By Dylan Miller
For Election Night 2020 I’ve been assigned to cover candidate Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., in his campaign against Donald J. Trump. Here is what I’ve found out about Biden so far.
Biden was born on Nov. 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pa. He was a stutterer during his childhood, which made him a misfit at St. Paul’s Elementary School in Scranton. When he was 10 years old, he and his family moved from Pennsylvania to the town of Claymont, Del. so that his parents could find good new jobs. On Biography.com, it states that Biden “eventually overcame his speech impediment by memorizing long passages of poetry and reciting them out loud in front of the mirror.” At his prep school, Archmere Academy in Claymont, he became one of the best students there. He was the well-liked star of the football team and the senior year class president. He graduated in 1961.
While attending the University of Delaware in Newark, he met his soon to be first wife, Neilia Hunter. After he graduated from Delaware, he decided to enroll at her school, Syracuse University Law School in Syracuse, N.Y., and graduated in 1968 with a law degree. He then got married to Neilia. On Joe Biden.com, Biden said, “During my adolescent and college years, men and women were changing the country—Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy—and I was swept up in their eloquence, their conviction, the sheer size of their improbable dreams.”
From 1969 to 1971, Biden and Neilia had three children: two boys, Beau and Hunter, and a daughter named Naomi. In 1972, he ran his first campaign against Republican J. Caleb Boggs for United States Senator from Delaware. He won the election by 2,000 votes with the help of the African American community in Wilmington.
In December 1972, Neilia and the children were in a horrific car accident. At the hospital, Beau and Hunter were injured and recovering. Sadly, Neilia and Naomi died instantly. With Biden spending all his time at the hospital with his sons, he was sworn into the Senate, stating that he would commute from Wilmington to Washington so he could spend more time with his injured boys. In 1977, Biden was married to his sons’ teacher Ms. Jill Jacobs and they had a daughter together.
In 1987, Biden ran for President of the United States, but he withdrew in 1988 because he plagiarized a speech given by Neil Kinnock of the British Labor Party, as well as misrepresented his standing in law school. In 1991, he became chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and he presided over the confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court. Educator and attorney Anita Hill had accused Thomas of sexual harassment, and many felt that Biden didn’t handle her accusations in a fair and respectful manner. As a result, Biden’s reputation was damaged.
In 2007, Biden ran again for President but dropped out after he had made what many felt was a racist comment about fellow candidate Barack Obama. When Obama won his 2008 presidential campaign against John McCain, he asked Biden to be his vice president. Some questioned the choice, but Obama knew that Biden was valuable because of his decades-long relationships in Congress.
Obama and Biden had a very good working relationship during their time in office. Memes even appeared on social media dedicated to their bromance. Then in 2015, Biden’s son Beau, who was a National Guard soldier and attorney, died from brain cancer. Usually a vice president is presumed to be the presidential nominee when the President’s two terms are over, but Biden opted not to run because of his grief over losing Beau. Hillary Clinton became the Democratic nominee instead.
Biden states that Trump’s comments about the murder of a protester in Charlottesville, Va., “there were very fine people on both sides,” angered him enough that he decided to run for President in 2020. He feels that America is in a fight for the soul of democracy, and he has promised to restore the soul of the nation.
Works Cited: Biden, Joe. “Joe’s Story.” https://joebiden.com/joes-story/ 2020Biography.com Editors. “Joe Biden Biography.” https://www.biography.com/political-figure/joe-biden 2020