Joe Biden

Joe Biden, byname of Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., (born November 20, 1942, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.), forty sixth president of the USA (2021– ) and forty seventh vp of the USA (2009–17) within the Democratic administration of Pres. Barack Obama. He beforehand represented Delaware within the U.S. Senate (1973–2009).

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Youth and profession within the Senate

Biden, who was raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and New Citadel county, Delaware, obtained a bachelor’s diploma from the College of Delaware in 1965 and a legislation diploma from Syracuse College in New York in 1968. Throughout this time he married (1966) Neilia Hunter, and the couple later had three youngsters.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden

Barack Obama (left) speaking with Joe Biden throughout a listening to of the Senate International Relations Committee, 2005.

Shawn Thew—EPA/REX/

After graduating from legislation college, Biden returned to Delaware to work as an lawyer earlier than shortly turning to politics, serving on the New Citadel county council from 1970 to 1972. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972 on the age of 29, turning into the fifth youngest senator in historical past. A few month later his spouse and toddler daughter had been killed in a automobile accident, and his two sons had been critically injured. Though he contemplated suspending his political profession, Biden was persuaded to affix the Senate in 1973, and he went on to win reelection six instances, turning into Delaware’s longest-serving senator. In 1977 he married Jill Jacobs, an educator, and so they later had a daughter. Along with his position as U.S. senator, Biden additionally was an adjunct professor (1991–2008) on the Wilmington, Delaware, department of the Widener College College of Legislation.

As a senator, Biden centered on international relations, prison justice, and drug coverage. He served on the Senate’s International Relations Committee, twice as its chair (2001–03; 2007–09), and on the Committee on the Judiciary, serving as its chair from 1987 to 1995. He was significantly outspoken on points associated to the Kosovo battle of the late ’90s, urging U.S. motion towards Serbian forces to guard Kosovars towards an offensive by Serbian Pres. Slobodan Milošević. On the Iraq Struggle (2003–11), Biden proposed a partition plan as a strategy to keep a united, peaceable Iraq. Biden additionally was a member of the Worldwide Narcotics Management Caucus and was the lead senator in writing the legislation that established the workplace of “drug czar,” a place that oversees the nationwide drug-control coverage.

2008 Democratic Nationwide Conference

Michelle and Barack Obama (couple at left) and Jill and Joe Biden at Invesco Area on the ultimate night time of the Democratic Nationwide Conference in Denver, August 28, 2008.

Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and acquire entry to unique content material. Subscribe Now

Presidential runs and vice presidency

Biden pursued the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination however withdrew after it was revealed that components of his marketing campaign stump speech had been plagiarized from British Labour Celebration chief Neil Kinnock with out acceptable attribution. His 2008 presidential marketing campaign by no means gained momentum, and he withdrew from the race after putting fifth within the Iowa Democratic caucus in January of that 12 months. (For protection of the 2008 election, see United States Presidential Election of 2008.) After Barack Obama amassed sufficient delegates to safe the Democratic presidential nomination, Biden emerged as a front-runner to be Obama’s vice presidential working mate. On August 23 Obama formally introduced his number of Biden because the Democratic Celebration’s vice presidential nominee, and on August 27 Obama and Biden secured the Democratic Celebration’s nomination. On November 4 the Obama-Biden ticket defeated John McCain and his working mate, Sarah Palin, and Biden additionally simply gained reelection to his U.S. Senate seat. He resigned from the Senate publish shortly earlier than taking the oath of workplace as vp on January 20, 2009. In November 2012 Obama and Biden had been reelected for a second time period, defeating the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

As vp, Biden performed an lively position within the administration, serving as an influential adviser to Obama and a vocal supporter of his initiatives. As well as, he was tasked with notable assignments. He helped avert a number of finances crises and performed a key position in shaping U.S. coverage in Iraq. In 2015 his eldest son, Beau, died from mind most cancers; Biden recounted the expertise in Promise Me, Dad: A Yr of Hope, Hardship, and Objective (2017). A number of months later, Biden—who loved excessive favourability rankings, partly because of a candour and affable method that resonated with the general public—introduced that he wouldn’t enter the 2016 presidential election, noting that the household was nonetheless grieving. As a substitute, he campaigned for Hillary Clinton, who in the end misplaced the election to Donald Trump.

Biden’s shut relationship with Obama was evident when the latter shocked him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with distinction, on January 12, 2017, simply days earlier than they left workplace. When Obama introduced the hardly ever given honour, he referred to Biden as “my brother.” Later that 12 months Biden and his spouse established the Biden Basis, a charitable group concerned in numerous causes.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden

Barack Obama (left) and Joe Biden on the White Home grounds, Might 2009.

{Photograph} by Chuck Kennedy/The White Home

Presidential election of 2020

Biden remained concerned in politics and was a vocal critic of Pres. Donald Trump. Biden himself confronted censure when, in 2019, numerous girls accused him of inappropriate bodily contact, notably hugging and kissing. Though his response was extensively derided—“I’m sorry I didn’t perceive extra.…I’m not sorry for something that I’ve ever executed. I’ve by no means been disrespectful deliberately to a person or a lady”—his reputation remained excessive. Amid rising hypothesis that he would run for president in 2020, Biden introduced his candidacy in April 2019, becoming a member of a crowded Democratic subject.

Biden instantly turned a front-runner, and he pursued a platform that was thought-about reasonable, particularly as in contrast with such candidates as Bernie Sanders. A poor efficiency within the get together’s first debate in June 2019, nonetheless, raised questions on Biden, and his assist dipped. After the primary three nomination contests in early 2020, Sanders appeared poised to develop into the get together’s nominee. Nevertheless, worries about Sanders’s electability within the common election galvanized reasonable voters, and in South Carolina in late February Biden gained a convincing victory. Quite a few candidates subsequently dropped out, and by early March it had develop into a two-man race between Biden and Sanders. As Biden registered extra wins, he quickly took a commanding lead in delegates. After the coronavirus pandemic stalled the race, Sanders dropped out in April, and Biden turned the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Within the ensuing months Biden outlined a platform that included plenty of insurance policies that appealed to progressives. He notably supported authorities help to low-income communities, bold local weather change laws, inexpensive baby care, and the enlargement of federal well being care plans, such because the Affected person Safety and Inexpensive Care Act, which had been enacted throughout Obama’s presidency. Throughout this time, Biden gained a considerably sizable lead over Trump in nationwide polls, due, partly, to criticism of the president’s response to the pandemic, which had prompted an financial downturn that rivaled the Nice Despair. In August 2020 Biden selected Kamala Harris as his working mate—she turned the primary African American girl to look on a significant get together’s nationwide ticket—and later that month, he formally was named the Democratic presidential nominee. Though preelection polling had proven Biden with a big lead in key battleground states, the precise contest proved to be a lot nearer. However, Biden and Harris succeeded in rebuilding the so-called “Blue Wall” by means of the Midwestern Rust Belt states, and on November 7, 4 days after the election, Biden secured the 270 electoral votes essential to seize the presidency. Biden’s eventual electoral vote whole was 306 to Trump’s 232; Biden gained the favored vote by greater than seven million votes.

Within the ensuing weeks, Trump and numerous different Republicans challenged the election outcomes, claiming voter fraud. Though plenty of lawsuits had been filed, no proof was supplied to assist the allegations, and the overwhelming majority of the instances had been dismissed. Throughout this time, Biden and Harris started the transition to a brand new administration, asserting an agenda and deciding on workers. By early December all states had licensed the election outcomes, and the method then moved to Congress for ultimate certification. Amid Trump’s repeated requires Republicans to overturn the election, a gaggle of congressional members, which notably included Senators Josh Hawley (Missouri) and Ted Cruz (Texas), introduced that they might problem the electors of varied states. Shortly after the proceedings started on January 6, 2021, a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. It took a number of hours to safe the constructing, however Biden and Harris had been finally licensed because the winners. Two weeks later, amid an enormous safety presence, Biden was sworn in as president.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia BritannicaThis article was most not too long ago revised and up to date by Brian Duignan, Senior Editor.

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