Biden, Joseph Robinette, Jr.

Biden, Joseph Robinette, Jr.

Biden, Joseph Robinette, Jr. (bīdˈən), 1942–, 46th President of the United States (2021–), b. Scranton, Pa. A lawyer and Democrat, he was elected to the U.S. Senate from Delaware, where his family had moved when he was young, in 1972, and was reelected six times, retiring in 2009. He served as chairman of the Senate judiciary (1987–95) and foreign relations (2001–3, 2007–8) committees, and was a prominent Democratic spokesman on foreign policy issues while in the Senate. Twice an unsuccessful candidate for the presidential nomination, he was chosen by the 2008 Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, to be his running mate. In the Nov., 2008, election the Democratic ticket defeated Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin; they were reelected in Nov., 2012, defeating Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

In 2019 he became a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. He became the presumptive nominee in Apr., 2020, after Sen. Bernie Sanders withdrew from the race, and later chose Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. In the election, which was dominated by two issues, the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the personality and presidency of Donald Trump, Biden and Harris easily won the popular vote but only narrowly secured a few states essential to electoral vote victory over President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Trump refused to concede and repeatedly claimed fraud without evidence, and Republicans unsuccessfully challenged some state results in court. Biden became the oldest person ever to be elected president of the United States. In office, he quickly resumed full participation in the World Health Organization, moved to rejoin the 2015 Paris climate accord, and reversed a range of other Trump administration policies.

Bibliography

See his memoir of the death of his son Beau (2017); autobiography (2007).

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