Meet the Candidates: Democratic Nominee for President of the United States, Joe Biden

Veda Maturi, Contributing Writer

Joseph R. Biden Jr. is the Democratic nominee of the highly viewed and anticipated upcoming presidential 2020 election in the United States of America.

Joe Biden is an experienced politician, one who studied and practiced law, served as councilman in the 1970’s, served as the senator for Delaware for six terms, and as the vice president of the USA from 2008-2016.

Early Life:

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was born on Nov. 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania to Joseph Biden Sr. and Catherine Eugenia “Jean” Finnegan. Biden credits much of his success and has expressed his gratitude towards his parents’ upbringing on multiple occasions. Joe grew up with a stutter that affected him for years into his adult life as well. At the age of 13, Biden moved to Mayfield, Delaware where he began attending St. Helena school. Although he started there, he was later accepted into his dream academy, Archmere Academy, for the latter half of his schooling. He graduated from the Academy in 1961.

In 1962, Biden headed to the University of Delaware to study history and political science, alongside playing football. On a trip to the Bahamas during his junior year, he met Neilia Hunter who he later married in 1966. After finishing his studies in Delaware, he got accepted into Syracuse University Law School in 1965. As for his performance in school, Joe was a “mediocre” law student, in fact, he failed a class his first year for failing to cite a law review article. Biden claims that it was during his college years that his interest in politics began to take root. He has also said that the inauguration of John F. Kennedy was a huge driving source in his political beginnings as well. He graduated in 1968. 

Personal Life:

After graduation, Biden moved to Wilmington, Delaware and began to practice law. He was successful and even started his own law firm in 1971. Around the same time, he became an active member of the Democratic party and was a councilman of New Castle County from 1970-1972. Biden was also encouraged to run for the Senate in 1972, at the young age of 29 years old.

In December of 1972, while Joe was setting up his office in D.C, his family went out to buy a Christmas tree and were met with an accident. Neilia and Naomi, his wife and infant daughter, both passed away and his two sons had to be treated for major injuries. Many did not expect him to win as he was only 29 and was running against a strong and experienced politician, but he won and became the fifth youngest senator of America. He was sworn in as a senator in 1973.

During his time as senator, in 1975, Joe met Jill Tracy Jacobs, the couple later got married on June 17, 1977. Jill has two masters of Reading and English, and a doctorate in education. She worked as an english teacher and professor and plans to actively pursue her career teaching alongside her duties as first lady if her husband wins the race. 

Senate Career:

His senate career lasted from 1973-2009. After being re-elected six times, he became Delaware’s longest serving senator. Throughout his senate career he worked in multiple senate committees, but specialized in foreign policy and also became the chairman of the judiciary committee. Biden rose up the ranks to become chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, and is respected throughout the country for being one of the most well-versed and seasoned senators in foreign policy.


During his career, he advocated for strategic arms limitation with Soviet Union, promoted peace and stability in the Balkans, supported expanding NATO, and even spoke out against George W. Bush and his dealing with the issues with the Iraq War. He has repeatedly expressed his approval of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and is a clear proponent of the organization. Biden also believes that the military should spend more time working on defense in space and cyber warfare. Biden was part of the Judiciary Committee early in his senate career, becoming a Ranking Member from 1981 to 1987, and serving as chairman from 1987 to 1995. As chairman, Biden voted on over a dozen Justice nominations and dealt with one of the most controversial hearings; the confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas. This hearing showcased many of Biden’s values in politics.

Early Presidential Campaigns:

In 1987, Biden sought out to run for the democratic presidential nomination. But while campaigning, reports of his speech being plagiarized surfaced. Due to high amounts of criticism and harsh backlash, Biden dropped out of the race. He ran again for democratic nominee in 2007, but Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had dominated the race and he dropped out after receiving very low numbers in support. Following his dropout, Obama selected him as his running mate in the 2007 presidential election. On Nov. 2, 2008, Obama and Biden defeated John McCain and Sarah Palin, and Biden secured the spot of vice president. 

Vice Presidential Career:

Biden served alongside Obama for two terms, aiding him with his extensive knowledge on foreign affairs throughout the latter’s presidency. He has represented the U.S. in political affairs internationally to over 50 countries during his two terms. Alongside foreign affairs and coming from this part of America, Biden has repeatedly worked to improve conditions for the middle-class. He played a key role in restarting job creation and rebuilding the economy during the turmoil in his term. He worked to save the auto industry and kept over 1.5 million jobs in the industry. As he was finishing up his second term, he started to make plans for running for president in 2016, but never went through with them due to family tragedy; he lost his son, Beau, to brain cancer in 2015.

Presidential Stances:

Joe Biden, if elected, will land a place in history; he will be the second president to practice Catholicism while serving and also picked the first black and South Asian American as Vice President. He announced Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate in August. Biden has several plans to move forward with if he becomes president. He has been campaigning on a wide variety of fronts including Healthcare, women’s rights, gun violence, COVID-19, and more. Biden has been constantly campaigning, while following safety measures, and his goals for his presidency are big. They will certainly affect social issues if implemented.

Biden plans to start a new national public health insurance program that builds upon Obamacare, similar to Medicare. He promises to keep private insurance, something many of the Republican Party have claimed he won’t hold up to, but members of his own party have criticized him for not going far enough. Biden also looks to extend coverage of healthcare to a wider range of citizens; the new plan will be open to more middle class families and lower-income-earning individuals. 

Additionally, he plans to increase the value of tax-credits. He also claims that he is going to make efforts to regulate drug prices for drugs from exclusive brands, on top of placing tax penalties on companies increasing the prices over inflation rates. Within the current healthcare system, he wants to make an effort to expand healthcare equally to all citizens regardless of race, gender identity, and/or sexual orientation. It also has been reported that Biden supports ‘woman’s choice’ for abortions, will strive to keep them legal, and bring back Planned Parenthood; opposing Trump’s plans on the organization.

Considering gun violence, America has been debating the right path to take. Biden has stated on his campaign website that he plans to work on repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. He has made bold statements about wanting to completely ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons as a whole. And has mentioned that he wants to tighten regulations on firearm possession and even reinstate the Obama-Biden rule of background checks.

Plans on COVID-19:

Joe Biden has criticized the handling of COVID-19 by Trump. He has repeatedly said that the Trump administration has failed to carry out safe and precautionary measures in dealing with coronavirus. 

Regarding testing, Biden wants to invest heavily in expanding testing to the American public. He wants to double the number of drive-in testing sights, expand free testing to more Americans, and wants to invest in in-home and instant tests. Biden has also mentioned he wants to reinforce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements throughout the country. His plans include investing in PPE manufacture – face masks, face shields, etc. – and regulating rules to mandate mask wearing. Considering small and or local businesses, Joe wants to invest in providing these businesses with “restart packages” that will assist and cover their costs of operating safely and the costs of additional resources, like plexiglass and PPE for workers.

Joe Biden has been a part of a vital section of American politics and has definitely made an impact with his beliefs and actions. Having been through tragedy and growth and through his various experiences in politics, Joe Biden believes he can guide America through tragedy and make it stronger while working closely with the citizens.