Biographies

Joe Biden: Biography, Success Story, the 46th U.S. President

Joe Biden Biography 1
Joe Biden

Joe Biden is the 46th and current President of the United States. Joe Biden’s biography is a compelling success story of resilience, public service, and dedication to American values. Throughout his career, he has made significant legislative achievements and displayed a deep sense of empathy toward the American people, reflecting his lifelong devotion to public service.

Introduction

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., born on November 20, 1942, is the 46th president of the U.S. and a veteran Democratic politician. His political journey began in Scranton, Pennsylvania, moving to Delaware in 1953. Biden’s educational path led him from the University of Delaware to a law degree at Syracuse University. His early political career saw him elected to the New Castle County Council in 1970, and by 1972, he was a U.S. Senator from Delaware. During his long Senate career, Biden played a crucial role in crafting key legislation and was pivotal in several U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

Biden’s attempts for the presidency in 1988 and 2008 were unsuccessful, but he served as Vice President under Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. In the 2020 election, with Kamala Harris as his running mate, Biden defeated Donald Trump, becoming the oldest U.S. president and the first with a female vice president.

His presidency has been marked by major legislative efforts, including the American Rescue Plan Act to combat the COVID-19 pandemic’s fallout and significant infrastructure and manufacturing bills. Biden also appointed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court and navigated the 2023 debt-ceiling crisis. Internationally, he reengaged with the Paris Agreement, ended U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, addressed the Russian invasion of Ukraine with sanctions and support, and responded to the Israel–Hamas conflict with a stance supporting Israel and humanitarian aid for Gaza. In April 2023, Biden announced his candidacy for the 2024 Democratic nomination.

1942–1965: Early Life

Joe Biden was born on November 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, at St. Mary’s Hospital to Catherine Eugenia “Jean” Biden and Joseph Robinette Biden Sr. He is the eldest of four siblings in a Catholic family that includes his sister, Valerie, and brothers, James and Frank. Biden’s heritage is a blend of Irish, English, French, and Irish ancestry, with his maternal great-grandfather, Edward Francis Blewitt, serving as a Pennsylvania state senator.

Biden’s early life was marked by his father’s affluence, who enjoyed the luxuries of yachting and flying, thanks to his executive position at the Sheen Company. However, after World War II, the family faced financial difficulties, leading them to move back to Scranton in 1948. Joe Biden Sr. struggled to find steady work, which led the family to live with Biden’s maternal grandparents, the Finnegans. The Bidens eventually moved to Delaware in 1953, where Joe Sr. succeeded as a used car salesman, stabilizing the family’s middle-class status.

High School Years

Biden’s academic journey took him to Archmere Academy in Claymont, where he showcased his athletic talent in baseball and football, playing as a halfback and wide receiver. Despite academic struggles, Biden emerged as a leader, serving as class president in both his junior and senior years and graduating in 1961. His pursuit of higher education led him to the University of Delaware in Newark, where he briefly continued his football career. Biden graduated in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in history and political science, although he remained an average student throughout his college years.

Overcoming Stutter

One of Biden's significant personal challenges was his stutter. From a young age, he worked tirelessly to manage it, practicing poetry recitation before a mirror, a technique that helped him significantly reduce its impact by his early twenties.

1966–1973: From Marriage to Early Career

Joe Biden’s journey into family life began when he married Neilia Hunter, a fellow student at Syracuse University, on August 27, 1966. Despite initial reluctance from Neilia’s parents due to Biden’s Catholic faith, the couple wed in a Catholic church in Skaneateles, New York. Together, they welcomed three children: Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III, Robert Hunter Biden, and Naomi Christina “Amy” Biden.

College Years

In 1968, Biden completed his law education by earning a Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law, albeit with a challenging start, including a failed course due to a plagiarism incident. By 1969, he was admitted to the Delaware bar and began his career in law. Initially working at a Wilmington firm and considering himself more aligned with Republican values, Biden’s experiences soon led him to register as an Independent, driven by a disapproval of the political landscape under Nixon.sdsdsssds

Biden’s legal career took various turns, from serving as a public defender to joining and eventually forming his own law firm. Despite an interest in criminal law, the financial realities led him to practice corporate law reluctantly and manage properties on the side.

Failure at some point in your life is inevitable, but giving up is unforgivable. – Joe Biden Click To Tweet

Political Aspirations

1970 marked Biden’s first foray into elected office when he ran for a seat on the New Castle County Council, advocating for progressive issues like public housing in the suburbs. Winning the seat from a Republican incumbent, Biden’s tenure on the council saw him opposing large highway projects to protect local neighborhoods.

Throughout his early career, Biden’s stance on the Vietnam War evolved, culminating in opposition to Nixon’s war conduct as he embarked on his Senate campaign. His educational years were marked by draft deferments, attributed in later years to asthma during his teen years, reflecting the complexities of his early encounters with public policy and service.

Joe Biden’s Historic 1972 Senate Victory

In the 1972 United States Senate election in Delaware, Joe Biden, a little-known Democrat, achieved a surprising victory over the incumbent Republican J. Caleb Boggs. Despite entering the race with minimal campaign funds and seemingly no chance of winning, Biden’s campaign managed and staffed by family members, focused on direct engagement with voters and the distribution of position papers, leveraging Delaware’s small size. Supported by the AFL–CIO and insights from Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell, Biden’s platform addressed the environment, Vietnam withdrawal, civil rights, mass transit, equitable taxation, health care, and a critique of “politics as usual.” Initially trailing Boggs significantly, Biden’s energetic campaigning, relatable family presence, and emotional voter connection led to a narrow win with 50.5% of the vote, kickstarting his lengthy Senate career.

Tragic Car Accident

In December 1972, just weeks after Joe Biden’s election to the U.S. Senate, a tragic car accident took the lives of his wife Neilia and their one-year-old daughter Naomi while they were Christmas shopping in Hockessin, Delaware, on the 18th. Their station wagon was struck by a semi-trailer truck. The accident also severely injured their sons, Beau and Hunter, who were with Neilia and Naomi in the car. Beau, three years old, sustained a broken leg, among other injuries, while two-year-old Hunter suffered a minor skull fracture and other head injuries, but both survived.

This devastating event brought Biden to the brink of resigning from his newly won position as he grappled with immense grief and the responsibilities of caring for his injured sons. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield was crucial in persuading Biden to continue his Senate duties. The loss deeply affected Biden, leading him to question his faith and struggle with anger and focus at work. This period marked one of the most challenging times in Biden’s personal life and career, shaping his approach to both in the following years.

Second Marriage

Joe Biden found love again with Jill Tracy Jacobs, a teacher he met on a blind date in 1975. The couple tied the knot in a ceremony at the United Nations chapel in New York on June 17, 1977, and honeymooned at Lake Balaton in Hungary. Jill was pivotal in reigniting Biden’s passion for politics and life. The Bidens, who practice Roman Catholicism, attend Mass together at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine in Greenville, Delaware. They have a daughter, Ashley Biden, a social worker married to Howard Krein, a physician. Biden’s son Beau, who served as an Army judge advocates in Iraq and later as Delaware attorney general, passed away from brain cancer in 2015. His other son, Hunter Biden, has faced public scrutiny over his business dealings and personal life.

In addition to his political career, from 1991 to 2008, Biden shared his knowledge and experience as an adjunct professor co-teaching a seminar on constitutional law at Widener University School of Law. His commitment to education was such that he sometimes returned from international duties to teach his classes.

1973–2009: Senate Career

Joe Biden’s Senate career, which lasted from 1973 to 2009, began with his swearing-in alongside his sons, Beau and Hunter. At 30, he was one of the youngest senators ever to serve. Known for his daily train commutes from Delaware to D.C., he continued this practice for 36 years. Biden secured reelection six times, often with around 60% of the vote, and was a junior senator to William Roth until 2000. By 2024, he was the 19th-longest-serving senator in U.S. history.

His early tenure focused on consumer protection, environmental issues, and government accountability. He supported liberal positions on civil rights and healthcare but was conservative on abortion and military conscription. In 1976, Biden was the first to endorse Jimmy Carter, leading to Carter’s presidency.

We are America, second to none, and we own the finish line. Don't forget it. – Joe Biden Click To Tweet

Biden worked on foreign relations, including SALT II Treaty adjustments with the Soviet Union and criticizing the Reagan administration’s apartheid policy in South Africa. He initially opposed race-integration busing, reflecting his constituents’ views. However, he later contributed to key legislation such as the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and the Violence Against Women Act. Although he later regretted the 1994 crime law’s consequences, it remains a significant part of his legacy.

His voting record included supporting a 1993 military ban on homosexuals and the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, positions that evolved. He criticized Ken Starr’s investigations during the Clinton era and voted to acquit Clinton. Biden also backed bankruptcy legislation in the 2000s despite opposition.

Biden consistently advocated for Amtrak, and his dedication to rail travel mirrored his commitment to various domestic and international issues throughout his lengthy Senate career.

Unexpected Surgery

In February 1988, Joe Biden experienced severe neck pain, which led to the discovery and surgical correction of a leaking intracranial berry aneurysm. During his recovery, he encountered a significant setback with a pulmonary embolism, a critical health complication. A second aneurysm required another surgery in May of the same year. These health issues necessitated a lengthy recovery period, keeping Biden away from his Senate duties for seven months.

Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Joe Biden served extensively on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, chairing it from 1987 to 1995 and being a ranking minority member before and after his chairmanship. During his time as chair, Biden led two notably contentious U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

In 1988, Biden played a pivotal role in the hearings for nominee Robert Bork. Despite initially indicating approval for Bork in a prior interview, Biden opposed his nomination, citing concerns over Bork’s strict originalist interpretation of the Constitution. This stance led to Bork’s nomination being rejected first by the committee and then by the full Senate.

The 1991 hearings for Clarence Thomas were another critical moment, with Biden’s questioning often being complex and challenging. The hearings took a dramatic turn when allegations of sexual harassment against Thomas by Anita Hill, a law professor, came to light. Biden knew of the allegations but initially kept them within the committee, respecting Hill’s initial desire not to testify. However, the hearings were reopened to allow Hill’s testimony, although testimony from other potential witnesses was not permitted. Thomas was eventually confirmed, but Biden faced criticism for handling the hearings, particularly from women’s groups and liberal legal advocates. In 2019, Biden expressed regret over his treatment of Hill, although Hill herself said she remained unsatisfied with his response.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Joe Biden was a key figure on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, serving as its ranking minority member starting in 1997 and chairing it during two periods: from June 2001 to 2003 and from 2007 to 2009. His approach to foreign policy was broadly liberal internationalist, marked by effective collaboration across party lines and engagement with international leaders, having met with over 150 leaders from 60 countries and organizations.

Biden voted against the 1991 Gulf War, emphasizing its disproportionate burden on the U.S. His involvement in the Balkans during the Yugoslav Wars showcased his commitment to international intervention. He advocated for a “lift and strike” policy against Serbian aggression in Bosnia and supported NATO’s bombing in the Kosovo War in 1999. Alongside Senator John McCain, he co-sponsored a resolution urging robust action against Slobodan Milošević for his actions in Kosovo.

In more recent conflicts, Biden supported the War in Afghanistan and, initially, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, citing the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. However, he later criticized the execution of the Iraq War, regretting his vote for the authorization of military force and advocating for a more international coalition and transparent communication with the American public about the war’s challenges.

By 2006, Biden’s views on Iraq had evolved. He opposed the troop surge and proposed a federal solution to divide Iraq into three ethnic states to reduce conflict. In 2007, he supported a non-binding resolution for this federalization plan, though it ultimately did not lead to significant policy change.

1988 and 2008 Presidential Campaigns

1988 Campaign

Joe Biden embarked on his first quest for the presidency in 1988, announcing his candidacy on June 9, 1987. With a moderate image, strong speaking skills, and a high profile from the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was seen as a strong contender. His campaign, however, faced challenges, including accusations of plagiarizing speeches from British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock and others, which led to confusion and controversy. Despite previous acknowledgments of using others’ words, failure to credit Kinnock in several instances and additional scrutiny over his academic record and civil rights involvement claims intensified the scrutiny. These issues culminated in Biden withdrawing from the race on September 23, 1987, overshadowed by past missteps.

2008 Campaign

In 2008, Biden launched his second presidential bid, focusing on the Iraq War, his Senate record, and his foreign policy experience. Despite memorable one-liners and a focus on substantive issues, he struggled against Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s prominence. He eventually placed fifth in the Iowa caucuses and withdrew on January 3, 2008. However, this campaign significantly improved his political standing and relationship with Obama, paving the way for their future partnership.

2008 and 2012 Vice Presidential Campaigns

2008 Campaign: The Path to the White House

After his presidential bid in 2008, Joe Biden quickly became a central figure in Barack Obama’s campaign, being announced as his running mate on August 22, 2008. Their partnership was fortified by mutual respect and Biden’s foreign policy expertise, which complemented Obama’s ticket. Despite Biden’s occasional gaffes, which led to tensions in the campaign, his role became crucial, especially during the financial crisis peak in September 2008. Biden’s support for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act and his debate performance against Sarah Palin were pivotal. On November 4, Obama and Biden secured the presidency and vice presidency with 53% of the popular vote and 365 electoral votes. Remarkably, Biden also won reelection to the Senate on the same day, a dual success permitted by Delaware law.

2012 Campaign: Maintaining Momentum

Confirmed as Obama’s running mate for the 2012 election, Biden faced speculative challenges, including secret considerations of replacing him with Hillary Clinton. However, these notions were abandoned due to a lack of significant improvement in Obama’s polling. Biden inadvertently set the stage for Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage by expressing his comfort with the idea, leading to a significant moment in the campaign. Known for his relatable, retail-level political style, Biden actively campaigned in swing states. His debate against Paul Ryan was notably robust, helping to regain Obama’s momentum and contributing to their reelection with 332 Electoral College votes and 51% of the popular vote.

Despite occasional controversies over his remarks throughout both campaigns, Biden’s knack for connecting with voters proved him a valuable asset to Obama, culminating in two terms as Vice President of the United States.

2009–2017: Joe Biden’s Vice Presidency, An Overview

First Term (2009–2013)

Joe Biden, becoming the 47th Vice President on January 20, 2009, aimed to redefine the role differently from his predecessor, Dick Cheney. He focused on foreign policy, visiting Iraq every two months and overseeing U.S. policy there until the troops exited in 2011. Biden played a pivotal role during the financial crisis, overseeing infrastructure spending from the stimulus package, and was integral in the passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011 during the U.S. debt ceiling crisis. He also led the Gun Violence Task Force after the Sandy Hook shooting, negotiating crucial legislation like the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, preventing the “fiscal cliff” at the start of 2013.

Second Term (2013–2017)

Starting January 20, 2013, Biden’s second term saw less involvement in the federal government shutdown and debt-ceiling crisis resolutions due to Democratic leaders’ decisions. He continued to influence international policies, particularly in Latin America and revisited his 2006 federalization plan for Iraq as the ISIL insurgency intensified. Biden also focused on issues in the Balkans and maintained a strong relationship with Israeli leadership. Despite his active role in foreign and domestic policies, he didn’t cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, a unique record for a vice president.

2016 Presidential Campaign Considerations

Throughout his second term, speculation about Biden’s candidacy in the 2016 presidential race grew. Despite considerable encouragement and serious contemplation amid Hillary Clinton’s declining favorability, the emotional toll from his son Beau’s death ultimately led Biden to announce he wouldn’t run. On October 21, 2015, from the Rose Garden, flanked by his wife and President Obama, Biden confirmed he would not seek the presidency in 2016, citing the need for complete commitment to the role.

Throughout his vice presidency, Biden was a significant figure in the Obama administration, known for his legislative experience, international diplomacy, and efforts to address critical national issues.

2017–2019: Public Advocacy

Following his tenure as Vice President, Joe Biden transitioned to an academic role, becoming an honorary professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He led the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement until his 2019 presidential campaign announcement. During this period, Biden also ventured into writing, releasing his memoir Promise Me, Dad, in 2017 and embarking on a subsequent book tour. Financially, Biden and his wife reported earnings exceeding $15 million from speaking engagements and book sales by 2019.

Biden stayed active in political discourse, endorsing candidates and voicing his perspectives on various issues, including politics, climate change, and Donald Trump’s presidency. He continued advocating for LGBT rights, an issue he had championed as Vice President. In 2018, Biden honored Senator John McCain with a eulogy, highlighting McCain’s commitment to American ideals and bipartisan collaboration. Additionally, Biden maintained his support for cancer research, underscoring his enduring commitment to key social and political causes.

The Road to the 2020 Presidential Campaign

After much speculation and consideration, Joe Biden launched his presidential campaign on April 25, 2019. His decision was driven by concerns over the Trump administration and a sense of duty to his country. Biden entered the race with a strong profile, buoyed by public polling that favored him over President Trump and emphasized his extensive foreign policy experience.

The greatest gift is the ability to forget - to forget the bad things and focus on the good. – Joe Biden Click To Tweet

Biden’s campaign was marked by high-profile endorsements and intense scrutiny, including allegations from President Trump urging a Ukrainian investigation into the Bidens and accusations of inappropriate physical contact by Biden. Despite these challenges, Biden maintained his lead in national polls among Democrats. His campaign faced early setbacks in Iowa and New Hampshire but gained momentum with a decisive win in South Carolina, propelled by strong support from Black voters.

In 2020, Tara Reade accused Biden of sexual assault from 1993, an allegation Biden denied. Despite the controversy, Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in April, making Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee. Sanders, followed by former President Obama, endorsed Biden, who then chose Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, a historic selection.

Winning the Presidency

Biden was elected the 46th president in November 2020, overcoming incumbent Donald Trump, who challenged the election results without evidence of widespread voter fraud. The Trump administration’s refusal to cooperate initially hindered Biden’s transition. The situation escalated on January 6, 2021, when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. Biden responded by condemning the violence and calling for unity. Congress later certified the election results, officially confirming Biden’s victory.

2021-present: Presidency

Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021, becoming the oldest person to assume the office at age 78. He stands out as the second Catholic president after John F. Kennedy, the first president from Delaware, and a unique figure, having served as both vice president and president. His inauguration was notably subdued due to COVID-19 precautions and enhanced security following the Capitol attack on January 6, with Donald Trump notably absent.

First 100 Days

In the initial phase of his presidency, Biden was proactive, signing 17 executive orders within his first two days. His early actions included rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, ending the national emergency state at the U.S.-Mexico border, mandating masks on federal property, and halting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. By his first two weeks, Biden had signed more executive orders than any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt in their first month.

Early in his term, Biden also focused on foreign policy, announcing the U.S. would cease support for the Saudi-led bombing in Yemen. On the domestic front, he signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package aimed at aiding the U.S.’s recovery from COVID-19, despite not being able to include a proposed minimum wage increase. In response to a surge in migrants at the Mexican border, Biden maintained a stance of sending back adult migrants while avoiding deportation of unaccompanied children, enlisting FEMA to assist with the increasing number of arrivals.

Biden extended the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beyond the Trump administration’s May 1, 2021, deadline, setting a new withdrawal date for September 11. During an international climate summit, his administration pledged significant cuts to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. By the end of his first 100 days, Biden had emphasized his administration’s focus on climate change, pandemic recovery, and immigration policy, setting a tone for future governance.

Domestic Policy

Economic Growth and Challenges

Joe Biden marked Juneteenth as a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, and emphasized vaccination during the COVID-19 Delta variant surge. His presidency has seen notable economic activities: In 2021, real GDP surged by 5.9%, the fastest growth in 37 years, amidst high inflation. Biden increased the minimum wage for federal contractors to $15 per hour in early 2022.

However, inflation led to a dip in approval ratings, even as 2022 showed economic resilience, with a 2.1% GDP growth and unemployment falling to 3.5%. By late 2023, the economy was accelerating, with inflation cooling down and robust holiday spending indicating solid economic health.

Biden signed key economic bills like the American Rescue Plan and navigated a banking crisis in March 2023 without taxpayer bailouts. He also successfully addressed the debt ceiling crisis in 2023, preventing a default with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, seen as a win for his administration amidst economic challenges.

Impact on the Judiciary

Joe Biden has made significant contributions to the U.S. judiciary since taking office, appointing 40 federal judges by the end of his first year—more than any president since Ronald Reagan. Emphasizing diversity, most of Biden’s appointees have been women and people of color, a historic focus for any U.S. president. However, the geographical focus of these appointments in predominantly blue states means the overall ideological impact may be more limited.

A major milestone in Biden’s presidency was the retirement announcement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in January 2022. Biden fulfilled a campaign promise and nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, marking his commitment to appoint the first Black woman to the high court. The Senate confirmed Jackson on April 7, 2022, and officially took her place on the bench on June 30. By November 2023, Biden’s influence on the federal judiciary had grown to include the confirmation of 150 judges, 100 of whom are women, showcasing his administration’s dedication to diversifying the federal bench.

Infrastructure and Climate Initiatives

  • Infrastructure Overhaul: Joe Biden initiated the American Jobs Plan, proposing a $2 trillion revamp targeting transportation, utilities, and broadband, among other sectors. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, worth $1 trillion, was signed into law in November 2021, marking a significant stride in modernizing U.S. infrastructure.
  • Climate Change Initiatives: After facing legislative hurdles, the initial Build Back Better Act evolved into the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. This pivotal legislation, allocating $739 billion, focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing healthcare, and reforming taxes, with a notable $370 billion dedicated to climate and energy measures. It was enacted in August 2022 and aims to cut emissions by 2030 substantially.
  • Global Climate Leadership: At COP26, Biden pledged to cut methane emissions and collaborated with the EU and China to set ambitious emission reduction targets. In response to 2023’s heat waves, he emphasized the link to climate change and unveiled protective measures for Americans, reinforcing the urgent need for global climate action.

Biden’s tenure underscores a concerted effort to rejuvenate infrastructure and assert vigorous climate leadership. It reflects a commitment to both domestic enhancement and international cooperation on environmental issues.

In July 2022, President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 but experienced mild symptoms and was treated with Paxlovid. He briefly worked in isolation at the White House, facing a temporary return to isolation due to a positive test later that month.

Miscellaneous Domestic Policies

  • Policy Initiatives and Legislative Achievements: Biden backed changes to the Senate filibuster to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act, though this effort failed due to opposition from within his own party. In 2022, he signed the bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act, improving the United States Postal Service’s operations and finances. Despite campaign promises to halt border wall construction, the Biden administration decided to fill gaps in the Arizona border wall due to high illegal crossing activity. This decision followed both support and criticism of his border management.
  • Gun Reform and Veteran Care: Biden supported and signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in June 2022, which introduced significant gun reform measures following the Uvalde school shooting. In August 2022, the Honoring Our PACT Act was signed, enhancing healthcare for veterans exposed to toxic substances, with Jon Stewart’s advocacy drawing attention. The CHIPS and Science Act, signed in August 2022, aims to boost domestic semiconductor research and manufacturing, reflecting economic competition with China.
  • Cannabis Pardons and Marriage Equality: Biden pardoned all Americans convicted of minor cannabis possession under federal law in October 2022 and extended these pardons to include federal land cases in December 2023. He also signed the Respect for Marriage Act, reinforcing the federal recognition of same-sex and interracial marriages.

2022 Elections: Political Landscape

Biden’s rallying speech in Philadelphia and comments about Trump supporters marked the lead-up to the 2022 elections, which defied expectations of a Republican sweep. The Democrats secured a Senate majority and made historic gains, attributing their success partly to Biden’s leadership. The elections underscored a resilient democracy and signaled public support for Biden’s administration amidst political challenges.

Foreign Policy

In June 2021, President Joe Biden embarked on his first international trip, visiting Belgium, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. He attended summits of the G7, NATO, and EU.

In September 2021, Biden announced AUKUS, a strategic security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, to ensure long-term peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. This agreement included plans for nuclear-powered submarines for Australia.

Withdrawal from Afghanistan

The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, a process initiated under the Trump administration’s agreement with the Taliban for a May 1, 2021 deadline, accelerated in 2021. Most American troops had left by early July. Despite Biden’s initial dismissal of a Taliban takeover, the Afghan government fell on August 15, prompting the U.S. to deploy 6,000 troops for evacuation efforts. The withdrawal and evacuation faced broad criticism for its chaotic execution, culminating in a tragic suicide bombing at Kabul airport that killed U.S. service members and Afghan citizens. Subsequent U.S. drone strikes targeted ISIS-K members, though a mistaken strike on August 29 killed ten civilians, later acknowledged as a “tragic mistake” by the U.S. Defense Department.

The U.S. completed its military withdrawal on August 30, with Biden labeling the operation an “extraordinary success” while admitting that up to 200 Americans who wished to leave remained in Afghanistan. This marked a significant chapter in U.S. foreign policy, ending America’s longest war and sparking debate over the withdrawal’s execution and implications.

China Relations

Under President Joe Biden, the U.S. has faced challenges with China’s growing assertiveness, particularly in the Pacific. Concerns arose with the Solomon Islands-China security pact, prompting Biden to reinforce ties with Australia and New Zealand. In a notable shift, Biden suggested in a 2022 interview that the U.S. would defend Taiwan against an aggressive act by China. However, his administration later reaffirmed that U.S. policy towards Taiwan remains unchanged.

Biden’s efforts to limit Chinese technological advances included several executive actions to preserve U.S. leadership in key industries. Tensions escalated in February 2023 when the U.S. downed a suspected Chinese spy balloon, leading to strained relations. Despite China’s claim that the balloon was for meteorological purposes, U.S. investigations determined it transmitted data to Beijing, complicating U.S.-China dynamics further.

Support for Ukraine

In early 2022, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, President Joe Biden took a leading role in the international response. He placed tough sanctions on Russia and sent Ukraine over $8 billion in weapons to help defend themselves. Later, Biden requested $33 billion from Congress to assist Ukraine further, which lawmakers increased to around $40 billion, emphasizing the significant U.S. commitment to Ukraine’s struggle. Biden pointed out that the war had caused global food and energy crises, noting Ukraine and Russia’s crucial role as major international suppliers of wheat and corn.

In a show of solidarity, Biden visited Kyiv in February 2023, just before the invasion’s first anniversary, where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and promised even more military aid. Over the year, the U.S. gave Ukraine approximately $113 billion in aid. In October 2023, Biden’s administration requested an additional $61.4 billion in aid for Ukraine, highlighting ongoing U.S. support in the face of the ongoing invasion.

Israel

During a surge in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in May 2021, President Joe Biden affirmed his party’s support for Israel. In October 2023, amid an unexpected attack by Hamas that escalated into a war, Biden’s efforts to foster Israel-Saudi Arabia relations faced challenges. He expressed strong backing for Israel, deploying aircraft carriers to prevent further escalation and proposing an additional $14 billion in military aid for Israel.

As the situation intensified, Biden urged Israel to mitigate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Although rejecting immediate ceasefire calls, he advocated for “humanitarian pauses” to facilitate aid delivery to Gaza’s population. Following his intervention, Israel consented to four-hour daily pauses to allow for hostage negotiations. Biden has openly identified himself as a Zionist, indicating ideological solid and political support for Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

Classified Documents Incident

In November 2022, classified documents from Joe Biden’s vice presidency were discovered in a locked closet at the Penn Biden Center and later in his Wilmington home’s garage. The U.S. National Archives retrieved these documents, and Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed John R. Lausch Jr. for an initial investigation, followed by Robert K. Hur as special counsel. Despite further FBI searches uncovering additional documents with classified markings, Hur concluded the investigation in February 2024, deciding against charges for Biden.

Separately, in January 2023, the House of Representatives began probing the foreign business dealings of Biden’s son, Hunter, and brother, James. This inquiry, partly inspired by the Hunter Biden laptop controversy, aimed to investigate the alleged corruption. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy later initiated a formal impeachment inquiry against Biden in September, citing corruption allegations. However, as of December 2023, congressional investigations found no evidence of Biden’s wrongdoing, leading to a House vote to formalize the impeachment inquiry, which passed narrowly.

2024 Presidential Campaign

Joe Biden announced his candidacy for reelection in the 2024 presidential race on April 25, 2023, choosing Kamala Harris as his running mate again. This announcement came exactly four years after he began his 2020 campaign. At the time of his announcement, Biden’s approval rating stood at 37%, with the economy being the population’s primary concern. His campaign has since focused on promoting economic growth and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, encapsulating his message in the phrase “finish the job.”

In the 2024 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Biden demonstrated strong support, even without being on the New Hampshire primary ballot, winning 63.8% of the votes through a write-in campaign. He had advocated for South Carolina to hold the first primary, where he secured 96% of the vote. Successes continued in Nevada and Michigan, and by “Super Tuesday,” Biden had won 15 of 16 primaries, capturing over 80% of the vote in the majority of them. By March 12, he had garnered the necessary 1,968 delegates to become the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for the 2024 election.

Political Positions: Balanced Approach

Joe Biden is a moderate Democrat who bases his political views on Catholic social teachings and positions himself as a centrist, combining both conservative and liberal perspectives. He supports economic policies that moderate corporate tax cuts and advocates for expanding the Affordable Care Act to increase health insurance coverage. Despite initially opposing same-sex marriage, Biden has supported it since 2012, reflecting his evolving stance on social issues.

Biden’s environmental agenda focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting clean energy, and conserving nature. He aims to achieve a carbon-free power sector by 2035. He has taken a firm stance on China, addressing human rights abuses and viewing it as a significant competitor. His foreign policy emphasizes caution in U.S. military interventions, supporting diplomatic solutions and non-military aid to opposition movements.

On abortion rights, Biden supports Roe v. Wade and has acted to protect abortion access, committing to codify Roe’s protections into federal law. His approach reflects a blend of traditional liberalism with a focus on liberty, equality, and justice, balanced by a vital federal government role.

Family and Personal Life

Joe Biden has a family with notable members in various fields, such as law, education, and activism. His family, of predominantly Irish and English descent, became the first family upon his inauguration. Biden’s life has been marked by personal tragedies and achievements, highlighted by his relationships and his children’s lives.

Biden was first married to Neilia Hunter in 1966, with whom he had three children: Beau, Hunter, and Naomi. Tragically, Neilia and Naomi died in a car accident in 1972. Biden faced the immense challenge of raising his sons while beginning his long tenure in the U.S. Senate, where he was sworn in at the hospital bedside of his injured sons.

Folks, I can tell you I've known eight presidents, three of them intimately. – Joe Biden Click To Tweet

In 1977, Biden married Jill Jacobs, bringing stability and expanding his family, which included their daughter Ashley. Beau Biden, born in 1969, followed in his father’s footsteps into law and politics, serving as Delaware’s Attorney General before his untimely death from brain cancer in 2015. Hunter Biden, born in 1970, pursued a career in law and consultancy, with his business dealings becoming subjects of political scrutiny and controversy.

Ashley Biden, born in 1981 from Joe’s marriage to Jill, engaged in social activism from a young age, influenced by her father’s political career. Biden’s grandchildren, from both Beau and Hunter, play a significant role in his life, evidencing his family’s influence on another generation.

The Biden family also includes pets that have been part of their household, signifying the family’s love for animals. Major, a German Shepherd, was notably rehomed due to behavioral issues at the White House, while Champ passed away early in Biden’s presidency. The family later welcomed Commander, another German Shepherd, and Willow, a tabby cat, emphasizing their affection for animal companions.

Joe Biden’s Personality Traits

Joe Biden is known for several distinctive personality traits that have defined both his public persona and his approach to leadership:

  1. Empathy: Biden is a very empathetic person and is often able to connect with others through shared experiences of loss and hardship. He has gone through several personal tragedies, including the deaths of his first wife and daughter and his son Beau. These difficult experiences have profoundly impacted his ability to understand and relate to others who are also experiencing grief and suffering.
  2.  Resilience: Joe Biden has faced and overcome many challenges in his life and career. Despite losing family members and struggling with a stutter since childhood, he has always shown resilience. This ability to bounce back has become a defining feature of his character.
  3.  Gregariousness: Biden is known for his friendly and outgoing personality. He enjoys interacting with people in formal political settings or casual encounters. This trait has helped him build relationships across the political spectrum, contributing to his reputation as a personable and accessible leader.
  4.  Commitment to Public Service: Biden’s career spanning several decades in public service, first as a Senator and then as Vice President under Barack Obama, reflects his deep commitment to serving the public. His dedication to public service is driven by a desire to positively impact Americans’ lives.
  5.  Bipartisanship: Biden has a long history of working across party lines to achieve legislative goals. He believes in finding common ground and building consensus and emphasizes the importance of dialogue and cooperation in politics.
  6.  Loyalty: He values loyalty highly in his personal life and politics. He is known for his loyalty to his family, friends, and political allies and often speaks about the importance of trust and fidelity in relationships.
  7.  Sense of Duty: Biden often talks about his duty to his country and its citizens. This sense of responsibility has guided his career in public service and approach to governance as President.
  8.  Optimism: Biden stays positive despite personal and professional struggles. He believes in Americans’ ability to overcome difficulties and often expresses hope for the country’s future.

These traits, among others, have shaped Joe Biden’s public image and his approach to the presidency, influencing his policies and interactions on both the national and international stages.

Epilogue

Joe Biden’s biography is not just a chronicle of personal and political milestones; it’s a narrative that echoes the resilience and hope of the American spirit. From overcoming profound personal loss to steering the nation through challenging times, Biden’s life story is a remarkable testament to his strength, compassion, and unwavering dedication to service. As he continues to lead the United States, his life remains an inspiration to many, illustrating that with perseverance and empathy, it’s possible to overcome adversity and achieve great success.

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