I always thought Beau would be the first president of the family. Joe Biden’s last words before he was sworn in as president of the United States reflected the importance of the inauguration ceremony for his family. A restrained emotion that overflowed after the president’s oath, when Joe and his wife, Jill, embraced their daughter, Ashley, and Hunter Biden..
The president was surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren, whom Senator Amy Klobuchar referred to as “a bunch of Bidens.” Among them were Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden’s first marriage, along with his wife, Melissa Cohen, and their children Finnegan, Maisy and Naomi.
Everyone wanted to be present at the culmination of the Biden patriarch’s career and joined in the ovation with which he was received upon his arrival in the courtyard of the Capitol. After taking the oath, they shed some tears of emotion and the president himself had to compose himself before giving the speech at the beginning of his mandate.
Not surprisingly, his success as Biden is also the result of the determination of his entire clan. Being a child, Joe Biden already dreamed of one day occupying the White House, but family tragedies truncated their aspirations. At only 29 years old, he lost his wife, Neilia, and their daughter, Naomi, in a traffic accident and the couple’s other two sons, Beau and Hunter, were seriously injured. That hard blow marked the politician, who until then had focused solely on his professional success.
The son of a middle-class Catholic family from Scranton (Pennsylvania), Biden confessed later that the death of his wife and daughter made him on the verge of losing his faith and the will to live. He turned to the care of his children, who became his refuge. Five years later, he met Jill Jacobs, an English teacher from Virginia.
For a year, Jill rejected the now president’s marriage proposals. She wanted to make sure that this step was the best thing for Beau and Hunter. Later, in her memoirs, Biden’s wife would admit that she refers to them as her children. Jill and Joe married and had a daughter, Ashley in 1981.
The Bidens bonded even more. and That family stability returned Biden to his purpose of reaching the Oval Office. He did so in 2008, when he was elected vice president of Barack Obama. However, during his second term, Beau, his eldest son, was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer. As a result, Biden cut his public hours to spend more time with him, until he passed away in 2015. A year later he announced that he would not run for the presidential nomination from which Hillary Clinton was elected.
Away from politics, Biden led the fight against cancer that took Beau’s life, the pride of his father and a decorated veteran in the Iraq war. The death of Republican Senator John McCain, with whom the Democrat had a close relationship, returned him to the public sphere. He was tasked with delivering the farewell speech, which put him in the crosshairs of the party leadership, desperate to find a candidate who would stand against Trump.
The candidate said yes and at the age of 77 he captained a campaign conceived to save the country from authoritarianism and economic collapse. To the liking of traditional Republicans and the black vote for the Obama era, Biden’s candidacy did not arouse great passions among Democratic voters, but he embodied the alternative to Donald Trump.
One of the ghosts that haunted Biden during his presidential campaign was also a family one. He was accused of spearheading a corruption scheme to place his son Hunter in a large Ukrainian energy company. While Beau was the model son, Hunter developed a career in the business world and had problems with alcohol and drugs. Now he is the subject of an investigation that could splatter his father, although his image next to the president during his oath suggests that once again the Bidens will face adversity together.
The political career of a born leader
Biden was a modest student, but a natural leader. He studied law at the University of Syracuse and was elected as a senator from Delaware in 1970, thanks to a small campaign in which he had the help of his family. For forty years he held his seat in the Senate, becoming one of the oldest in the Upper House.
In 1988 he tried to run as a candidate for president, but accusations of plagiarism of his election speech and various health problems caused his run for the White House to end prematurely. Joe Biden’s name sounded for years as a possible Democratic candidate for the election because he is a centrist politician, with great experience and knowledge in the areas of foreign policy and national security, but he lacked charisma.
His next opportunity would come in 2008, from the hand of Barack Obama, who proposed him to be his right hand after finishing fifth in the Iowa Caucuses. Obama’s overwhelming magnetism led him to the White House, but as vice president. For two terms, Biden was a key player in the talks with the Iraqi government for the withdrawal of US troops from the country and was in favor of bringing closer the commercial relationship with Russia. In domestic politics, his negotiating experience was essential in the negotiations to limit the sale of arms and for the approval of the Low Price Health Care Act – known as “Obamacare” -.
The death of Republican Senator John McCain, with whom he had a close relationship, returned him to the public sphere in 2018. He was commissioned to deliver the farewell speech, which put him in the crosshairs of the Democratic leadership, desperate to find a candidate to be measured against Trump.