Rediff.com  » News » Will the election gods smile on Joe Biden?

Will the election gods smile on Joe Biden?

Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck
October 31, 2020 08:46 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

The 2020 race marks Biden's third attempt at running for US president. He first tried in 1988 but dropped out after allegations of plagiarism. He ended his second attempt in 2008 after garnering less than one per cent in the crucial Iowa caucuses.

IMAGE: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks during a drive-in campaign rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden, the former United States vice president, who has served in public life for around a half-century, has sought to capitalise on that experience to project himself as a steady and better alternative to US President Donald Trump.

Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has vowed to "restore the soul of America" which has been battered and divided under Trump's rule. The election, he said, is nothing short of a "battle for the country's soul".

Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1942 and moved to Delaware as a child.

 

At age 29, Biden becomes one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate. Weeks later, tragedy struck the Biden family when his wife Neilia and daughter Naomi were killed while his sons Hunter and Beau were critically injured in a car accident.

Joe was sworn into the US Senate at his sons' hospital room and used to commute from Wilmington to Washington every day. For five years, Joe raised Beau and Hunter as a single father, with the help of his sister Valerie and his family, according to his campaign website.

Biden married again five years after Neilia's death, to his current wife Jill Biden.

The couple married on June 17, 1977, at the United Nations Chapel in New York City and has one daughter together, Ashley Blazer, who was born in 1981.

IMAGE: Joe Biden talks with two young boys holding Biden Harris campaign stickers during an unscheduled walk on the street while campaigning in Duluth, Minnesota. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The 2020 race marks Biden's third attempt at running for US president. He first tried in 1988 but dropped out after allegations of plagiarism. He ended his second attempt in 2008 after garnering less than one per cent in the crucial Iowa caucuses.

Biden served as vice president in former US president Barack Obama's administration for two terms from 2008 to 2016. Biden and Obama developed a close friendship from what had initially been a more strategic pairing, with Biden credited for using his working-class roots, folksy flourishes and experience to help shore up support for the country's first Black president from older white Americans in key northern swing states, said Al Jazeera.

Obama has now endorsed Biden, saying his former running mate embodied "the spirit of looking out for one another".

Biden, who served for decades in the Senate, firmly believes in the value of bipartisanship and insists on extending overtures to Republicans even in a moment when many in his own party don't see negotiating partners on the other side, according to the New York Times.

He said that he can build on the Obama legacy and unite the country in a challenging time. Along with running mate Kamala Harris, Biden continues to pitch himself as a reassuring and experienced force who can unify the country following four years of Trump.

As Delaware's senator for 36 years, he cultivated a reputation for thoughtful coalition-building and chaired powerful committees on the judiciary and foreign relations. The expertise he developed across those decades made him a strong partner as vice president to US president Barack Obama, Seattle Times reported.

His boldness on same-sex marriage must also be remembered. In May 2012, Biden pulled the administration on to the right side of history.

IMAGE: Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden attend a drive-in campaign event at Bucks County Community College in Bristol, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Endorsing Biden, USA Today said that the former US vice president is a worthy antidote to Trump's unbounded narcissism and chronic chaos.

Meanwhile, Washington Post said Biden is almost uniquely positioned for the moment. He would restore decency, honour and competence to America's government.

However, with a three-decade-long congressional career, Biden's record in the chamber has come under increased scrutiny.

The 1994 crime bill that he drafted has been blamed for causing the mass incarceration of minorities and his eulogising of Senate colleague Strom Thurmond, a man who began his political career as a segregationist.

According to Al Jazeera, he has faced criticism for his role as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the controversial grilling of Anita Hill during the Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas in 1991. Hill had accused Thomas of sexual harassment.

Joe Biden has been open about his family tragedies that have marked his time in office.

In 1972, shortly after he won his first Senate race, he lost his first wife, Neilia, and baby daughter, Naomi, in a car accident.

IMAGE: Biden made a strong partner as vice president to US president Barack Obama. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

In February of 1988, just months after he ended his first presidential bid, Joe Biden suffered two life-threatening brain aneurysms. Doctors at the time told him a White House campaign may have killed him.

In 2015, Beau died of brain cancer at the age of 46. The younger Biden was seen as a rising star of US politics and had intended to run for Delaware state governor in 2016

The elder Biden has credited Beau with encouraging him to run again and has used both tragedies on the trail to explain why healthcare -- one of his signature policy goals -- is "personal" to him.

Meanwhile, Biden's younger son Hunter's career as a lawyer and lobbyist, including a five-year term on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, has been the target of unsupported corruption allegations.

Joe Biden is currently leading Donald Trump in the national polls as the US approaches its 2020 presidential election.

If elected, he would be the oldest president in US history at his inauguration, at age 78. Trump, who is currently 74, would also be the oldest US president ever if he wins a second term.

The presidential elections are scheduled to be held on November 3 either giving Trump another four years or handing over the reins to Biden.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck
SHARE THIS STORY 
The War Against Coronavirus

The War Against Coronavirus