Joe Biden

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Joe Biden
Official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden.jpg
Vice President of the United States
Term ends
Years in position 5
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Prior offices
U.S. Senator from Delaware
High schoolArchmere Academy
Bachelor'sUniversity of Delaware (1965)
J.D.Syracuse University Law School (1968)
BirthdayNovember 20, 1942
Place of birthScranton, Pennsylvania
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. (b. November 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania) is the current Democratic Vice President of the United States. Biden and President Barack Obama were sworn in for their first terms of office on January 20, 2009.[1] He was sworn in for his 2nd term as vice president on January 20, 2013.[2] Biden was serving his 7th term as a U.S. senator from Delaware before becoming vice president in 2009.[3]

Biden began his career in politics serving on the New Castle, Delaware county council in 1970 before defeating incumbent senator, J. Caleb Boggs (R), for his seat in the United States Senate.[3] Biden was a candidate in the 1988 Democratic primary for the presidency. He withdrew his candidacy in 1987 after he was found plagiarizing speeches from other politicians.[4]


Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, but when he was 13 years old, the family moved to Mayfield, Delaware. He attended St. Helena School before gaining acceptance to the Archmere Academy for whom he worked odd jobs to help his family pay tuition.[5] Biden then graduated from the University of Delaware before earning his law degree from the Syracuse University Law School in 1968.[3]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Biden's academic, professional and political career:[5][3]

  • 1965: Graduated from University of Delaware with a degree in history and political science
  • 1968: Earned law degree from Syracuse University Law School
  • 1968-1970: Defense attorney in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1970-1972: New Castle County Council member
  • 1973-2009: United States Senator representing Delaware
  • 2009-Present: United States Vice President under Barack Obama


2016 Presidency


In an interview on February 7, 2014, Biden stated, There’s no obvious reason for me why I think I should not run."[6] He has experience working in New Hampshire and Iowa as both a presidential candidate in 2008 and as a vice presidential candidate in 2012.[7] However, only nine vice presidents have been elected to serve as president. Of those nine, only four were elected directly after their term as vice president.[8] Biden has run in two other presidential primary races.[9]


Biden visited Iowa on September 17, 2014, days after fellow potential Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to give the headline speech for the Nuns on the Bus bus tour, as part of an official White House visit to the state. He headlined Sen. Tom Harkin's fish fry in 2013, but Clinton was chosen as the keynote speaker in 2014.[10] It was reported in August 2013, that Biden and his team were discussing starting a political action committee to begin fundraising efforts for a 2016 presidential bid. Using the PAC Biden would be able to financially support certain candidates in the midterm elections, solidifying support for his own run.[11]

2014 cycle fundraising

Leading into the 2014 midterm elections, Biden staged "secret" fundraisers during official speaking visits across the country. The closed-door meetings allowed Biden to keep in contact with and show support for important Democratic figures throughout the United States. In order to keep the meetings quick, Biden told local members of Congress or candidates how many people he would have time to see and a "photo line" was formed of the invited donors and supporters, allowing each to have a picture with the vice president.[12]

In mid-October 2014, Biden scheduled a West Coast tour, planning stops to support Democratic challenger for California's 21st District Amanda Renteria, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) as well as a fundraising trip for Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell (D). More fundraisers were scheduled along the way.[13]

Public speaking gaffes

Biden is known, in part, for his public speaking slip-ups, or what some call "Joe being Joe." Following is a list of those gaffes during the 2016 election cycle.[13]

  • On September 16, 2014, Biden made reference to "Shylocks" giving military families bad loans during a speech. He apologized the following day, calling it a "poor choice of words."[14]
  • On September 17, 2014, the day he apologized for including "Shylocks" in a speech, Biden referred to Asia as "the Orient" during a speech in Iowa.[15]
  • On September 19, 2014, Biden reminisced about working alongside former Sen. Bob Packwood (R-OR) at a women's conference. Packwood resigned from the Senate in 1995 after allegations of sexual advances and assaults on women arose.[16]
  • On October 2, 2014, he suggested in a Q&A at Harvard that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey have assisted extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, including ISIS. He apologized to officials from all three countries.[17]

Public statements on a possible run

  • In a July 2013 interview, Biden stated, "I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States of America, but it doesn't mean I won't run."[18]

Comments on potential campaign

  • President Barack Obama commented on both Biden and Hillary Clinton when asked to compare them, stating, "both Hillary and Joe would make outstanding presidents, and possess the qualities that are needed to be outstanding presidents."[19]

Public opinion polls

See also: Early presidential polling, 2016 and Presidential straw polls, 2016
  • A December 11, 2013, poll conducted by McClatchy-Marist showed Biden losing a hypothetical primary to Hillary Clinton, with 65% supporting Clinton to 12% supporting Biden.[20]

2012 Vice Presidency

See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Biden won re-election in 2012 as vice president of the United States on a ticket with Barack Obama.[21]

U.S. presidential election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes Electoral votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBarack Obama/Joe Biden Incumbent 51.3% 65,899,660 332
     Republican Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan 47.4% 60,932,152 206
     Libertarian Gary Johnson/Jim Gray 1% 1,275,804 0
     Green Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala 0.4% 469,501 0
Total Votes 128,577,117 538
Election Results Via: FEC official election results

Other candidates that appeared on the ballot received less than 0.1% of the vote. Those candidates included: Roseanne Barr, Rocky Anderson, Thomas Hoefling, Jerry Litzel, Jeff Boss, Merlin Miller, Randall Terry, Jill Reed, Richard Duncan, Andre Barnett, Chuck Baldwin, Barbara Washer, Tom Stevens, Virgil Goode, Will Christensen, Stewart Alexander, James Harris, Jim Carlson, Sheila Tittle, Peta Lindsay, Gloria La Riva, Jerry White, Dean Morstad and Jack Fellure.[22]

2008 Vice Presidency

Biden won the 2008 election as vice president of the United States on a ticket with Barack Obama.[23]

U.S. presidential election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes Electoral votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBarack Obama/Joe Biden 53% 69,498,516 365
     Republican John McCain/Sarah Palin 45.7% 59,948,323 173
     Peace and Freedom Ralph Nader/Matt Gonzalez 0.6% 739,034 0
     Libertarian Bob Barr/Wayne Allyn Root 0.4% 523,715 0
     Constitution Chuck Baldwin/Darrell Castle 0.2% 199,750 0
     Green Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente 0.1% 161,797 0
Total Votes 131,071,135 538
Election Results Via: official election results

Other candidates that appeared on the ballot received less than 0.1% of the vote. Those candidates included: Alan Keyes, Ron Paul, Gloria La Riva, Brian Moore, Roger Calero, Richard Duncan, James Harris, Charles Jay, John Joseph Polachek, Frank Edward McEnulty, Jeffrey J. Wamboldt, Thomas Robert Stevens, Gene C. Amondson, Jeffrey Jeff Boss, George Phillies, Ted Weill, Jonathan E. Allen and Bradford Lyttle.[24]

Full history


Net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Biden told the White House's Working Summit on Working Families that he was the "poorest man in Congress" in June 2014. He went on, "Don't hold against me that I don't own — that I don't own a single stock or bond. Don't hold it — I have no savings accounts. But I got a great pension, and I got a good salary." Biden's 2013 tax returns show that he and his wife, Jill, reported an income of $407,099. A financial disclosure form shows that he has some money in savings, but that all accounts contain less than $15,000.[32]


Based on executive branch financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Biden's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $39,028.00 and $805,996.00. That averages $422,512.00, which is the 21st highest in the executive branch.[33]


Biden married Neilia Hunter in 1966 with whom he had three children. In December of 1972, Hunter and their only daughter were killed in a car accident that also critically injured their two sons.[5] Biden was sworn into his first term in office by his sons' hospital beds in January 1973. He re-married in 1977 to Jill Jacobs, with whom Biden has a daughter.[5] Biden's son, Beau Biden, is the Delaware Attorney General.[3] His other son, Hunter, was appointed to the board of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine's largest private natural gas firm in May 2014.[34]

Recent news

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See also

External links

Political Tracker has an article on:
Joseph Biden
Political offices
Preceded by
Dick Cheney (R)
Vice President of the United States
Succeeded by
Preceded by
U.S. Senate - Delaware
Succeeded by
John Carney (D)


  1. The Telegraph, "Barack Obama inauguration: Joe Biden sworn in as vice-president," January 20, 2009
  2. Planet Washington, "Biden officially sworn into office for a second term," January 20, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 CNN, "Joe Biden Fast Facts," January 22, 2013
  4. New York Times, "Biden Withdraws Bid for President in Wake of Furor," September 24, 1987
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3, "Joe Biden Biography," accessed June 24, 2013
  6. Politico, "2016 election: Joe Biden can't think of a reason not to run," February 7, 2014
  7. New York Daily News, "Election 2016: A look at possible candidates and who could run in the next presidential race," August 17, 2013
  8., "The Vice Presidency: Stepping Stone or Mill Stone?," accessed October 15, 2013
  9. Washington Post, "At Iowa Steak Fry, Biden Defends Obama, Stokes Speculation About 2016 Candidacy," September 15, 2013
  10. The Des Moines Register, "Exclusive: Joe Biden to chase Hillary Clinton to Iowa next week," September 11, 2014
  11. Wall Street Journal, "Confident Biden Team Sows Seeds For 2016," August 18, 2013
  12. Politico, "Joe Biden's secret fundraisers," August 26, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Hill, "Despite his gaffes, Dems want Biden," October 7, 2014
  14. The Washington Post, "Biden: ‘Shylocks’ comment a ‘poor choice of words’," September 17, 2014
  15. The Des Moines Register, "Biden draws criticism for reference to 'the Orient'," September 17, 2014
  16. The Washington Post, "Joe Biden fondly reminisces about Bob Packwood. Uh oh.," September 19, 2014
  17. New York Times, "Saudis Are Next on Biden’s Mideast Apology List After Harvard Remarks," October 6, 2014
  18. GQ, "Have You Heard the One About President Joe Biden?," July 2013
  19. USA Today, "Obama lauds both 2016 aspirants: Clinton and Biden", December 6, 2013
  20. Politico, "2016 poll: Chris Christie 42%, Hillary Clinton 41%," December 11, 2013
  21. The Cincinnati Herald, "Obama re-elected to historic second term," November 10, 2012
  22. FEC, "2012 Presidential Election Results," accessed June 24, 2013
  23. CNN, "Obama: This is your victory," November 5, 2008
  24. FEC, "2008 Presidential Popular Vote Summary," accessed June 24, 2013
  25. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  27. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  28. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1990," accessed March 28, 2013
  29. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1984," accessed March 28, 2013
  30. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 1978," accessed March 28, 2013
  31. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 1972," accessed March 28, 2013
  32. The Washington Post, "Joe Biden said he has ‘no savings accounts’," June 23, 2014
  33. OpenSecrets, "Joe Biden, 2011" (accessed June 28, 2013)
  34. Washington Post, "Hunter Biden’s new job at a Ukrainian gas company is a problem for U.S. soft power," May 14, 2014