Born November 20, 1942, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was the 47th vice president and the 46th president of the United States, defeating Donald J. Trump in the November 2020 U.S. election, and was inaugurated as the oldest president in history on January 20th, 2021. Biden formerly served as the United States vice president during the Obama Administration from 2009-2017.
Joseph “Joe” R. Biden Jr. was born on November 20, 1942, in Scranton, PA, to Catherine Eugenia "Jean" Biden and Joseph Robinette Biden Sr. Joe Biden was the first child of Biden Sr. and Jean, followed by his sister Valarie, and two brothers, Francis and James.
Before Biden’s birth, Joseph Sr. experienced financial hardships that led to Biden’s family living with Jean’s parents (the Finnegans). Despite the post-war economic boom in Scranton, PA, Joe Sr. struggled to find steady work. He eventually found a job in Wilmington, Delaware, and commuted for a time before moving the family to Claymont, Delaware, in 1953. Later Biden Sr. found success as a used car salesman, which afforded the family a steady middle-class lifestyle.
Joe Biden Jr. attended a private catholic high school in Claymont, known as Archmere Academy. Despite his academic struggles due to a learning disability and a prominent stutter, he was a standout football player at Archmere. Biden later overcame his stutter by reading poetry in front of a mirror while monitoring his facial expressions.
Neilia Hunter and Joe Biden met while Biden was on a spring break vacation in Nassau, Bahamas. Shortly after, Biden began his education for his Juris Doctor at Syracuse University, where Hunter was studying to become a teacher. The couple wed on August 27, 1966, and had three children, Joseph Robinette “Beau” III, Robert Hunter “Hunter,” and Naomi Christina “Amy” Biden. In 1968, the couple moved to Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden began work at a law firm and later ran for the United States Senate in Deleware.
On December 18, 1972, just after Biden became a U.S. senator-elect, Neilia Biden was driving with her children, Amy, Hunter, and Beau, to pick out a Christmas tree. While at an intersection on Delaware Route 7, she unintentionally pulled out in front of a tractor-trailer truck going north-bound. Neilia and her three children were transported to Wilmington General Hospital; Neilia and Amy were pronounced dead on arrival. Hunter and Beau received treatment for severe injuries at the hospital. Joe Biden swore into the senate for the first time on January 3, 1973, at Wilmington General, remaining by his children’s sides while they healed.
Biden met Jill Tracy Jacobs in 1975 on a blind date arranged by Biden’s brother. Biden admitted that he had already taken notice of her previously in a park advertisement. On June 17, 1977, Biden married Jacobs during a catholic ceremony. The couple has one daughter together, Ashley Blazer (1981). Biden credits Jill for renewing his interest in politics and life. Despite previous anger with God concerning the loss of his first-born daughter and first wife, Biden attends church regularly with Jill at St. Josephs on the Brandywine in Greenville, Delaware.
In February of 1988, Biden was transported to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center for surgery on an intracranial berry aneurysm after multiple severe neck pain episodes. He underwent a second surgery in May of 1988 for an additional aneurysm and suffered from a pulmonary embolism, a sometimes fatal surgical complication, during his recovery. The full recovery kept Biden from returning to the Senate for seven months.
In August of 2013, Beau Biden was admitted to the University of Texas A&M MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. Here, Beau was diagnosed with brain cancer after experiencing disorientation and weakness. Beau underwent the removal of a brain lesion and was treated with chemotherapy and radiation; his cancer was determined to be stable. Biden encouraged Beau to continue serving as the U.S. Attorney General at this time. On May 20, 2015, Beau was admitted to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, after a brain cancer recurrence. Beau died at Walter Reed 10 days later, on May 30, 2015, at 46 years-old. He was buried at the church the Biden family regularly attends, St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine in Greenville, Delaware.
After serving two consecutive terms as the United States vice president, Biden became the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. In this time he led the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
Biden wrote a memoir titled Promise Me, Dad in 2017 and went on a book tour.
After graduating from Archmere Academy, Biden attended the University of Delaware, where he played football briefly during his freshman year. He graduated in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a double major in history and political science. Biden ranked 506th in his class of 688.
Biden attended the Syracuse University College of Law from 1965 to 1968, when he graduated as a Juris Doctor ranked 76th in his class of 85. Biden went on to pass the Delaware Bar exam in 1969. While in school at Syracuse, Biden received multiple military draft deferments and was eventually deemed exempt from service due to asthma.
Biden began his professional career in 1968, clerking for a Wilmington, Delaware law firm headed by a prominent local republican by the name of William Prickett. At the time, Biden thought of himself as a republican. The local Republican party tried recruiting him to register, but ultimately Biden registered as an Independent due to disliking the Republican Presidential nominee at the time, Richard Nixon.
In 1969, Biden became a public defender for another local law firm headed by a locally-active Democrat. Biden was named to the Democratic Forum, a group looking to reform and revitalize the state’s Democratic Party, by the firm’s head. Biden formally registered as a Democrat as a result of his affiliation. Later that year, Biden was elected to a county council seat in the New Castle County, Deleware, a district usually served by Republicans. He served on the council while continuing to practice law until 1972.
In 1972, Biden ran against Republican incumbent Senator J. Caleb Boggs. Biden was the only running Democrat and was presumed no possibility of winning due to lack of campaign financing. Despite the odds, Biden defeated Boggs, winning 50.5% of the vote. Biden’s family members managed and staffed his campaign and spent significant amounts of time meeting and speaking to voters face-to-face. The campaign’s primary platform focused on retreating from the Vietnam war, environment, civil rights, mass transit, equitable taxation, healthcare, and public dissatisfaction with “politics as usual.”
A few weeks post-election, the death of Biden’s wife, Neilia, and daughter, Amy, and the injury of his two sons Beau and Hunter, caused Biden to consider resigning before swearing-in as a senator to care for his children. The Senate Majority Leader, at the time Mike Mansfield, persuaded him not to. The 1972 election was the beginning of Biden’s 36-year run as a U.S. senator from Delaware, meaning he was re-instated to this position for six consecutive elections.
During the early years of Biden’s time as a U.S. senator, Biden described himself as a Democrat with some conservative views. His primary focus in his first years were consumer protection and environmental issues but maintained more conservative views on abortion and military conscription.
In 1981, Biden became the Senate Judiciary Committee’s ranking minority member, meaning he was the most senior member of the minority party, Democrats at the time, in the senate. In 1984, Biden became the Democratic floor manager for the Comprehensive Crime Control Act, the first comprehensive crime control reform since the early 1900s. As time passed, the act became more and more controversial, and in 2019 Biden admitted that his role in passing the Act had been a mistake, despite it being his most considerable legislative accomplishment to date. Supporters praised Biden for making some revisions to the Act that removed some of its worst provisions.
In 1993, Biden voted in favor of a provision that deemed homosexuality as incompatible with military life, which resulted in banning gays from serving in the United States Armed Forces. In 1996, Biden voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited the United States government from recognizing same-sex marriages, thereby prohibiting couples in these marriages equal protections under federal law and allowing state-level governments to do the same. In 2015, the ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges at the Supreme Court, the Act was determined unconstitutional.
Another primary focus in Biden’s first ten years as a senator was arms control, which prohibited foreign bodies from developing small arms or mass destruction weapons. Biden met with the Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko to voice the American people’s concerns in regards to the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty II (SALT II). When the Reagan administration wanted to interpret the SALT I treaty loosely to allow the Strategic Defense Initiative development, Biden urged the administration to adhere to the treaty strictly. Later Biden received attention when he criticized the Secretary of State, George Schulz, at a Senate hearing for the Reagan administration’s support of South Africa, despite the country’s apartheid.
In the mid-1970s, Biden voted in opposition of busing, which allowed students to attend schools outside their assigned school district. At the time, other Delaware representatives also adamantly opposed it. On a national scale, the opposition of racial-integration busing led to the abandonment of school integration due to lack of transportation from marginalized communities to predominantly white school districts.
In Biden’s first Senate campaign, he expressed his support of busing to combat legally recognized segregation, such as in the case of Brown v. Board of Education where a young girl was forced to travel to another district to attend school because she was black. However, Biden was not supporting busing in de facto segregation, or segregation occurring because students couldn’t attend schools outside their districts, leaving minority community members segregated due to housing inequalities. In May of 1974, Biden voted to table a proposal that contained anti-busing and anti-desegregation clauses but later voted in favor of the bid after it was modified to include a qualification stating it was not meant to undermine the judiciary power enforcing the 5th and 14th amendments.
On June 9, 1987, Biden announced his candidacy for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination. At the time, he was considered a strong candidate because he was a Democratic moderate with a high-profile background as the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee for the upcoming Robert Bork Supreme Court Nomination. Biden was able to raise more campaign funding in the first quarter of 1987 than any other candidate. However, a stream of publicized errors in Biden’s past caused him to withdraw from the race by September of 1987. Some of the claims were corroborated, such as plagiarism of speeches and homework completed while in college. Additionally, the public was unrest after he had made exaggerated claims about the number of college degrees he had, attending college on a full-ride scholarship, and that he had graduated in the top half of his class.
Biden was a longtime member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary but was the acting chair from 1987-1995 and was the ranking minority member from 1981-1987 and 1995- 1997.
While acting as the chairman, Biden oversaw two highly contentious Supreme Court nomination confirmation hearings. The first was the nomination of Robert Bork in 1988, when Biden reversed his approval for the nomination, causing upset from Republicans and other conservatives. By the end of the hearing, Biden received nods regarding his fairness, humility, and courage in reversing his support. Ultimately, Bork’s nomination was rejected by the committee in a 9-5 vote and then again in the Senate, 58-42.
The second high-profile Supreme Court nomination was that of Clarence Thomas in 1991. Thomas had felt that Biden’s questions regarding constitutional issues had been convoluted and hard to keep track of at times. After the committee hearing closed, the public learned that Thomas was accused of sexual harassment by Anita Hill, a former colleague and law professor at the University of Oklahoma. Biden stated he had known of the accusations during the hearing and only disclosed them to the committee because Hill was unwilling to testify at the time. The committee hearing was reopened, and Hill testified, but Biden did not allow testimony from other sources who had made similar claims against Thomas. The Senate moved to confirm Thomas in a 52-48 vote, with Biden in opposition. Later Biden sought out women to serve on the committee and emphasized women’s issues after backlash from liberal constituents who had felt the hearing had been mishandled. Biden later admitted he regretted his treatment of Anita Hill, but she stated she remained dissatisfied.
Biden was the frontman on the 1994 Crime Bill, which included the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and the Violence Against Women Act. Biden credits this as his most significant legislation.
Biden was outspokenly critical of the Office of Special Counsel, now known as the Department of Justice regulation 28 CFR Part 600, during the Whitewater controversy and the Lewinsky scandal investigations, both regarding Bill and Hillary Clinton. Biden later voted to acquit President Clinton during his impeachment. During his time on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden also served as the International Narcotics Control Caucus Chairman. He wrote the laws that developed the U.S. Drug Czar, who oversees and coordinates national drug policies. In 2003, Biden introduced the Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act, an act aimed at reducing and controlling the use of ecstasy and other date-rape drugs.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is a Senate-run committee dedicated to foreign-policy legislation and debate. Biden became the ranking minority member in 1997. Biden was the committee chair from June 2001-2003 and again from 2007-2009. While on the committee, Biden maintained primarily liberal internationalist positions. He was known for collaborating with Republicans and at times voting against the Democratic party. In this time, Biden was also co-chair of the NATO Observer Group in the Senate and met with over 150 leaders from 60 countries and international groups.
In 2007, Biden announced his candidacy for the 2008 presidential election. His main focus points during the campaign were as follows:
- The Iraq War
- Senate record as chairman of committees
- Foreign policy experience
There were rumors that Biden was also looking to take the Secretary of State’s position, but Biden denied these rumors and said his only focus was the presidential campaign. In mid-2007, he criticized Obama’s foreign policy experience and felt that Obama was copying his policy ideas. He was known for being witty and sharp throughout the campaign, often incorporating humor into debates.
Throughout his campaign, Biden struggled to raise financial support for his campaign in contrast to high-profile candidates such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He placed fifth in the Iowa Caucasus causing him to withdraw from the race that evening.
The 2008 presidential campaign, although unsuccessful, led to the development of a relationship between Obama and Biden. Though the two had spent time serving on the Senate together, they had never been close. The 2008 presidential campaign led the pair to foster a new relationship of respect and collaboration.
After Biden withdrew from the presidential race, Obama privately approached him to note that he was interested in finding a pivotal role for Biden in his administration. Initially, Biden declined to be vetted for vice-president while voicing concerns about it affecting his status within the Senate. After some deep consideration, Biden expressed in an interview conducted on June 22, 2008, that although he wasn’t seeking the role, he would accept it if he was offered the vice president position. In August of 2008, Biden and Obama met in confidence to discuss the possibility of collaboration. The meeting led to the pair developing a strong sense of rapport with one another. On August 22, 2008, Obama announced that Joe Biden would be his running mate for the 2008 presidential election. It was stated by The New York Times that the pairing was made to balance the ballot, bringing foreign policy and national security experience to the Obama campaign through Biden. Others noted that having Biden on the Obama administration would appeal to the blue-collar voters and emphasize Biden’s willingness to challenge the Republican-nominee John McCain aggressively. Biden was officially nominated for vice president on August 27, 2008, in Denver, after a voice vote at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
After the nomination, Biden received negative attention from the Catholic Bishop in Scranton, PA, who demanded Biden be barred from receiving communion due to his changed stance on abortion, which had once been pro-life, but shifted to being pro-choice. Despite this call-to-action, Biden remained able to receive communion at his local parish in Delaware. Biden made statements to the public that he did agree with the church that life began at the time of conception, but that he felt it unjust to force his Catholic beliefs on others.
Biden received less than 5% of media coverage during his vice-presidential campaign, as the media had taken a strong focus to the challenging Republican vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. Despite the lack of media coverage, Biden spent a plethora of time campaigning in economically challenged areas of swing states, attempting to appeal to the blue-collar voters in a face-to-face format. Biden harshly criticized presidential nominee John McCain, an individual Biden had maintained a close personal friendship with for years. The financial crisis of 2007-2010 became a major point of contention in the election when it hit its peak with the liquidity crisis of September 2008. This worked in favor of the Obama-Biden campaign when Biden voted in favor of the United States financial system’s economic bailout, the $700 billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. It passed in the Senate with a vote of 74-25.
On October 2, 2008, Biden participated in the vice-presidential debate against Sarah Palin. Despite on-lookers feeling that Palin performed better than expected, it was decided Biden had won the debate overall. During the final days of the campaign, Biden spent time in impoverished areas of swing states like Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, where Biden appealed to voters, but Obama hadn’t in early polling. He spent additional time in reliably Republican and heavily Catholic areas.
Biden had been instructed by the campaign not to derail from his speeches or make off-hand remarks, due to a previous comment that "Obama would likely be challenged by a foreign official soon after taking office," which caused negative press for the campaign. Privately, Biden and Obama struggled to collaborate. Biden was being excluded from private meetings on strategy, and Obama was frustrated about Biden’s tendencies to go off-script. Eventually, Biden made a call to Obama to apologize, which ended with the two being more unified than ever before. Publicly, Biden’s approval ratings were outranking any off-the-cuff statements he had made. Nationally, at the time, Biden had a 60% favorability rating, according to a Pew Research Center poll.
On November 4, 2008, Obama and Biden were elected to office with 53% of the popular vote and 365 electoral college votes.
In addition to the vice president position, Biden had also run for reelection in the Senate in Delaware, which was permitted by state law. Biden also won his re-election, defeating his running opponent Christine O’Donnell. After winning both races, Biden deferred from resigning as a senator and became the youngest senator to be elected for seven consecutive full-terms. He cast his last vote to the Senate on January 15, 2009, before tendering his Senate resignation later that same day.
Before swearing-in as vice president, Biden stated he intended to eliminate some of the assumed roles by the soon-to-be-former vice president Dick Cheney. He voiced that he did not intend to mimic any previous vice presidency.
Biden’s first role was as chairman of the Obama administration transition team while also leading an initiative to improve the middle class’s economic well-being. On January 20, 2009, he was sworn in as the 47th vice president of the United States by Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. Biden was the first vice president to hail from Delaware and the first Roman Catholic vice president.
In May of 2009, Biden visited Kosovo and confirmed the U.S. position that Kosovo’s independence was irreversible. By June of 2009, Biden had lost an international debate against then-Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, regarding the shipment of 21,000 troops to Afghanistan. Despite the loss, Biden’s views were valued by President Obama, and later in 2009, the Afghanistan strategy was reconsidered.
Biden began traveling between the U.S. and Iraq on a bi-monthly basis, acting as the face for communication between the U.S. and Iraqi leadership regarding expected progress. In Biden’s January 2010 visit to Iraq, amidst the controversy of banned candidates from the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary election, he was able to have 59 candidates reinstated by the Iraqi government. By 2012, Biden had made eight trips to Iraq, but after removing U.S. troops in 2011, his oversight of U.S. policy in Iraq was greatly reduced.
Another role Biden assumed was the oversight of the Obama Stimulus package’s infrastructure spending to aid the ongoing recession (2007-2010). While in this role, Biden spoke with hundreds of local officials across the U.S. to determine funding allotments. Biden prided himself with the work conducted in this position, stating in 2011 after role completion that stimulus fraud instances had occurred in less than one percent.
Biden maintained involvement in the Swine Flu response in 2009 and helped develop the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law on March 23, 2010, by President Obama.
Many White House administration and staffers have gone on record to say that Biden’s primary role in the White House was to act as a contrarian, forcing others to defend their positions on policy and other pressing matters. Many stated he often pressured people to act as intellectually and as honest as possible at all times.
During the 2010 mid-term elections, Biden campaigned heavily for Democrats, attempting to off-set the prediction of mass-loss for the Democratic party. Following the Republican gains in the mid-term elections, Biden’s relationship with Republican law-makers became more pivotal. Biden was responsible for leading the New START Treaty’s successful adaptation, a treaty that focused on reducing nuclear weapons between the U.S. and Russia. It was signed on April 8, 2010, in Prague, but took effect after ratification in February of 2011 with expiration in 2021. In December of 2010, after negotiations with then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts were developed. Biden took the package to the Democrats and argued for it, resulting in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.
In March of 2011, Obama delegated Biden the task of leading negotiations between the White House and Congress regarding federal spending levels to avoid a government shut down. In May of 2011, a panel of six individuals assembled to reach a bipartisan agreement on raising the U.S. debt ceiling as part of a deficit-reduction plan. Mitch McConnell and Biden’s relationship again proved pivotal in breaking the deadlock between parties, and the Budget Control Act of 2011 was signed on August 2, 2011.
Obama asked Biden to run alongside him for a second presidential term during the 2012 campaign for reelection. The White House Chief of Staff, at the time, conducted secret polls to evaluate election outcomes by replacing Biden with Hillary Clinton for the campaign. Still, the polls showed no improvement in Obama’s reelection odds. White House staff noted that Obama never considered or entertained the idea of replacing Biden with Clinton.
In May of 2012, Biden publicly remarked that he favored same-sex marriage, despite a history of voting against marriage equality. This statement garnered positive attention for the Obama campaign, as Obama’s stance was considered ‘evolving,’ with no defined view on the issue. The Obama administration was off-put by the comment because there was planning for Obama to announce his support for same-sex marriage leading up to the Democratic National Convention. Due to the amassed press surrounding the statement, Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage within the following days.
Biden was criticized in August of 2012 when he remarked before a mixed-race audience that the Republican proposal to relax regulations on Wall St. would “put y’all back in chains.” The statement, picked up by major media, resulted in controversy about Biden’s ability to campaign face-to-face with voters and his tendency to get off track during speeches.
Biden was formally nominated for a second as U.S. vice president on September 6, 2012, at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. On October 11, 2012, Biden participated in the vice presidential debate in Danville, Kentucky, against Republican-nominee Paul Ryan. Biden attacked the Republican ticket while defending the Obama administration to make up ground after Obama’s lost debate with Mitt Romney.
On November 6, 2012, Obama and Biden achieved reelection by 51% popular vote and 332-206 electoral college vote.
In December of 2012, Obama appointed Biden to head the Gun Violence Task Force to address gun violence in the United States in the wake of the December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Later that month, the U.S. again experienced a significant economic struggle, and the Biden-McConnell relationship again proved useful in passing the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012.
On January 20, 2013, Biden was inaugurated and sworn in for his second term as vice president of the United States by Justice Sonia Sotomayer. Biden remained at the forefront of spearheading new gun-control measures, with the Obama Administration signing executive orders that failed to pass.
In 2013 Biden’s Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized. The act resulted in other developments for women, including, The White House Counsel on Women and Girls and the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Biden was the co-chair of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. As a result, he spent time on various college campuses discussing federal guidelines on sexual assault.
On December 8, 2015, Biden spoke to the Ukraine parliament in Kyiv to set U.S. aid and policy stance regarding Ukraine. Additionally, Biden had close relationships with several Latin American leaders and was assigned a focus on the region, visiting 16 times in his vice presidency, more than any president or vice president in history.
In March of 2016, Biden spoke at the American Isreal Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference, where he stated the U.S. was committed to the Israeli state’s survival. The statement came after a 2015 incident where Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner arranged a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. The pair failed to notify the Obama administration, which was an abuse of power and defiance of protocol that led to 50 Congressional Democrats skipping the speech.
Biden announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election on April 25, 2019, after months of uncertainty and concerns about another election campaign.
In September of 2019, President Donald Trump called on the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, alleging wrongdoing by the Biden pair. Despite allegations, no substantial evidence was produced to prove there had been any misconduct. Major media interpreted this accusation as an attempt to hurt the Biden campaign and distract from Trump’s recent presidential impeachment by the House of Representatives.
Trump again alleged and falsely accused Biden of getting the Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin fired. Trump claimed Shokin had been investigating the Biden family ties to Burisma Holdings, a former Hunter Biden employer. Trump also accused Biden of withholding $1 billion in aid from Ukraine, but in 2015 Biden had urged the Ukrainian government to fire Shokin due to corruption and ineffectively performing his job. The $1 billion in funding was withheld in accordance with the official policy at the time.
Biden was able to remain ahead of other Democrats in national polls throughout 2019. Regardless of the national polls, Biden trailed during the Iowa caucuses and in the New Hampshire primary. He performed better in the Nevada caucuses but was still trailing Bernie Sanders by over 21 points. Biden won the South Carolina primary after appealing to black voters and following the withdrawals of Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, Biden saw major gains going into Super Tuesday primary elections, winning 18 of 26 contests. Shortly after, Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bloomberg dropped out of the race, further expanding Biden’s lead over Sanders in other states.
Sanders announced he was dropping out of the race on April 8, 2020, and endorsed Biden for president on April 13, 2020, via live-stream video conference between the two. Barack Obama gave his endorsement for Biden the following day in a video message, April 14, 2020. In March of 2020, Biden announced and committed to having a female running mate but didn’t announce who until August. On August 11, 2020, the Biden campaign announced Kamala Harris as Biden’s pick for vice president and running mate, making her the first African American and South Asian woman vice-presidential nominee on a major party ticket. On August 18, 2020, at the Democratic National Convention, Biden was formally confirmed as the Democratic Party nomination for the 2020 presidential election.
In November of 2020, Joseph R. Biden Jr. was elected the 46th president of the United States, defeating the incumbent Republican candidate and sitting president, Donald J. Trump, making Trump the first president to lose reelection since George H.W. Bush in 1992. Biden is the second non-incumbent vice president (after Richard Nixon) to win the presidency and the first president to be elected from Delaware.
Days after the conclusion of the election, Biden assembled a COVID-19 task force. He pledged a larger government response to the COVID-19 pandemic than the Trump administration that includes more testing, a steady supply of personal protective equipment, distribution of a vaccine, and funds for schools and hospitals. Additionally, Biden pledged to use the Defense Production Act more aggressively to build up supplies and employ 100,000 contact tracers for outbreaks of COVID-19.
On November 11, 2020, Biden appointed Ron Klain as his White House Chief of Staff and on November 23, 2020, announced his first national security nominations and appointees, which included Antony Blinken as Secretary of State, Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security, Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as United States Ambassador to the United Nations, and former Secretary of State John Kerry as the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
On November 23, 2020, the General Services Administrator Emily W. Murphy formally recognized Biden as the winner of the 2020 election and authorized the transition process to a Biden administration.
Promise Me, Dad
Promises to Keep