Politics The Contenders: Joe Biden
posted by January 31 at 12:15 PMon
Sure, November 2008 is nearly two years away, but it’s apparently never too early to declare one’s intention to run for president, and thus it’s never too early to get to know the people who might be the next leader of the free world. This month we’ll be taking a brief look at them.
Sen. Joseph Biden, currently chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced today (again) that he is running for president in 2008. And then he promptly got himself involved in a mini-controversy over a potentially offensive statement he made about Sen. Barack Obama’s candidacy.
Biden grew up and went to college in Delaware. He then attended Syracuse University College of Law and, after graduating in 1968, passed the Bar in Delaware, where he immediately began practicing law. He served two years on the New Castle County Council and then, in 1972, ran a successful campaign for U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Caleb Boggs. At the time he first took office, Biden, then 30, was the fifth-youngest U.S. Senator in history.
Shortly after he was elected, Biden’s wife and three children were involved in a deadly car crash. His wife and infant daughter were killed, while his two young sons were seriously injured. He was sworn in from their bedsides. He remarried in 1977 to Jill Jacobs, with whom he has a daughter, Ashley. He has been re-elected five times, has been a Senator under seven presidents, and has served for a number of years on both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden presided over the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He is also responsible for creating the position of “Drug Czar” to oversee the nation’s drug control policy. He supported the war in Iraq and has voted for funding for it, but has continually called for more troops.
Biden has a mixed voting record on abortion, but has mainly voted pro-choice. He has generally voted with Republicans on economic issues, particularly on bankruptcy laws. He voted for re-authorizing the Patriot Act, is against drilling in ANWR, is pro-gun control, and voted against a Constitutional amendment banning same sex marriages.
In 1988, Biden ran for the Democratic presidential nomination but withdrew in scandal because it was found that he plagiarized a speech from British Labor Party Leader Neil Kinnock. Biden thought about running again in 2004 and was considered as a vice presidential candidate, but reportedly urged John Kerry to choose John McCain instead.
(With help from super-star intern Sage Van Wing)
Previously: John Edwards, John McCain, Bill Richardson, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Barack Obama, Sam Brownback, Christopher J. Dodd, Newt Gingrich, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Huckabee, and Tom Vilsack.