With a long political career and marked by a personal tragedy, former Vice President Joe Biden entered the United States presidential race as a big favorite, but he had to win every vote to get the Democratic nomination. This Tuesday (29), he meets his opponent Donald Trump for the first time in the first debate between candidates.
At 78, the Democrat may be the oldest to take office as president if elected. The current record is that of Trump himself, who was 70 when he took office in 2017.
He was a senator between 1973 and 2009 for the state of Delaware. In 1988, his campaign for president did not last long. He tried again in 2008, but was left behind again. Finally, Senator Barack Obama chose him to be runner-up on his winning ticket.
Biden was polled to succeed Obama in 2016, but preferred to replace former Secretary of State (equivalent to that of Brazil’s Foreign Minister) Hillary Clinton. She won in the popular vote, but lost to Trump at the Electoral College.
The main motto of the Democratic candidacy is antagonism to the current president and opponent, Donald Trump. The candidate for vice president is Senator Kamala Harris.
“If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally change the character of this nation, who we are. I cannot stand by and watch this happen, ”said Biden when launching his campaign in April 2019.
The former vice president’s pre-campaign was weak, being overtaken by other opponents in the race for the nomination. He only recovered on March 3, on the so-called Super Tuesday, the day when Americans in various states choose who should represent the party in the election.
His moderate style of politics calls into question his chances of defeating Trump, something that the most progressive wing of the party claims to be out of step with the left shift they advocated.
This last argument, however, seems to have lost weight after Super Tuesday, since much of the Democratic establishment has consolidated around Biden. This move is essential for Biden to raise more money.
The Democrat’s pragmatism is one of the bets to overcome Trump’s bellicose style. He also bets on sticking his image to that of Obama to win over the black and Latin electorate.
Biden depends on these two groups and a number of factors to beat Trump. It is unusual for an opponent to succeed in getting the current president out of the White House, but Democrats are betting on the dissatisfaction of part of the population to achieve this goal.
And it is not enough to win at the polls. The American presidential election is indirect. It is the Electoral College that actually chooses the Chief Executive. To be elected, the candidate must obtain 270 votes.
In the elections of 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016, the winner did not obtain the majority of the votes of the population, only in the collegiate. If there is a tie, the House of Representatives chooses the president and the Senate elects the vice president. The election takes place on November 3 and the inauguration is scheduled for January 20, 2021.
Biden’s life was marked by personal tragedies: in 1972 he lost his wife and daughter in a car accident, in which his sons Beau and Hunter were also seriously injured.
The two recovered and Beau tried to follow in his father’s footsteps in politics. He became attorney general of Delaware, where he was considering running for governor, but was forced to give up after discovering brain cancer.
Beau died in 2015, aged 46, as a result of this cancer. The loss of her son was one of the main factors that made Biden give up running for president in 2016.
Biden’s youngest son Hunter was at the center of a 2019 scandal after Trump asked his Ukrainian colleague Volodimir Zelenski to investigate his business in Ukraine.
Hunter served on the board of directors of a state-owned Ukrainian gas company while Biden was vice president, which made Trump accuse the former vice president of corruption by acting to favor his son.
This alleged request for Trump’s interference to a foreign leader was the main reason why the US House opened an impeachment process against the President. Approved in this House on December 18, impeachment was stopped in the Senate in February.
Today, he is married to Professor Jill Jacobs.
The information is from CNN Brasil, the newspaper The State of São Paulo and the international AFP agency.
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