When Joe Biden entered the US Senate as a 29-year-old, it was the start of a political career he hoped would lead him to the White House. Now at the 2020 elections, he stands on the cusp of his dream. With two failed bids behind him, this year as the Democratic nominee he has worked on the basis of one principle above all else: to rid America of the leadership of Donald Trump.
New Yorker journalist Evan Osnos, the author of a new Biden biography, tells Anushka Asthana that for a Democrat who has been in the centre of the party for decades, including as Barack Obama’s vice-president, he is now running on one of the most radical platforms his party has ever stood on.
Biden’s is a career that has had its fair share of controversies: he opposed federally mandated bussing of students as a way to integrate schools. He also backed the now notorious 1994 crime bill that many believe paved the way to mass incarceration of black Americans. But Osnos also describes his pioneering work on legislation around violence against women and his current plans to expand healthcare and environmental protections. If Joe Biden wins this election, one thing is clear: he will prove starkly different from his opponent, Donald Trump.
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