The following article is an opinion piece and reflects the views of only the author and not those of AllOnGeorgia.
By: Ken Herron
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in November of 1942 during World War II. That makes him 76 years old today. He has announced that he is running for president. If he is elected as President, he would be 79 years old at the time he takes office. He would be the oldest man ever to become president.
Joe’s father moved the family from Scranton to Wilmington, Delaware, in 1953 when Joe was ten years old. He was a football and baseball star in high school. He graduated from the University of Delaware with degrees in history and political science. During his junior year in college he went to the Bahamas during the spring break where he met Neilia Hunter. She was attending Syracuse University. After graduation from the University of Delaware, Joe enrolled in Syracuse University to study law. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1968 with a law degree. He was admitted to the Delaware bar in 1969.
In 1966 while he was still in law school, Joe Biden married Neilia Hunter. They had two sons Beau and Hunter and a daughter who was named Naomi. His first employment was as a law clerk to a prominent Republican. He considered himself a Republican and worked for the election of Republican candidates. He changed jobs and went to work for a Democrat.
He switched his voter registration to Democrat and started to work to revitalize the Democrat party in Delaware. He was elected to the County Council in 1969 and began to serve a two year term in 1970.
Before marriage, Biden had told his future wife that he wanted to run for the Senate when he was 30 years old. In 1972 when he was 30 years old he qualified to run as a Democrat against an incumbent Delaware Republican Senator. In the summer the polls showed him behind by 30 percent. Delaware is a small state with no major media outlet. He traveled over the state connecting with the voters and won the election in November.
Tragedy struck the Biden family in December after the election. Joe’s wife pulled out from an intersection into the path of a tractor-trailer truck. His wife and daughter were killed and his two sons were injured in the accident. Biden considered resigning from the Senate but he was convinced to take the time he needed and then begin his service in the Senate. The Secretary of the Senate came over to Wilmington and Biden was sworn in as a U S Senator in the chapel of the Wilmington Medical Center. The swearing-in ceremony was covered by television cameras and broadcast nationwide. When his sons were out of the hospital, Biden chose to commute from
Wilmington by Amtrak every day to the Senate and he has continued this practice
throughout his Senate career. It is a ninety minute commute each way.
Biden remarried to Jill Tracy Jacobs in 1975. She has several educational degrees including a doctorate in education. Beau Biden became Delaware Attorney General and he was preparing to run for governor. Beau developed brain cancer and died in May of 2015 at the age of 46. Hunter became a lawyer in Washington and a lobbyist. Of the original family of five only the father Joe and the son Hunter remain alive. Joe and Jill had a daughter named Ashley who is living today.
In June of 1987, Senator Biden announced his candidacy for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination. He had raised $1.7 million in the first quarter of 1987 and was considered a serious candidate. He was running behind Dukakis and Gephardt when he ran into some problems that the media picked up and promoted.
In September he gave a speech which used a section that obviously was plagiarized from a speech given by a politician in Great Britain. Shortly after this he made statements about his history in law school. He stated that he had graduated in the top half of his class. He stated that he had attended law school on a full scholarship. He stated that he had three college degrees. None of these three statements was true. He withdrew from the race on September 23 of 1987. His withdrawal was considered a blessing when he had serious health problems in early 1988. Beginning in February of 1988 and going through May of 1988 Biden had serious problems with three separate brain aneurisms that could have taken his life if he had been in the midst of a campaign and not stopped to attend to them.
Living at home in Delaware, Biden stayed involved in the local politics and provided federal help to his state. In 2007 Biden was able to obtain $67 million in federal projects with his earmarks. Delaware is the nation’s leading chicken producer. When the Russians stopped buying American chickens, Biden stopped all other trade programs with Russia. As a Senator, Biden was known to be long-winded. He was not invited to the Sunday Morning talk shows very often because of this.
In January of 2007 nearly twenty years after he announced his run for president in 1987, Joe announced that he was running for the Democratic nomination in 1988.
This campaign was dominated by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Biden had difficulty raising funds and drawing people to his rallies. Biden withdrew from the race after the Iowa caucuses when he drew less than one percent of the delegates.
After Barack Obama secured the delegates to assure his nomination, he asked for permission from Biden to vet him as a candidate for Vice President. Biden first said no and later told Obama that he would agree to this. On August 22, 2008 Barack Obama announced his choice of running mate was Joe Biden. In accepting this position, Biden promised Obama that he would not run for President in 2016. Obama already had an agreement with Hillary Clinton for his support for her candidacy in 2016 to get her to serve as Secretary of State.
Biden has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. As a part of the Obama/Biden administration for eight years, he will be forced to defend all of the actions taken by President Obama.
As a candidate, Biden may have a problem explaining the millions of dollars his son Hunter earned as a lobbyist for Eastern European countries while Father Joe was Vice President. In one instance Vice President Biden was reported to have withheld Foreign Aid until an investigation of son Hunter was stopped.
The leading contenders for the Democratic Party nomination at the present time
are Senator Sanders and Joe Biden. The Iowa Caucuses will thin the crowd.