10 Joe Biden Moments You Should Hear Again
Vice President Biden has developed a reputation for many as the nation's charming but eccentric uncle. His unvarnished, man-of-the-people persona is why many supporters love him — and wanted him to run for president again. But it's also gotten him into trouble on occasion.
Let's recall some of highlights — and a couple of gaffes — from Biden's political career.
1. The First Senate Campaign
Biden spent 36 years representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate. When he first ran in 1972, Biden pitched himself as — you guessed it — authentic. For this ad, Biden's staff recorded his conversations with voters about whether they believe anything politicians say anymore.
2. Early Tragedy
Biden's public life has been characterized by extreme highs and lows. In May of 2015, while speaking at Yale University, Biden recalled the moment, six weeks after his 1972 election victory, when he was in Washington hiring staff when he received a phone call that changed everything.
3. The First Presidential Run
Biden has run for president twice before. In 2008, of course, he dropped out and eventually signed on as Barack Obama's running mate. His 1988 bid ended in disgrace. In his stump speech that year, Biden had been borrowing from a speech his aides showed him by Neil Kinnock, the leader of Britain's Labour Party who was in opposition to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
He pulled out of the race in September 1987, outside the hearing room on Capitol Hill where he would return to work as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
4. The 'Articulate' Gaffe
Biden has a gift for saying things that don't come out just right. He made one of his most famous gaffes while launching his 2008 presidential bid. He was trying to pay a compliment to his then-rival Barack Obama, using some racially loaded language.
6. Senate Swearing-In
As vice president, Joe Biden serves as president of the Senate, with the responsibility to swear in new senators. His penchant for off-the-cuff remarks has never been on display more than at those ceremonies, as Biden leans in to pose for pictures — and flirt — with senators' wives, mothers and daughters.
Obama eventually chose Biden as his running mate. The charismatic elder statesman brought foreign policy chops to the ticket. But it was Obama's signature domestic achievement that brought one of the most memorable Biden moments in the White House. When the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, Biden was caught off-mic using some colorful language to tell the president what a big deal it was.
8. Support For Same Sex Marriage
As the tide of public opinion shifted on same sex marriage, Biden seemed to force President Obama's hand with an endorsement during an appearance on NBC's Meet The Press in 2012. The president said that his views had "evolved" days later.
9. The Long Wait
Biden's authenticity and compelling personal narrative are reasons why many Democrats clamored for him to run, as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has struggled to connect with voters. Those calls grew to a fever pitch last month after he was interviewed by comedian Stephen Colbert. Biden talked about the emotional toll from the death of his son Beau to brain cancer in May.
10. The Final Decision
Beau's death was on Biden's mind when he announced that he would not run for president in 2016. He said that his family was in a good place emotionally. But the time it has taken them to heal was time Biden didn't have to prepare to run.
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