World Who is Joe Biden, the future 46th president of...

Who is Joe Biden, the future 46th president of the United States?

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Joe Biden, September 4, 2020. – Carolyn Kaster / AP / SIPA

Who is Donald Trump’s killer? After four days of exhausting suspense, Democratic candidate Joe Biden was declared the winner of the US presidential election on Saturday, crossing the “magical” threshold of 270 voters, according to projections by CNN, NBC and CBS.

At 77, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., “lion of American history” in the words of Barack Obama, will become on January 20, 2021 the 46th President of the United States. A late consecration after 47 years of life in politics marked by tragedies. Back on the highlights of the career of this old politician.

Joe Biden and Barack Obama in Flint, Michigan on October 31, 2020.
Joe Biden and Barack Obama in Flint, Michigan on October 31, 2020. – Andrew Harnik / AP / SIPA

Senator at 30

Engaged in the local politics of the State of Delaware, Joe Biden dethroned to everyone’s surprise a well-established Republican senator in the 1972 elections.

A few weeks later, his wife and daughter die in a car accident. He thought of resigning to take care of his sons Beau and Hunter, but the Senate leader dissuaded him from doing so and he was sworn in on January 5, 1973 at only 30 years old. He was reelected to the upper house of Congress continuously until 2008.

Against “busing”

In the 1970s, to satisfy the voters of Delaware, he opposed the government policy known as “busing”, which organized the transport of black children by bus to predominantly white schools to promote co-education. His future vice-president Kamala Harris had pinned him on this subject during the Democratic primary.

Presidential flop

In 1987, he launched himself for the first time in the race for the White House. Party among the favorites, the dashing forty-something is forced to throw in the towel after a series of exaggerations on his past and plagiarism in campaign speeches.

Joe Biden announces his withdrawal from the presidential race on September 23, 1987.
Joe Biden announces his withdrawal from the presidential race on September 23, 1987. – Shutterstock / SIPA

Law against violence against women

Chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, in 1991 he supervised the process of confirming Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, when accusations of sexual harassment against the magistrate emerged.

Joe Biden then organizes a televised hearing of his accuser, Anita Hill, which turns into a fiasco: the law professor is mistreated by an exclusively male panel, which questions her credibility without any tact. Joe Biden has since apologized.

Three years later, he made up for some of the credit lost with the adoption, at his initiative, of a law against violence against women. It is the law of which he will say in retrospect “the most proud”.

Criminal justice reform

This law on violence against women is only one part of its much broader reform of criminal justice which marks a consensus between the parties on a very repressive approach.

The “crime law” of 1994 is now held responsible for the explosion in the number of prisoners in the United States but also for the over-representation of African Americans in prisons, because it particularly severely punished crack users. a drug more consumed in poor neighborhoods.

“It was a mistake,” he admitted during a debate with Donald Trump.

Iraq war

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee in 2002, he voted to authorize the war in Iraq, after having organized the hearing of numerous witnesses who led to believe – wrongly – that Saddam Hussein’s regime possessed weapons of destruction massive. Here again, with hindsight, he admitted a “mistake”.

Obama number two

After having suffered a failure during the Democratic primaries, he was chosen by Barack Obama as running mate and entered the White House with him in January 2009, in the midst of the financial crisis.

Joe Biden is facilitating the passage by Congress of a huge stimulus package of 700 billion, which the president entrusts to him the implementation. This plan is credited with the rebound in the US economy.

In 2016, weakened by the death of his elder Beau from a brain tumor, he did not run for president despite his strong popularity, especially among black voters and workers.

At the White House with Barack Obama on October 15, 2013.
At the White House with Barack Obama on October 15, 2013. – SIPANY / SIPA

Winner against Donald Trump

In 2019, he entered the race for the White House to beat Donald Trump. After a difficult start, he won in the Democratic primaries on a moderate line, thanks in particular to the support of African-American voters.

As a strategist, he won his bet by winning Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, three traditionally democratic industrial states that Donald Trump had wrested from Hillary Clinton in 2016.

But in an America deeply divided, and faced with a Senate that could remain in Republicans’ hands, he will have to strike the right tone.

Just declared the winner, he opted for a speech of reconciliation and appeasement: “I am honored and humbled by the trust the Americans have placed in me and in the vice-president-elect” Kamala Harris, Joe Biden said in a statement. “With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the heated rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” he added. It is time for America to come together and heal its wounds. “

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