The third attempt was the right one: Joe Biden, who will officially become Thursday, at 77, the Democratic candidate for the White House, is a veteran of American politics.
Known for his broad smile, a dignity in the face of adversity that commands admiration, but also for his countless blunders, Joe Biden will, in the home stretch, demonstrate his pugnacity and his combativeness against Donald Trump.
After having failed in 1988 and 2008, then hesitated in 2016, the former vice-president of Barack Obama finally wears the colors of his party during a presidential election.
The one who began his political career in the Senate almost half a century ago – and who knows how Washington works like the back of his hand – challenges the Republican billionaire, catapulted to power four years ago without ever having been elected previously.
The personal tragedies he went through shaped this man with a warm tone, willingly nostalgic. His pains and doubts, which he does not hesitate to share in public in the tone of confidence, are an integral part of his political career.
Presenting himself as a unifier, this “lion of American history”, in the words of Barack Obama, has been hammering relentlessly since his entry into the running, in April 2019, that he will beat Donald Trump “flat out”.
Thanks to an unprecedented campaign, paralyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Democrat took the advantage over the tempestuous president by making do with a few rare appearances and by promising the Americans a peaceful presidency.
But nothing is won in a crazy election year and the two and a half months of campaigning until November 3 promises to be extraordinarily aggressive.
His first three crushing defeats in the primaries had sown doubt. But thanks to South Carolina, Joe Biden signed one of the most spectacular returns in American political history in the spring.
He can be proud of having then quickly brought the Democratic family together, which Hillary Clinton failed to do in 2016.
He has also shown that he can convince black Democratic voters as well as workers and women. However, these three groups played a key role in Donald Trump’s victory in 2016, some by abstaining, others by deciding to turn their backs on the Democrats.
By choosing Senator Kamala Harris, rather centrist, as running mate, Joe Biden marked American history with the first black candidate of Indian origin for the vice-presidency.
Republicans, Donald Trump in the lead, are already assaulting “Joe, the sleeper”, accusing him of having hid during confinement, of lacking discernment, of being a puppet in the hands of the “radical left”, even , more and more explicitly, to be senile.
If the Democrats reject these attacks as so many shameless attempts to demobilize undecided voters, the digressions, blunders and sometimes particularly aggressive responses of Joe Biden worry in his own camp.
As if the slightest questioning, even without malice, pushed the septuagenarian to lose his temper. A danger on the cusp of three long debates with Donald Trump.
The entry of his son Hunter on the board of directors of a Ukrainian gas company when he was vice-president of Barack Obama could also come back to haunt his campaign.
Finally, he risks being again confronted with questions about his “tactile” approach.
If he assured to be “sorry to have invaded” the space of women embarrassed by his marks of affection, he also firmly defended his proximity to the voters, and rejected the accusations of a sexual assault in the 1990s. .
“Jill Biden’s Husband”
Proud of his origins, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was born on November 20, 1942 in the working-class town of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Her father was a car salesman.
Just a month after winning his first term as a senator in Delaware in 1972, at just 30, he lost his wife Neilia and their baby daughter Naomi in a car accident.
Joe Biden decides to take up his post in Washington anyway, while looking after his two injured sons, Beau and Hunter.
He remarried in 1977 to Jill. The teacher has been a familiar face in the political landscape for decades, made famous by her eight years with the Obamas in the White House.
“My name is Joe Biden and I am Jill Biden’s husband,” the candidate likes to joke on the campaign stands.
Jill Biden had interrupted her career after giving birth to their daughter, Ashley, in 1981, but then returned to school to earn a doctorate in education. She still teaches at a university.
A new tragedy struck the former senator in 2015, when his elder Beau, now attorney general of Delaware, died of brain cancer.
To become the 46e President of the history of the United States, Joe Biden will be able to rely on a solidly anchored image, reflected in the polls, of a “trustworthy” man.
By pronouncing, in June 2015, the eulogy of his son Beau Biden, Barack Obama expressed, in his own way, this feeling.
After evoking, his voice broken, the tragic end of this son, he paid tribute, in a tone rare at home, to his vice-president.
“Joe, you are my brother. Every day, I admire your big heart, your greatness of soul and your shoulders so broad. “