Until the last hours of this extraordinary American presidential election, Joe Biden will have remained faithful to his reputation as a blunderer. Tuesday, November 3, during a final meeting in Philadelphia, in the key state of Pennsylvania, he introduced a crowd of voters to his son Beau … who died in 2015. Enough to bring water to Donald Trump’s mill who , regularly, suggests that his Democratic competitor of almost 78 years is senile (he nicknames him “Sleepy Joe”, Joe asleep “).
A slip of the tongue without consequences for the one who will become the 46th President of the United States, with at least 273 electors thanks to a success in the key state of Pennsylvania, as announced this Saturday by CNN and New York Times after four days of suspense. It must be said that, from an early age, Biden learned perseverance from his father, a used car salesman: “Son, you don’t measure a man by the number of times he is knocked down, but by how quickly he gets up, ”he reminded her.
His first fight, stuttering, he overcame as a child. Joe Biden, born in 1942 in the working-class town of Scranton, Pennsylvania, is frequently mocked by his comrades for his difficulty expressing himself. He confronts them by memorizing long poems which he recites aloud in front of the mirror. When he was a teenager, his family moved to Mayfield, a middle-class town in Delaware. He attended university there, where he studied history and political science. President Kennedy’s inauguration speech in 1961 will mark him: “And you fellow Americans, don’t ask yourself what your country can do for you, but ask yourself what you can do for your country. “
During a “spring break” in the Bahamas, he meets the one who will become his first wife, Neilia Hunter. Graduated in 1965, he enrolled in the same university as her, in Syracuse, New York, to study law. Despite poor performance he returned to Delaware, to Wilmington, to practice a few years as a lawyer. At the same time, he joined the local Democratic Party.
Neilia gave her three children in three years: Beau, born in 1969, Hunter, then Naomi. At 29, the father turned to politics and became the fifth youngest senator of the United States. But this winter 1972, the first great drama of his life prevented him from savoring his victory. Neilia, out in the car to buy a Christmas tree with the three little ones, is killed in an accident which also takes young Naomi and seriously injures Beau and Hunter.
“I began to understand how desperation could lead people to give up; how suicide was not just an option but a rational option… It was as if God had played a horrible trick on me, I was angry ”, he will recount. Resilience wins. He takes the oath from his sons’ hospital room and commutes daily by train between Washington and Delaware to return to care for them. He will be re-elected five times and will become the longest-serving senator from Delaware. In 1977, he remarried with the one who is still by his side today, Jill Tracy Jacobs, “Dr Jill Biden” today. From their union, Ashley was born in 1981.
Obama-Biden, the winning ticket
Joe Biden’s political life has also seen several setbacks. In 1987, he tried for the first time to run for the supreme office, but ended his campaign after a scandal of plagiarism of speech. Twenty years later, he tries again. But he is breaking his teeth against Barack Obama. The latter ends up choosing it on his ticket and takes him to the White House. It is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The president associates his number two with all decisions, a pact that Joe Biden intends to reproduce with Kamala Harris, his vice-president.
At the end of his second term in 2017, Barack Obama presented Joe Biden with the Medal of Freedom, one of the highest presidential distinctions. The ceremony is all the more vibrant as the latter is bruised by a new tragedy. Her son Beau died a year and a half earlier from brain cancer at the age of 46. A drama that had pushed him to abandon his presidential ambitions in 2016. He bowed to Hillary Clinton. “If I had been there, I could have won,” he regretted. Four years later, there is no question of giving up his chance against Donald Trump. “We are in a battle for the soul of America,” he keeps repeating.
However, the race had started very badly… Even before the announcement of his candidacy, several women accuse him of inappropriate gestures… The troubles continue with catastrophic performances during the first democratic debates. Added to this are the suspicions of old conflicts of interest linked to the work of his son Hunter for a gas company involved in a corruption scandal in Kiev …
But Biden perseveres. He focuses his campaign on emotion and reconciliation in a country wounded by deep political divisions. And even the Covid-19 pandemic, which has sometimes forced it to be discreet, is not slowing its rise.
VIDEO. Trump-Biden debate turns into rat race
In the light of an unprecedented economic crisis, moderate Joe Biden also changes his speech and slides to the left. So much so that this centrist could well become the most progressive president in the history of the United States. By his side, Kamala Harris becomes the first woman and the first black person in the country’s history to hold the vice-presidency.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr