Political veteran Joe Biden was almost written off in the race for US Democratic presidential candidacy. Then he made a brilliant comeback in the primaries. The 77-year-old has been part of the US political establishment for decades and not only in this respect is a complete alternative to US President Donald Trump. The Democrats hope to beat the incumbent with the support of a broad coalition – from left-wing parties to disappointed Trump voters.
Joe Biden – the politician
Biden was born on November 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The lawyer began his political career in the city council of Wilmington (Delaware), where he now lives with his second wife Jill.
At the age of just 29, Biden was elected to the US Senate in 1972, where he represented Delaware until 2009. Before the 1988 and 2008 elections, Biden ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination. Now he is making what may be the last attempt to rule the USA from the Oval Office.
Biden in the White House
In 2009, Biden moved into the White House as vice-president of Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama. During this time he found a brother in Biden, Obama said at the Democratic Party conference in August, at which Biden was officially named a candidate for president.
The Democrats advertise that Biden would bring reliability instead of unpredictability, selflessness instead of selfishness, calm instead of noise, decency instead of dishonesty in the White House. Should Biden win the election, it is already clear: His success is also due to the fact that he is a counter-proposal to the incumbent across the board.
Biden’s political experience is also highlighted. In Congress, he was considered an expert on foreign and security policy. That should also help the then inexperienced Barack Obama.
As early as 2015, Biden was considered a promising presidential candidate for the Democrats. For months it was unsure whether he would compete. In the end he decided against it, partly because of the death of his son Beau.
Jill Biden is the second wife of the former Vice President. The daughter Ashley Blazer comes from this marriage. Jill Biden is approachable and close to the people. At the Democratic Party conference, the 69-year-old hooked up from a classroom in a high school in Wilmington where she had previously taught English. Jill Biden drew a very personal picture of a caring husband and father with a solid compass of values who stand up for other people. At public appearances, the Biden’s dealings with each other seem extremely loving.
Joe Biden doesn’t skimp on his roots in his speeches. Sometimes he tells the voters what he has learned from his father, or begins his sentences with “My mother would say …”. Again and again he talks about the importance of the family for his life.
Biden’s blows of fate
Biden’s triumph in the 1972 Senate election was overshadowed by a car accident in which his first wife, Neilia, and daughter, Naomi, were killed. The sons Beau and Hunter were injured. Biden says the sons – whom he looked after as a single father until he met Jill – saved him. Another stroke of fate occurred in 2015 when Beau died of complications from a brain tumor.
Biden’s younger son Hunter lived unsteadily in the past, but now he speaks publicly about his addiction problem. The problem for Joe Biden was that Hunter had held a highly paid position for years at a scandal-ridden gas company in the Ukraine. Republicans are trying to make life difficult for Joe Biden about it. Trump accuses Biden of having tried as Vice President to protect his son from the Ukrainian judiciary. Hunter Biden now lives as an artist in California.
“The first thing I have to do”
Biden is not a visionary. He wants to bring the country “back to normal” and bring it together. He evokes the old days when he and Obama were in the White House and the US was seen as a predictable partner by allies.
“The first thing I have to do, and I’m not joking, if I get elected, I have to call the heads of state and say America is back, you can count on us,” Biden said recently. “I will be a president who will stand by our allies and friends,” he said elsewhere. “I will make it clear to our opponents that the days of ingratiation with dictators are over.”