes and sometimes flying back from
overseas to make one of the classes. Biden gives an opening
statement and questions at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Iraq in 2007
Biden was a sponsor of bankruptcy legislation during the 2000s, which
was sought by
MBNA , one of Delaware's largest companies, and other
credit card issuers. Biden allowed an amendment to the bill to
increase the homestead exemption for homeowners declaring bankruptcy
and fought for an amendment to forbid anti-abortion felons from using
bankruptcy to discharge fines; the overall bill was vetoed by Bill
Clinton in 2000 but then finally passed as the Bankruptcy Abuse
Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in 2005, with Biden supporting
Sussex County region is the nation's top
chicken-producing area, and Biden held up trade agreements with Russia
when that country stopped importing U.S. chickens.
In 2007, Biden requested and gained $67 million worth of projects for
his constituents through congressional earmarks .
Biden sits on the board of advisors of the
Close Up Foundation ,
which brings high school students to Washington for interaction with
Capitol Hill .
CHARACTERISTICS AS SENATOR
Following his initial election in 1972, Biden was re-elected to six
additional terms, in the elections of 1978 , 1984 , 1990 , 1996 , 2002
, and 2008 , usually getting about 60 percent of the vote. He did not
face strong opposition; Pete du Pont, then governor, chose not to run
against him in 1984. Biden spent 28 years as a junior senator due to
the two-year seniority of his Republican colleague William V. Roth Jr.
After Roth was defeated for re-election by
Tom Carper in 2000, Biden
became Delaware's senior senator. He then became the longest-serving
Delaware history. In May 1999, Biden set the mark for
youngest senator to cast 10,000 votes. Biden's official Senate
With a net worth between $59,000 and $366,000, and almost no outside
income or investment income, Biden was consistently ranked as one of
the least wealthy members of the Senate. Biden stated that he was
listed as the second poorest member in Congress, a distinction that he
was not proud of, but attributed to being elected early in his career.
Biden realized early in his senatorial career how vulnerable poorer
public officials are to offers of financial contributions in exchange
for policy support, and he pushed campaign finance reform measures
during his first term.
During his years as a senator, Biden amassed a reputation for
loquaciousness, with his questions and remarks during Senate
hearings being especially known for being long-winded. He has been a
strong speaker and debater and a frequent and effective guest on the
Sunday morning talk shows . In public appearances, he is known to
deviate from prepared remarks at will. According to political analyst
Mark Halperin , he has shown "a persistent tendency to say silly,
offensive, and off-putting things";
The New York Times
The New York Times writes that
Biden's "weak filters make him capable of blurting out pretty much
anything". Nor is Biden known for modesty; journalist
James Traub has
written that "Biden's vanity and his regard for his own gifts seem
considerable even by the rarefied standards of the U.S. Senate."
Howard Fineman has said that, "Biden is not an
academic, he's not a theoretical thinker, he's a great street pol. He
comes from a long line of working people in Scranton—auto salesmen,
car dealers, people who know how to make a sale. He has that great
Irish gift." Political columnist
David S. Broder has viewed Biden as
having grown since he came to Washington and since his failed 1988
presidential bid: "He responds to real people—that's been consistent
throughout. And his ability to understand himself and deal with other
politicians has gotten much much better." Traub concludes that "Biden
is the kind of fundamentally happy person who can be as generous
toward others as he is to himself."
2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Biden ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008, and on
the national ticket as eventual nominee Barack Obama's running-mate.
BIDEN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
Joe Biden presidential campaign, 2008
Joe Biden presidential campaign, 2008 Biden's
2008 campaign logo
Biden had thought about running for president again ever since his
failed 1988 bid.
Biden declared his candidacy for president on January 31, 2007, after
having discussed running for months prior, and first made a formal
Tim Russert on
Meet the Press on January 7, stating he
would "be the best Biden I can be." In January 2006, Delaware
newspaper columnist Harry F. Themal wrote that Biden "occupies the
sensible center of the Democratic Party." Themal concludes that this
is the position Biden desires, and that in a campaign "he plans to
stress the dangers to the security of the average American, not just
from the terrorist threat, but from the lack of health assistance,
crime, and energy dependence on unstable parts of the world."
During his campaign, Biden focused on the war in
Iraq and his support
for the implementation of the Biden-Gelb plan to achieve political
success. He touted his record in the Senate as the head of major
congressional committees and his experience on foreign policy. Despite
speculation to the contrary, Biden rejected the notion of accepting
the position of Secretary of State, focusing only on the presidency.
At a 2007 campaign event, Biden said, "I know a lot of my opponents
out there say I'd be a great Secretary of State. Seriously, every one
of them. Do you watch any of the debates? 'Joe's right, Joe's right,
Joe's right.'" Other candidates' comments that "Joe is right" in the
Democratic debates were converted into a Biden campaign theme and ad.
In mid-2007, Biden stressed his foreign policy expertise compared to
Obama's, saying of the latter, "I think he can be ready, but right now
I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends
itself to on-the-job training." Biden also said that Obama was
copying some of his foreign policy ideas. Biden was noted for his
one-liners on the campaign trail, saying of Republican
Rudy Giuliani at the debate on October 30, 2007, in
Philadelphia , "There's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a
noun, and a verb and 9/11." Overall, Biden's debate performances were
an effective mixture of humor, and sharp and surprisingly disciplined
comments. Biden campaigning at a house party in
Creston, Iowa ,
Biden made remarks during the campaign that attracted controversy. On
the day of his January 2007 announcement, he spoke of fellow
Democratic candidate and Senator
Barack Obama : "I mean, you got the
first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and
clean and a nice-looking guy, I mean, that's a storybook, man." This
comment undermined his campaign as soon as it began and significantly
damaged his fund-raising capabilities; it later took second place on
Time magazine's list of Top 10 Campaign Gaffes for 2007. Biden had
earlier been criticized in July 2006 for a remark he made about his
support among Indian Americans : "I've had a great relationship. In
Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving
from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you
have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking." Biden later said the
remark was not intended to be derogatory.
Overall, Biden had difficulty raising funds, struggled to draw people
to his rallies, and failed to gain traction against the high-profile
candidacies of Obama and Senator
Hillary Clinton ; he never rose
above single digits in the national polls of the Democratic candidates
. In the initial contest on January 3, 2008, Biden placed fifth in the
Iowa caucuses , garnering slightly less than one percent of the state
delegates. Biden withdrew from the race that evening, saying "There
is nothing sad about tonight.... I feel no regret."
Despite the lack of success, Biden's stature in the political world
rose as the result of his campaign. In particular, it changed the
relationship between Biden and Obama. Although the two had served
together on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, they had not been
close, with Biden having resented Obama's quick rise to political
stardom, and Obama having viewed Biden as garrulous and patronizing.
Now, having gotten to know each other during 2007, Obama appreciated
Biden's campaigning style and appeal to working class voters, and
Biden was convinced that Obama was "the real deal".
DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR VICE PRESIDENT
Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2008 and
Democratic Party vice presidential candidates, 2008
Democratic Party vice presidential candidates, 2008
Since shortly following Biden's withdrawal from the presidential
race, Obama had been privately telling Biden that he was interested in
finding an important place for him in a possible Obama administration.
Biden declined Obama's first request to vet him for the vice
presidential slot, fearing the vice presidency would represent a loss
in status and voice from his Senate position, but subsequently changed
his mind. In a June 22, 2008, interview on
Meet the Press ,
Biden confirmed that, although he was not actively seeking a spot on
the ticket, he would accept the vice presidential nomination if
offered. In early August, Obama and Biden met in secret to discuss a
possible vice-presidential relationship, and the two hit it off well
personally. On August 22, 2008,
Barack Obama announced that Biden
would be his running mate .
The New York Times
The New York Times reported that the
strategy behind the choice reflected a desire to fill out the ticket
with someone who has foreign policy and national security
experience—and not to help the ticket win a swing state or to
emphasize Obama's "change" message. Other observers pointed out
Biden's appeal to middle class and blue-collar voters, as well as his
willingness to aggressively challenge Republican nominee John McCain
in a way that Obama seemed uncomfortable doing at times. In
accepting Obama's offer, Biden ruled out to him the possibility of
running for president again in 2016 (although comments by Biden in
subsequent years seemed to back off that stance, with Biden not
wanting to diminish his political power by appearing uninterested in
advancement). Biden was officially nominated for vice president on
August 27 by voice vote at the
2008 Democratic National Convention in
Denver, Colorado .
Joe Biden speaking at the August 23, 2008
vice presidential announcement in
Springfield, Illinois , while
Barack Obama listens
After his selection as a vice presidential candidate, Biden was
criticized by his own Roman
Catholic Diocese of Wilmington Bishop
Michael Saltarelli over his stance on abortion, which goes against the
church's pro-life beliefs and teachings. The diocese confirmed that
even if elected vice president, Biden would not be allowed to speak at
Catholic schools. Biden was soon barred from receiving Holy Communion
by the bishop of his original hometown of
Scranton, Pennsylvania ,
because of his support for abortion rights; however, Biden did
continue to receive Communion at his local
Delaware parish. Scranton
became a flash point in the competition for swing state Catholic
voters between the Democratic campaign and liberal
who stressed that other social issues should be considered as much or
more than abortion, and many bishops and conservative Catholics, who
maintained abortion was paramount. Biden said he believed that life
began at conception but that he would not impose his personal
religious views on others. Bishop Saltarelli had previously stated
regarding stances similar to Biden's: "No one today would accept this
statement from any public servant: 'I am personally opposed to human
slavery and racism but will not impose my personal conviction in the
legislative arena.' Likewise, none of us should accept this statement
from any public servant: 'I am personally opposed to abortion but will
not impose my personal conviction in the legislative arena.'"
Biden's vice presidential campaigning gained little media visibility,
as far greater press attention was focused on the Republican running
mate, Alaskan Governor
Sarah Palin . During one week in September
2008, for instance, the
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center 's Project for Excellence
in Journalism found that Biden was included in only five percent of
the news coverage of the race, far less than for the other three
candidates on the tickets. Biden nevertheless focused on campaigning
in economically challenged areas of swing states and trying to win
over blue-collar Democrats, especially those who had supported Hillary
Clinton . Biden attacked McCain heavily, despite a long-standing
personal friendship; he would say, "That guy I used to know, he's
gone. It literally saddens me." As the financial crisis of
2007–2010 reached a peak with the liquidity crisis of September 2008
and the proposed bailout of
United States financial system became a
major factor in the campaign, Biden voted in favor of the $700 billion
Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 , which passed the Senate
74–25. Biden is nominated as the Democratic vice presidential
candidate during the third night of the 2008 Democratic National
Denver , Colorado.
On October 2, 2008, Biden participated in the campaign\'s one vice
presidential debate with Palin. Post-debate polls found that while
Palin exceeded many voters' expectations, Biden had won the debate
overall. On October 5, Biden suspended campaign events for a few days
after the death of his mother-in-law. During the final days of the
campaign, Biden focused on less-populated, older, less well-off areas
of battleground states, especially in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania,
where polling indicated he was popular and where Obama had not
campaigned or performed well in the Democratic primaries. He also
campaigned in some normally Republican states, as well as in areas
Under instructions from the Obama campaign, Biden kept his speeches
succinct and tried to avoid off-hand remarks, such as one about
Obama's being tested by a foreign power soon after taking office,
which had attracted negative attention. Privately, Obama was
frustrated by Biden's remarks, saying "How many times is Biden gonna
say something stupid?" Obama campaign staffers referred to Biden
blunders as "Joe bombs" and kept Biden uninformed about strategy
discussions, which in turn irked Biden. Relations between the two
campaigns became strained for a month, until Biden apologized on a
call to Obama and the two built a stronger partnership. Publicly,
David Axelrod said that any unexpected comments had
been outweighed by Biden's high popularity ratings. Nationally, Biden
had a 60 percent favorability rating in a
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center poll,
compared to Palin's 44 percent. Vice President-elect Biden with
Dick Cheney at
Number One Observatory Circle , November
On November 4, 2008, Obama was elected President and Biden Vice
President of the United States. The Obama-Biden ticket won 365
Electoral College votes to McCain-Palin's 173, and had a 53–46
percent edge in the nationwide popular vote.
Biden had continued to run for his Senate seat as well as for Vice
President, as permitted by
Delaware law. On November 4, Biden was
also re-elected as senator , defeating Republican Christine O\'Donnell
. Having won both races, Biden made a point of holding off his
resignation from the Senate so that he could be sworn in for his
seventh term on January 6, 2009. He became the youngest senator ever
to start a seventh full term, and said, "In all my life, the greatest
honor bestowed upon me has been serving the people of
United States senator." Biden cast his last Senate vote on
January 15, supporting the release of the second $350 billion for the
Troubled Asset Relief Program . Biden resigned from the Senate later
that day; in emotional farewell remarks on the Senate floor, where he
had spent most of his adult life, Biden said, "Every good thing I have
seen happen here, every bold step taken in the 36-plus years I have
been here, came not from the application of pressure by interest
groups, but through the maturation of personal relationships."
VICE PRESIDENCY (2009–2017)
Biden is sworn into office by Associate Justice John Paul
Stevens , January 20, 2009
As the presidential transition of
Barack Obama began, Biden said he
was in daily meetings with Obama and that McCain was still his friend.
U.S. Secret Service
U.S. Secret Service codename given to Biden is "Celtic",
referencing his Irish roots.
Biden chose veteran Democratic lawyer and aide
Ron Klain to be his
chief of staff, and Time Washington bureau chief
Jay Carney to be his
director of communications. Biden intended to eliminate some of the
explicit roles assumed by the vice presidency of his predecessor, Dick
Cheney , who had established himself as an autonomous power center.
Otherwise, Biden said he would not model his vice presidency on any of
the ones before him, but instead would seek to provide advice and
counsel on every critical decision Obama would make. Biden said he
had been closely involved in all the cabinet appointments that were
made during the transition. Biden was also named to head the new
White House Task Force on Working Families, an initiative aimed at
improving the economic well being of the middle class. As his last
act as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Biden went on a
Iraq , Afghanistan and
Pakistan during the second week of
January 2009, meeting with the leadership of those countries.
FIRST TERM (2009–13)
Biden became the 47th
Vice President of the United States
Vice President of the United States on January
20, 2009, when he was inaugurated alongside President Barack Obama.
Biden is the first
United States Vice President from
Delaware and the
Catholic to attain that office. Supreme Court Justice
John Paul Stevens administered the oath of office to Biden.
President Obama walking with Vice President Biden at the
White House ,
In the early months of the
Obama administration , Biden assumed the
role of an important behind-the-scenes counselor. One role was to
adjudicate disputes between Obama's "team of rivals". The president
compared Biden's efforts to a basketball player "who does a bunch of
things that don't show up in the stat sheet." Biden played a key role
in gaining Senate support for several major pieces of Obama
legislation, and was a main factor in convincing Senator Arlen Specter
to switch from the Republican to the Democratic party. Biden lost an
internal debate to Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton regarding his
opposition to sending 21,000 new troops to the war in Afghanistan .
His skeptical voice was still considered valuable within the
administration, however, and later in 2009 Biden's views achieved
more prominence within the
White House as Obama reconsidered his
Biden made visits to
Iraq about once every two months, including
trips to Baghdad in August and September 2009 to listen to Prime
Nouri al-Maliki and reiterate U.S. stances on Iraq's future;
by this time he had become the administration's point man in
delivering messages to Iraqi leadership about expected progress in the
country. More generally, overseeing
Iraq policy became Biden’s
responsibility, when the president said in 2009: "Joe, you do Iraq".
Iraq "could be one of the great achievements of this
administration." Biden's January 2010 visit to
Iraq in the midst of
turmoil over banned candidates from the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary
election resulted in 59 of the several hundred candidates being
reinstated by the Iraqi government two days later. By 2012, Biden had
made eight trips there, but his oversight of U.S. policy in Iraq
receded with the exit in 2011 of U.S. troops.
Biden was also in charge of the oversight role for infrastructure
spending from the Obama stimulus package intended to help counteract
the ongoing recession , and stressed that only worthy projects should
get funding. He talked with hundreds of governors, mayors, and other
local officials in this role. During this period, Biden was satisfied
that no major instances of waste or corruption had occurred, and when
he completed that role in February 2011, he said that the number of
fraud incidents with stimulus monies had been less than one percent.
Biden speaks to Navy SEAL trainees, NAB Coronado , California, May
It took some time for the cautious Obama and the blunt, rambling
Biden to work out ways of dealing with each other. In late April
2009, Biden's off-message response to a question during the beginning
of the swine flu outbreak , that he would advise family members
against travelling on airplanes or subways, led to a swift retraction
from the White House. The remark revived Biden's reputation for
gaffes , and led to a spate of late-night television jokes themed on
him being a loose-talking buffoon. In the face of persistently
rising unemployment through July 2009, Biden acknowledged that the
administration had "misread how bad the economy was" but maintained
confidence that the stimulus package would create many more jobs once
the pace of expenditures picked up. The same month, Secretary of
State Clinton quickly disavowed Biden's remarks disparaging Russia as
a power, but despite any missteps, Biden still retained Obama's
confidence and was increasingly influential within the administration.
On March 23, 2010, a microphone picked up Biden telling the president
that his signing of the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was
"a big fucking deal" during live national news telecasts. White House
Robert Gibbs replied via Twitter "And yes Mr. Vice
President, you're right..." Senior Obama advisor
Valerie Jarrett said
that Biden's loose talk " part of what makes the vice president so
endearing ... We wouldn't change him one bit." Former Senate
Lindsey Graham said, "If there were no gaffes, there'd be no
Joe. He's someone you can't help but like." Biden gained a
long-running alter ego persona, "The President of Vice", on the
satirical news site
The Onion , which parodied his job title.
Despite their different personalities, Obama and Biden formed a
friendship, partly based around Obama's daughter Sasha and Biden's
granddaughter Maisy, who attended
Sidwell Friends School together.
Situation Room : Biden, Obama and the U.S. national security team
gathered in the
White House Situation Room to monitor the progress of
the May 2011 U.S. mission to kill Osama bin Laden . Biden opposed
going forward with the raid at that time, but took the lead in
notifying Congressional leaders of the successful outcome.
Biden's most important role within the administration has been to
question assumptions, playing a contrarian role. Obama said that,
"The best thing about Joe is that when we get everybody together, he
really forces people to think and defend their positions, to look at
things from every angle, and that is very valuable for me." Another
senior Obama advisor said Biden "is always prepared to be the skunk at
the family picnic to make sure we are as intellectually honest as
possible." On June 11, 2010, Biden represented the
United States at
the opening ceremony of the World Cup , attended the England v. U.S.
game which was tied 1–1, and visited Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa.
Throughout, Joe and
Jill Biden maintained a relaxed atmosphere at
their official residence in Washington, often entertaining some of
their grandchildren, and regularly returned to their home in Delaware.
Biden campaigned heavily for Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections
, maintaining an attitude of optimism in the face of general
predictions of large-scale losses for the party. Following
large-scale Republican gains in the elections and the departure of
White House Chief of Staff
Rahm Emanuel , Biden's past relationships
with Republicans in Congress became more important. He led the
successful administration effort to gain Senate approval for the New
START treaty . In December 2010, Biden's advocacy within the White
House for a middle ground, followed by his direct negotiations with
Senate Minority Leader
Mitch McConnell , were instrumental in
producing the administration's compromise tax package that revolved
around a temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts . Biden then took
the lead in trying to sell the agreement to a reluctant Democratic
caucus in Congress, which was passed as the Tax Relief, Unemployment
Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 . Biden
shook hands with President Obama immediately after a call to House
John Boehner concluded the debt ceiling deal that led to the
Budget Control Act of 2011 . Biden played a key role in forging the
In March 2011, Obama detailed Biden to lead negotiations between both
houses of Congress and the
White House in resolving federal spending
levels for the rest of the year and avoid a government shutdown. By
May 2011, a "Biden panel" with six congressional members was trying to
reach a bipartisan deal on raising the U.S. debt ceiling as part of an
overall deficit reduction plan. The U.S. debt ceiling crisis
developed over the next couple of months, but it was again Biden's
relationship with McConnell that proved to be a key factor in breaking
a deadlock and finally bringing about a bipartisan deal to resolve it,
in the form of the
Budget Control Act of 2011 , signed on August 2,
2011, the same day that an unprecedented U.S. default had loomed.
Biden had spent the most time bargaining with Congress on the debt
question of anyone in the administration, and one Republican staffer
said, "Biden's the only guy with real negotiating authority, and
knows that his word is good. He was a key to the deal."
2012 RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN
Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2012
In October 2010, Biden stated that Obama had asked him to remain as
his running mate for the 2012 presidential election . With Obama's
popularity on the decline, however, in late 2011
White House Chief of
William M. Daley
William M. Daley conducted some secret polling and focus group
research into the idea of Secretary of State Clinton replacing Biden
on the ticket. The notion was dropped when the results showed no
appreciable improvement for Obama, and
White House officials later
said that Obama had never entertained the idea.
Biden's May 2012 statement that he was "absolutely comfortable" with
same-sex marriage gained considerable public attention in comparison
to President Obama's position, which had been described as "evolving".
Biden made his statement without administration consent, and Obama
and his aides were quite irked, since Obama had planned to shift
position several months later, in the build-up to the party
convention, and since Biden had previously counseled the president to
avoid the issue lest key
Catholic voters be offended. Gay rights
advocates seized upon the Biden stance, and within days, Obama
announced that he too supported same-sex marriage, an action in part
forced by Biden's unexpected remarks. Biden apologized to Obama in
private for having spoken out, while Obama acknowledged publicly it
had been done from the heart. The incident showed that Biden still
struggled at times with message discipline ; as Time wrote, "everyone
knows Biden's greatest strength is also his greatest weakness."
Relations were also strained between the campaigns when Biden appeared
to use his to bolster fundraising contacts for a possible run on his
own in the 2016 presidential election , and the vice president ended
up being excluded from Obama campaign strategy meetings. Biden
with President Barack Obama, July 2012
The Obama campaign nevertheless still valued Biden as a retail-level
politician who could connect with disaffected, blue collar workers and
rural residents, and he had a heavy schedule of appearances in swing
states as the Obama re-election campaign began in earnest in spring
2012. An August 2012 remark before a mixed-race audience that
proposed Republican relaxation of Wall Street regulations would "put
y'all back in chains" led to a similar analysis of Biden's
face-to-face campaigning abilities versus tendency to go off track.
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times wrote, "Most candidates give the same stump
speech over and over, putting reporters if not the audience to sleep.
But during any Biden speech, there might be a dozen moments to make
press handlers cringe, and prompt reporters to turn to each other with
amusement and confusion." Time magazine wrote that Biden often goes
too far and that "Along with the familiar Washington mix of neediness
and overconfidence, Biden's brain is wired for more than the usual
amount of goofiness."
Biden was officially nominated for a second term as vice president on
September 6 by voice vote at the 2012 Democratic National Convention
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina . He faced his Republican counterpart,
Paul Ryan , in the lone 2012 vice presidential debate
on October 11 in
Danville, Kentucky . There he made a feisty,
emotional defense of the Obama administration's record and
energetically attacked the Republican ticket, in an effort to regain
campaign momentum lost by Obama's unfocused debate performance against
Mitt Romney the week before.
On November 6, 2012, the president and vice president were elected to
second terms. The Obama-Biden ticket won 332 Electoral College votes
to Romney-Ryan's 206 and had a 51–47 percent edge in the nationwide
Biden speaks during the U.S.–China Strategic and Economic
Dialogue , in Washington, D.C., July 2013
In December 2012, Biden was named by Obama to head the Gun Violence
Task Force , created to address the causes of gun violence in the
United States in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School
shooting . Later that month, during the final days before the country
fell off the "fiscal cliff ", Biden's relationship with McConnell once
more proved important as the two negotiated a deal that led to the
American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 being passed at the start of
2013. It made permanent much of the Bush tax cuts but raised rates
on upper income levels.
SECOND TERM (2013–17)
Biden was inaugurated to a second term in the early morning of
January 20, 2013, at a small ceremony in his official residence with
Sonia Sotomayor presiding (a public ceremony took place on
January 21). He continued to be in the forefront as, in the wake of
Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting , the Obama administration
put forth executive orders and proposed legislation towards new gun
control measures (the legislation failed to pass).
During the discussions that led to the October 2013 passage of the
Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014 , which resolved the U.S. federal
government shutdown of 2013 and the U.S. debt-ceiling crisis of 2013 ,
Biden played little role. This was due to
Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid and other Democratic leaders cutting the vice president out of
any direct talks with Congress, feeling that Biden had given too much
away during previous negotiations.
Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized again in 2013.
The act led to further related developments in the creation of the
White House Council on Women and Girls , begun in the first term, as
well as the
White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual
Assault , begun in January 2014 with Biden as co-chair along with
Jarrett. Biden has a strong stance on sexual assault. For example,
Biden stated to a victim of sexual assault at Stanford University,
"you did it... in the hope that your strength might prevent this crime
from happening to someone else. Your bravery is breathtaking." He has
also taken legality into the situation. Biden issued federal
guidelines while presenting a speech at the University of New
Hampshire. He stated that, "No means no, if you're drunk or you're
sober. No means no if you're in bed, in a dorm or on the street. No
means no even if you said yes at first and you changed your mind. No
means no." Biden meeting Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
, December 31, 2014. Biden said that Kurdish PKK is a "terrorist
Iraq fell apart during 2014 , renewed attention was paid to the
Biden-Gelb Iraqi federalization plan of 2006, with some observers
suggesting that Biden had been right all along. Biden himself said
that the U.S. would follow
ISIL "to the gates of hell."
By 2015, a series of swearings-in and other events where Biden placed
his hands on women and girls and talked closely to them had attracted
the attention of both the press and social media. In one case, a
senator issued a statement afterward saying about his daughter, "No,
she doesn't think the vice president is creepy." On January 17, 2015,
Secret Service agents heard shots were fired as a vehicle drove near
Delaware residence at 8:28 p.m. outside the security
perimeter, but the vice president and his wife, Jill were not home. A
vehicle was observed by an agent leaving the scene at a high rate of
On December 8, 2015, Biden spoke in Ukraine's parliament in Kiev.
On February 29, 2016, Biden gave a speech at the 88th Academy Awards
to do with awareness for sexual assault; he also introduced Lady Gaga
On December 8, 2016, Biden went to
Ottawa to meet with the Prime
Minister of Canada ,
Justin Trudeau .
Death Of Beau
On May 30, 2015, Biden's son Beau died of brain cancer at age 46,
after battling it for several years. The nature and seriousness of the
illness had not been previously disclosed to the public, and Biden had
quietly reduced his public schedule in order to spend more time with
his son, who at the time of his death had been widely seen as the
frontrunner to be the Democratic nominee for Governor of
2016 . The vice president's office issued a statement saying, "The
Biden family is saddened beyond words."
2016 PRESIDENTIAL RACE
During much of his second term, Biden was said to be preparing for a
possible bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination . At age
Inauguration Day in January 2017, he would have been the oldest
president on inauguration in history. With his family, many friends,
and donors encouraging him in mid-2015 to enter the race, and with
Hillary Clinton 's favorability ratings in decline at that time, Biden
was reported to again be seriously considering the prospect and a
"Draft Biden 2016" PAC was established.
As of September 11, 2015, Biden was still uncertain whether or not to
run. Biden cited the recent death of his son being a large drain on
his emotional energy, and that "nobody has a right ... to seek that
office unless they're willing to give it 110% of who they are."
On October 21, speaking from a podium in the Rose Garden with his
wife and President Obama by his side, Biden announced his decision not
to enter the race for the Democratic presidential nomination in the
2016 election. In January 2016, Biden affirmed not running was the
right decision, but he admitted to regretting not running for
President "every day."
As of the end of January 2016, neither Biden nor President Barack
Obama had endorsed any candidate for the 2016 presidential election.
Biden did miss his annual Thanksgiving tradition of going to Nantucket
, opting instead to travel abroad and meet with several European
leaders, and took time to meet with Martin O\'Malley , having
previously met with
Bernie Sanders . Neither of these meetings were
considered endorsements, as Biden has said that he will meet with any
candidate who asks.
Following Obama's endorsement of
Hillary Clinton on June 9, 2016,
Biden also endorsed her later the same day. Though Biden and Clinton
were supposed to campaign together in Scranton on July 8, the
appearance was canceled by Clinton in light of the shooting of Dallas
police officers the previous day. Biden meeting with Vice
Mike Pence on November 10, 2016
Since making his endorsement of Clinton, Biden has publicly displayed
his disagreements with the policies of Republican presidential nominee
Donald Trump . On June 20, Biden critiqued Trump's proposal to
temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country as well as his
stated intent to build a wall between the
United States and Mexico
border, furthering that Trump's suggestion to either torture and or
kill family members of terrorists was both damaging to American values
and "deeply damaging to our security." During an interview with
George Stephanopoulos at the
2016 Democratic National Convention on
July 26, Biden asserted that "moral and centered" voters would not
vote for Trump. On October 21, the anniversary of his choice to not
run, Biden said he wished he was still in high school so he could take
Trump "behind the gym." On October 24, Biden clarified he would only
have fought Trump if he was still in high school, and the following
day, October 25, Trump responded that he'd "love that".
During a tour of the
U.S. Senate with reporters before leaving
office, on December 5, 2016, Biden refused to rule out a potential bid
for the Presidency in the 2020 presidential election , after leaving
office as Vice President. If he were to run in 2020, Biden would be 77
years old on election day and 78 on inauguration day in 2021. He
reasserted his ambivalence about running on an appearance of The Late
Show with Stephen Colbert on December 7, in which he stated "never say
never" about running for President in 2020, while also admitting he
did not see a scenario in which he would run for office again. He
seemingly announced on January 13, 2017, exactly one week prior to the
expiration of his vice presidential term, that he would not run.
However, four days later, on January 17, he seemed to backtrack,
stating "I'll run if I can walk."
In 2017, he was named the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice
professor at the
University of Pennsylvania , where he will focus on
foreign policy, diplomacy, and national security while leading the
Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. He will also
pursue his "Cancer Moonshot" agenda. On March 12, 2017, Biden during
a keynote speech at the annual SXSW festival stated, "The only
bipartisan thing left in America is the fight against cancer."
On April 21, 2017, amidst speaking to a New York urban planning
conference, Biden cited the "infinite wisdom" of Governor of New
Chris Christie as the cause behind the termination of a rail
tunnel project and called the Gateway Program "the most important
infrastructure project in America."
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada hedge fund conference interview on May 18,
Biden stated he at no point saw eminence in Clinton's candidacy: "I
never thought she was a great candidate. I thought I was a great
Biden delivered a speech to the graduating class of
Colby College on
May 21, 2017, calling for a return to "unity and purpose", and three
days later expressed confidence in contemporary students being able to
handle "the challenges that lie ahead" at Harvard University during
the college's Class Day ceremony.
COMMENTS ON PRESIDENT TRUMP
While attending the launch of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and
Global Engagement on March 30, 2017, a student asked Biden what "piece
of advice" he would give to President Trump, Biden responding that the
president should grow up and cease his tweeting so he could focus on
the office. During a speech at a May 29, 2017 gathering of Philip D.
Murphy supporters at a community center gymnasium, "There are a lot of
people out there who are frightened. Trump played on their fears. What
we haven’t done, in my view — and this is a criticism of all us
— we haven’t spoken enough to the fears and aspirations of the
people we come from." On June 17, Biden predicted the "state the
nation is today will not be sustained by the American people" while
speaking at a
Florida Democratic Party fundraiser in
During an appearance at the Brainstorm Health Conference in San
Diego, California on May 2, 2017, Biden said the public "has moved
ahead of the administration ." On May 31, Biden tweeted that climate
change was an "existential threat to our future" and remaining in the
Paris Agreement was "best way to protect our children and global
leadership." The following day, after President Trump announced his
withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement, Biden tweeted that the
choice "imperils US security and our ability to own the clean energy
future." While appearing at the Concordia Europe Summit in Athens,
Greece on June 7, Biden said, referring to the Paris Agreement, "The
vast majority of the American people do not agree with the decision
the president made."
On March 22, 2017, Biden referred to the Republican healthcare bill
as a "tax bill" meant to transfer nearly 1 trillion USD used for
health benefits for the lower classes to wealthy Americans during his
first appearance on
Capitol Hill since Trump's inauguration. On May
4, after the House of Representatives narrowly voted for the American
Health Care Act , Biden tweeted that it was a "Day of shame for
Congress", lamenting the loss of pre-existing condition protections.
On June 24, in response to Senate Republicans revealing an American
Health Care Act draft the previous day, Biden tweeted that the bill
"isn't about health care at all—it's a wealth transfer: slashes care
to fund tax cuts for the wealthy & corporations." On July 28, in
response to the skinny Republican Senate healthcare bill falling
through, Biden tweeted, "Thank you to everyone who tirelessly worked
to protect the healthcare of millions."
On April 14, 2017, Biden released a statement both denouncing
Chechnya authorities for their rounding, torturing, and murdering of
"individuals who are believed to be gay" and stating his hope that the
Trump administration honor a prior pledge to advance human rights by
confronting Russian leaders over "these egregious violations of human
rights." June 21, during a speech at an Democratic National Committee
LGBT gala in
New York City
New York City , in reference to President Trump's
campaign promise to protect the
LGBT community, Biden said, "Hold
President Trump accountable for his pledge to be your friend." On
July 26, after President Trump announced a ban of transgender people
serving in the military, Biden tweeted, "Every patriotic American who
is qualified to serve in our military should be able to serve. Full
Joe Biden's ratings from advocacy organizations
minorities the increased infrastructure spending proposed by the
Obama administration; mass transit , including
Amtrak , bus, and
subway subsidies; same-sex marriage ; and the reduced military
spending proposed in the Obama Administration's fiscal year 2014
A method that political scientists use for gauging ideology is to
compare the annual ratings by the Americans for Democratic Action
(ADA) with the ratings by the
American Conservative Union (ACU).
Biden has a lifetime liberal 72 percent score from the ADA through
2004, while the ACU awarded Biden a lifetime conservative rating of 13
percent through 2008. Using another metric, Biden has a lifetime
average liberal score of 77.5 percent, according to a National Journal
analysis that places him ideologically among the center of Senate
Democrats as of 2008.
The Almanac of American Politics rates
congressional votes as liberal or conservative on the political
spectrum , in three policy areas: economic, social, and foreign. For
2005–2006, Biden's average ratings were as follows: the economic
rating was 80 percent liberal and 13 percent conservative, the social
rating was 78 percent liberal and 18 percent conservative, and the
foreign rating was 71 percent liberal and 25 percent conservative.
This has not changed much over time; his liberal ratings in the
mid-1980s were also in the 70–80 percent range.
Various advocacy groups have given Biden scores or grades as to how
well his votes align with the positions of each group. The American
Civil Liberties Union gives him an 80 percent lifetime score, with a
91 percent score for the 110th Congress. Biden opposes drilling for
oil in the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and supports governmental
funding to find new energy sources. Biden believes action must be
taken on global warming . He co-sponsored the Sense of the Senate
resolution calling on the
United States to be a part of the United
Nations climate negotiations and the Boxer-Sanders Global Warming
Pollution Reduction Act , the most stringent climate bill in the
United States Senate
United States Senate . Biden was given an 85 percent lifetime
approval rating from
AFL-CIO , and he voted for the North American
Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Biden has received honorary degrees from the University of Scranton
(1976), Saint Joseph\'s University (LL.D 1981), Widener University
School of Law (2000),
Emerson College (2003), his alma mater the
Suffolk University Law School (2005),
and his other alma mater
Syracuse University (LL.D 2009) University
of Pennsylvania (LL.D 2013)
Miami Dade College (2014) Trinity
College, Dublin (LL.D 2016)
Colby College (LL.D 2017) Morgan State
University (DPS 2017)
University of South Carolina (DPA 2017)
Barack Obama presents Vice President
Joe Biden with the
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction during a tribute to the
Vice President in the State Dining Room of the White House, January
Biden also received the Chancellor Medal from his alma mater,
Syracuse University , in 1980, and in 2005, he received the George
Arents Pioneer Medal—Syracuse's highest alumni award —"for
excellence in public affairs."
In 2008, Biden received the Best of Congress Award, for "improving
the American quality of life through family-friendly work policies,"
Working Mother magazine. Also in 2008, Biden shared with fellow
Richard Lugar the Hilal-i-
Pakistan award from the Government
Pakistan , "in recognition of their consistent support for
Pakistan." In 2009, Biden received the Golden Medal of Freedom award
Kosovo , that region's highest award, for his vocal support for
their independence in the late 1990s.
Biden is an inductee of the
Delaware Volunteer Firemen\'s Association
Hall of Fame. He was named to the
Little League Hall of Excellence
Little League Hall of Excellence in
On June 25, 2016,
Joe Biden received the freedom of
County Louth in
Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland .
On January 12, 2017, Obama surprised Biden by awarding him the
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom , with distinction, during a farewell
press conference at the
White House honoring Biden and his wife. Obama
said he was awarding the Medal of Freedom to Biden for "faith in your
fellow Americans, for your love of country and a lifetime of service
that will endure through the generations." It was the first and only
time Obama awarded the Medal of Freedom with the additional honor of
distinction, an honor which his three predecessors had reserved only
Ronald Reagan ,
Colin Powell and
Pope John Paul II ,
Electoral history of Joe Biden
Electoral history of Joe Biden
U.S. Senators are popularly elected and take office January 3 for a
six-year term (except when appointed to fill existing vacancies).
VOTES FOR BIDEN
Lawrence T. Messick
J. Caleb Boggs
James H. Baxter Jr.
John M. Burris
M. Jane Brady
Raymond J. Clatworthy
Raymond J. Clatworthy
(365 electoral votes) 53%
(173 electoral votes) 46%
(332 electoral votes) 51%
(206 electoral votes) 47%
WRITINGS BY BIDEN
Joe Biden speaking to the Service Employees International Union
, January 2007
* Biden, Joe (2007). Promises to Keep.
Random House . ISBN
1-4000-6536-4 . Also paperback edition,
Random House 2008, ISBN
* Biden Jr., Joseph R. (July 24, 2001). Administration\'s Missile
Defense Program and the ABM Treaty: Hearing Before the Committee on
U.S. Senate (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office.
ISBN 0-7567-1959-3 .
* Biden Jr., Joseph R. (February 12, 2002). Examining The Theft Of
American Intellectual Property At Home And Abroad: Hearing before the
Committee On Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate (PDF). U.S. Government
Printing Office. ISBN 0-7567-4177-7 .
* Biden Jr., Joseph R. (August 1, 2002). Hearings to Examine
Threats, Responses, and Regional Considerations Surrounding Iraq:
Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate (PDF).
U.S. Government Printing Office. ISBN 0-7567-2823-1 .
* Biden Jr., Joseph R. (September 2003). Strategies for Homeland
Defense: A Compilation by the Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S.
Senate. Diane Publishing. ISBN 0-7567-2623-9 .
* Biden Jr., Joseph R. (July 8, 2001). Putin Administration\'s
Policies toward Non-Russian Regions of the Russian Federation: Hearing
before the Committee on Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate (PDF). U.S.
Government Printing Office. ISBN 0-7567-2624-7 .
* Biden Jr., Joseph R. (September 5, 2001). Threat of Bioterrorism
and the Spread of Infectious Diseases: Hearing before the Committee on
U.S. Senate (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office.
ISBN 0-7567-2625-5 .
* Biden Jr., Joseph R. (February 27, 2002). How Do We Promote
Democratization, Poverty Alleviation, and Human Rights to Build a More
Secure Future: Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S.
Senate (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office. ISBN 0-7567-2478-3 .
* Biden Jr., Joseph R. (January 2003). Political Future of
Afghanistan: Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S.
Senate. Diane Publishing. ISBN 0-7567-3039-2 .
* Biden Jr., Joseph R. (January 2003). International Campaign
Against Terrorism: Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate. Diane Publishing. ISBN 0-7567-3041-4 .
* Biden Jr., Joseph R. (2002). Halting the Spread of HIV/AIDS:
Future Efforts in the U.S. Bilateral & Multilateral Response: Hearings
before the Comm. on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate. Diane Publishing.
ISBN 0-7567-3454-1 .
* Biden Jr., Joseph R.;
Jesse Helms (April 2000). Hague Convention
On International Child Abduction: Applicable Law And Institutional
Framework Within Certain Convention Countries Report To The Senate.
Diane Publishing. ISBN 0-7567-2250-0 .
* Nicholson, William C. (ed.); with a foreword by Joseph Biden
(2005). Homeland Security Law and Policy. C. C Thomas. ISBN
0-398-07583-2 . CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link )
* Government of the
United States portal
* Biography portal
* Politics portal
2012 VP113#Nickname - A dwarf planet nicknamed Biden because of
its discovery in 2012 and its Provisional designation letters VP
* ^ Biden has on at least two occasions alleged that the truck
driver was under the influence of alcohol, but this was not the case.
* ^ Biden chose not to run for president in 1992 in part because he
had voted against the resolution authorizing the
Gulf War . He
considered joining the Democratic field of candidates for the 2004
presidential race but in August 2003 decided otherwise, saying he did
not have enough time and any attempt would be too much of a long shot.
Around 2004, Biden was also widely discussed as a possible Secretary
of State in a Democratic administration.
* ^ Several linguists and political analysts stated that the
correct transcription includes a comma after the word
"African-American", which one said "would significantly change the
meaning (and the degree of offensiveness) of Biden's comment".
* ^ The Indian-American activist who was on the receiving end of
Biden's comment stated that he was "100 percent behind because he did
* ^ Biden admired McCain politically as well as personally; in May
2004, he had urged McCain to run as vice president with presumptive
Democratic presidential nominee
John Kerry , saying the cross-party
ticket would help heal the "vicious rift" in U.S. politics.
* ^ Biden was the fourth person to run for Vice President and
reelection to the Senate simultaneously after
Lyndon Johnson , Lloyd
Bentsen , and
Joe Lieberman , and the second to have won both
elections after Johnson.
* ^ Delaware's Democratic governor,
Ruth Ann Minner
Ruth Ann Minner , announced on
November 24, 2008, that she would appoint Biden's longtime senior
Ted Kaufman to succeed Biden in the Senate. Kaufman said he
would only serve two years, until Delaware\'s special Senate election
in 2010 . Biden's son Beau ruled himself out of the 2008 selection
process due to his impending tour in
Iraq with the
National Guard . He was a possible candidate for the 2010 special
election, but in early 2010 said he would not run for the seat.
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Times . Retrieved January 22, 2017.
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Plagiarism in School But Says It Was Not \'Malevolent\'". The New York
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Amtrak Joe". The New York Times. Retrieved September 17, 2008.
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Stuttering Association chairman" (PDF). National Stuttering
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