From youngest senator in 1972 to oldest President: Joe Biden’s inspiring 50 years’ journey
In 1972, Joe Biden became the fifth-youngest senator in history and now in 2020, he has made history again as the oldest President ever to sit in the Oval Office. Tragedy and triumph steadily followed Biden’s personal life and political career. He had lost his first wife and infant daughter in a car crash, son to brain cancer. In his career too, he had tasted failure as his two previous presidential bids remained unsuccessful. But in life and in politics, Biden believes in possibilities — the same possibilities that he sees in America, that he talked about in his victory speech on Saturday after he was declared the winner, following a gruelling four-day counting.
Joe Biden first ran for President from Delaware in 1988 but withdrew his bid after he forgot to attribute British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock whom he had quoted while delivering the closing remarks of the Democratic Presidential Primary. This plagiarism scandal sunk his campaign but even Kinnock himself didn’t think too much of it, and was quoted in a Guardian interview saying, “Joe is honest, he’s courageous, he’s well-informed and experienced, and most of all, he’s rational, all things that Trump isn’t”.
Biden ran for President against Barrack Obama in 2008, his second attempt, and after Obama won, Biden served as his Vice President. He brought to the Obama administration years of executive experience and was instrumental in the passage of many historic Acts such as the Affordable Care Act, legalisation of same-sex marriage, the 2009 Stimulus Recovery Act, Paris Climate Agreement etc, Acts which Donald Trump either withdrew or threatened withdrawal, and which Joe Biden has promised the masses he would uphold as the President.
Death of his oldest son Beau in 2015 from brain cancer hit him hard, and the bereaved Biden who had lost his first wife and infant daughter in a car crash in 1972 just weeks after his 30th birthday, decided not to run for Presidency in 2016. In the months leading up to the 2020 election, Biden’s oldest granddaughter, Naomi Biden, his late son’s eldest child, became a source of support online, canvassing the more Left-leaning Gen Z voters who were in favour of a Bernie Sanders Presidency.
This veteran leader from Delaware has become a familiar face in the Washington circles and is largely seen as a bipartisan figure, whose peculiar choice in friends and associates have helped the Obama administration pass laws that were largely seen as partisan. Biden has been long-time friends with Republican heavyweight Mitch McConnell who was the only Republican to attend his eldest son Beau’s funeral in 2015 and has also stayed away from criticizing his youngest son Hunter, much to the chagrin of his more conservative colleagues. With Democrats unable to usher in a ‘blue wave’ in the Senate, Biden’s acumen as a bipartisan deal maker will be extremely crucial for the new establishment as it sets to undo what Donald Trump has done to the country.