WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Joe Biden: it’s a household name that’s made headlines in the political scene for half a century. From his days serving in local government to ending up in the nation’s top office, here’s how he got to where he is today.
After finishing up school, an eager 28-year-old Biden was elected to the New Castle County Council in Delaware in 1971. Just two years later in 1973, he’s sworn into the United States Senate, kickstarting what would become a long, storied career in national politics.
In several decades as a Democratic senator from Delaware, he served on multiple committees and made a few failed presidential bids, one in the late ’80s and again some 20 years later in 2008.
Then-Senator Barack Obama called on fellow Senator Joe Biden to take the number two spot on the 2008 democratic ticket, with Biden withdrawing his candidacy for president.
“He’s an expert in foreign policy whose values are deeply rooted in the middle class. He is uniquely suited to be my partner as we put this country back on track,” said Obama of Biden in the 2008 announcement.
Soon after the Obama-Biden announcement, he took to the debate stage with Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, who ran on the Republican ticket alongside Arizona Senator John McCain. Those debates were different than those in more recent memory, with a lot of back and forth about the Middle East and other pressing issues, like how to proceed forward after the Bush presidency.
Weeks later, Obama and Biden were elected, beating out the McCain-Palin campaign by an electoral college margin of 365 votes to 173 votes.
After spending two terms as VP, and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in his last days in office, he took time off from the political scene, but not for long.
“That’s why today, I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States,” said Biden in an early 2019 video announcement that sent shockwaves across the nation.
The announcement came after months of speculation surrounding a potential 2020 run for Biden. In a field of diverse Democratic candidates, Biden held his own against other big-name Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, eventually coming out on top to win the Democratic nomination and face-off with President Donald Trump.
The debates that followed are ones most Americans will never forget, with the shocking political rhetoric, interruptions, and eye rolls. Those 2020 debates were watched by millions across the globe and set the tone for the last few weeks leading up to Election Day.
What followed that fateful Tuesday in November was a week that kept us glued to our television screens.
Days after the final ballots were cast, media outlets began calling the race in favor of Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris. Celebrations poured into the streets in the hours that followed, and later that Saturday night came to a Biden victory speech from his home state of Delaware.
“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify. Who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States,” said Biden in his victory speech.
And today, over 50 years after stepping onto the political scene, he took the oath of office to become President Joe Biden.