Joseph Robinette Biden is the official Democratic Party candidate for president of the United States. This is what the delegates of that party decided today in an online vote, on the second day of the Democratic Convention, which is being held over the Internet because of the coronavirus, which has already caused 172,000 deaths in that country according to estimates by Johns Hopkins University.
It’s been a long road for Biden. In many cases, the White House candidacy is accompanied by the legend that the candidate’s teachers already saw in him ways of being president. That’s not the case for the Democratic nominee in 2020. Joe Biden was the boy whose stutter was mocked by his classmates with cruel nicknames – “Joe Impedimenta” in Latin class – and who only overcame that problem thanks to the help of his mother – “every time I left the house to go to class I said, ‘Joey, you know that’s not a problem'” – and two nuns from his school. With that support and his willingness, Biden began reading poetry aloud – especially to the American Emerson and the Irish Yates – until he overcame his problem.
Biden, a Catholic who when he was vice president with Barack Obama and was travelling outside Washington on a Sunday had to send ahead an advisor to find a church with a priest willing to give him communion, since he defends abortion, will turn 78 on November 20. He has been a senator for the state of Delaware – which is in all but name a tax haven – for 36 years. The vote on which he was elected was a formality. Everything in his political life has been much more complicated. Gone are two attempts at the presidency that were catastrophic rather than failed. One, in 1988, when, in the campaign to succeed Ronald Reagan, an adviser copied several phrases from British Labour leader Neil Kinnock into a Biden speech. Another, in 2008, when he failed to reach even 1% in the Iowa Primary.