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The tragedies that shaped Joe Biden

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When he will be taking his oath of office as the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden will be experiencing a culmination of what has been 33 years of sheer hard work, endurance, and never-say-never attitude.

It will be the climax of a political career that began in the Nixon era (the 37th President of the US who resigned on August 9, 1974, because of the Watergate scandal), and has endured social and political upheavals.

When he formally won the Democratic Party nomination in June last year, it was his third attempt at the presidency.

The speech plagiarism scandal

Biden’s first attempt at the presidency was back in 1988. Although polls had put him among the strongest candidates, Biden’s campaigns ended prematurely after a speech plagiarism scandal.

In September 1987, he was accused of plagiarising a speech by British leader of the opposition and then Labour leader, Neil Kinnock. Allegations of past law school plagiarism also followed, forcing him to withdraw from the race.

His second attempt was in 2008, in this again, he dropped out of the race to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination. Biden was later named as a vice presidential candidate to former President Barack Obama. Biden served as vice president in Obama’s eight-year administration.

Even when he was having a third shot at the highest office in the land in 2020, many, including party members, expressed a lack of confidence in Biden.

They said he was too old and moderate to take on the rubble-rousing Donald Trump. To them, Joe Biden was too conservative for the modern-age American voter.

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He joined politics as a widower

In November 1972, Biden started his political career, pulling a surprise victory to become one of the US’s youngest ever senators at 30 years.

Joe Biden had married Neilia Hunter on August 27, 1966, while he was enrolled in law school. Even at that young age, Biden still met some form of rejection as Neilia’s parents were reluctant with the marriage because he [Biden] was a Roman Catholic.

Joe and Neilia had three children, Joseph โ€œBeauโ€, Robert Hunter, and Naomi Christina โ€œAmyโ€.

Joe Biden and his first wife, Neilia, with sons Beau and Hunter. They were cutting Biden’s 30th birthday cake at a party in Wilmington, Delaware on November 20, 1972. PHOTO/ COURTESY.

One month later, Neilia and one-year-old Naomi Christina Army killed in a car accident. They were on Christmas shopping in Hockessin, Delaware, while Biden was in Washington interviewing his staff members.

He took oath of office as a senator in a hospital

Because of this tragedy, Biden considered resigning to take care of his sons but was convinced to juggle between parenting and politics.

His sons, three-year-oldย Beau Biden and two-year-oldย Hunter Biden, were hospitalised forย months after sustaining serious injuries.

On January 5, 1973, Joe Biden (Center) being sworn in as the U.S. senator from Delaware, by Senate Secretary Frank Valeo, left, in ceremonies in a Wilmington hospital. Three-year-old Beau Biden, foreground, watches his dad. Beau was injured in an accident that killed his mother and sister in December. PHOTO/ COURTESY.

When Biden will be sworn in today, he will be accompanied by Jill Biden whom he married in 1977.

Death of his son

While serving as the vice president in 2015, Joe Biden’s son, Beau, died of brain tumor.

Biden himself confessed to Euronews that his son’s death was the reason as to why he did not vie in 2016. Biden says that his family was trying to recover from the loss.

Joe Biden (Centre) alongside his family as they to enter a visitation for his son, former Delaware attorney-general Beau Biden, after he died of brain cancer aged 46 in 2015. PHOTO/ COURTESY.

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