Joe Biden's Political Career
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Joe Biden’s Long and Rich Political Career

Joe Biden elected President of the United States. The ex-senator, former vice-president of Obama has a long political career behind him. Take a look back at 48 years of politics that led him to the supreme position.

After an interminable election and a vote count which, as expected, took longer than usual due to the massive number of postal votes, Joe Biden is finally elected 46th President of the United States. After four days of suspense, the Democratic candidate and former vice-president of Barack Obama was given the winner with at least 273 voters, thanks to success in the key state of Pennsylvania, according to major American media including CNN and the New York Times.

The Democrat, who will turn 78 on November 20, will find a fractured America, which he will try to “heal”, as he healed his own wounds. Back on 48 years of a political career which led him to the supreme position. Years filled with victories, blunders, and personal tragedies.

1972, the first term

Joe Biden was 30 years old when he first became a senator in 1972 in the state of Delaware. He manages to narrowly win thanks to the votes of the African-American community, with whom he has been able to forge links. A few days before his inauguration, his wife and one-year-old daughter die in a car accident. Joe Biden, devastated, thinks of suicide but manages to get up and continues alone to raise his two other sons.

1987, the first attempt

First presidential attempt. Joe Biden is entering the Democratic primary. But he was quickly accused of plagiarism. He is accused of having taken over the speech of a British politician, Neil Kinnock, without quoting it. Faced with these accusations, Joe Biden opts for a strategy that he will keep throughout his life: confess his wrongs and apologize. He withdraws from the race despite being one of the favorites.

1987, president of the Judicial Commission of the Senate

1987-1995.  For eight years, Joe Biden chaired the powerful Senate Judiciary Commission. In 1991, he notably directed the hearings in the Clarence Thomas affair and tried to block his appointment to the Supreme Court, without success. Clarence Thomas is accused by one of his former colleagues, Anita Hill, of sexual harassment. The Commission buries this testimony and refuses to hear any more.

1994, co-author of the Crime Law

Biden Crime Law. Joe Biden is the co-author of the criminal law known as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. The text is controversial within the Democratic Party because it increases the number of police on the streets and would contribute to the mass incarnation. A law supported at the time by President Bill Clinton.

2000, a law against violence against women

Joe Biden co-drafts a law against violence against women, the Violence Against Women Act. In particular, it allows the creation of a special office within the Ministry of Justice and allocates a budget to investigate these crimes. Despite legislative battles over its legal status, it is still in effect in the United States. Joe Biden even made it a campaign argument.

2003, at the ElysEe

Joe Biden received at the Élysée by French President Jacques Chirac. Year when relations are strained between the two countries because of the outbreak of the war in Iraq. Joe Biden was then a senator and vice-chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

2007, a second attempt

Joe Biden launches a second time in the Democratic primary. In front of him, the young Barack Obama and the experienced Hillary Clinton. In this image, during a debate in 2007 in South Carolina. Later, a blunder, with which he is familiar, will force him to withdraw from the race. Joe Biden says of Barack Obama:

“You’ve got the first well-articulated, smart, clean, beautiful-looking African American.”

He apologizes and gives up. But this blunder is far from harming him because he then approaches Barack Obama to apologize. The two men become friends.

2008, vice-president

Barack Obama chooses Joe Biden as vice president. He knows that Biden will know how to speak with all the senators he has known for some for thirty years. Joe Biden is a man of compromise, a pragmatist who knows how to listen to both camps.

2012, again vice-president

Four more years. Barack Obama is re-elected and leaves with the same team. He keeps Joe Biden as vice president. Springboard for the next election.

2015, death of his son

A new drama strikes Joe Biden. His son Beau, named as his political heir, Attorney General of Delaware, died of devastating cancer. After this disappearance, very affected, Joe Biden decides not to run for the Democratic primary in 2016, leaving Hillary Clinton to face Donald Trump.

2019, the joint “Built Back Better” program

One of Joe Biden’s talents is his great political intelligence. He knows you can’t win alone. As soon as he wins the Democratic primary, he looks to his opponents yesterday, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders to create a common agenda. “Built Back Better” is a stimulus plan that relies on green energy and aims in particular to make university free for the poorest families. To build it, Joe Biden, the moderate, agreed to negotiate with the leftmost fringe of his party.

2020, a Homeric campaign

Invested by the Democratic Party, Joe Biden embarks on the greatest political race of his life: the presidency. The battle against Donald Trump is tough and long. The result takes time to emerge because postal votes slow down the counting process. But Joe Biden has patience and persistence and is biding his time. His strengths: empathy, sense of compromise, his connection with the African-American community (and Barack Obama), his humility – especially in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, for which he advocates the strictest health measures -, made the difference in this election. And the urge to get rid of Trump too.


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