by Steve Fair
Biden married Jill Jacobs in 1977. They have one daughter. Jill is an English professor. In his six terms in the Senate, Biden has never been seriously challenged at the polls in Delaware. Biden is a Roman Catholic with middle-class roots and at least some tie to the possibly-in-play state of Pennsylvania, all of which likely played into his selection as Barack Obama’s running mate. Senator Biden has twice run as a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, in 1988 and again this year.
Biden serves as Chairman of the powerful committee on Foreign Relations. According to the committee’s website, it is one of the oldest in the Senate, dating back to 1816. It has oversight over the foreign policy agencies of the U.S. government, including the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the Peace Corps. The Committee reviews and considers all diplomatic nominations and international treaties, as well as legislation relating to U.S. foreign policy.
Biden loves to talk. Many Americans first encountered Joe Biden during the high-profile hearings on Supreme Court nominees Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. He would ask for three more minutes from the Chairman of the committee and speak for forty-five without a breath. Americans just wanted him to shut up. His rambling questioning was redONEITt and meaningless.
The reputation for Biden’s inability to control his tongue came up at the first 2008 Democratic Presidential primary debate. When asked if he could discipline himself and control his tongue, Joe gave a one-word answer, “Yes" which was met with laughter, because he then began a long outpouring of explanation, reflection, analysis, and counterfactuals as to how he would do it.
Biden also has some creditability issues. When he was running for President in 1988, he was accused of plagiarizing a speech given by a British chap. Neil Kinnock, who was then head of the British Labour Party, gave a speech which included the lines: "Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Then pointing to his wife in the audience, he continued: Why is Glenys the first woman in her family in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Was it because all our predecessors were thick?" Biden gave almost the same speech- with an American twist- at a campaign stop and the Dukakis campaign secretly made a video showcasing the Biden/Kinnock comparison and distributed it to news outlets.
It was also discovered that, while law student at Syracuse Law School, Biden had plagiarized a law review article. Though the then-dean of the law school, as well as Biden's former professor, played down the incident of plagiarism, they did find Biden drew "chunks of heavy legal prose directly from" the article in question. Biden said it was inadvertent due to his not knowing the proper rules of citation, and Biden was permitted to retake the course after receiving a grade of F, which was subsequently dropped from his record. Biden quitely withdrew from the Presidential race shortly thereafter.
Perhaps that’s why Obama choose Biden. They share the penchant for plagiarism. In a November 2007 campaign speech, Obama used the exact same words that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick had used 18 months before without crediting the Guv. The line was, “I am not asking anybody to take a chance on me. I’m asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations.” The Clinton campaign pointed out Obama had used Patrick’s line, but Obama just dismissed it as a mistake.