Joe Biden has returned to the White House — but this time, as president. Barack Obama‘s former vice president and senator from Delaware, 78, won the election in Nov. 2020, and was inaugurated alongside Kamala Harris, 56, on Jan. 20, 2021. “Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this,” Biden said during his inauguration speech, paying tribute to Kamala’s history-making win. “Today, we mark the swearing in of the first woman in American history elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris. Don’t tell me things can’t change…Unity is the path forward. This is the United States of America,” he said. Learn more about the 46th President here.
1. He ran for president because “the soul of America is at stake.” Biden’s announcement video to run focused on the 2017 clash between protesters and white supremacists in Charlottesville, during which Trump said there were “very fine people” on both sides. “We are in the battle for the soul of this nation,” Biden said. “If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation — who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced her endorsement of Joe Biden in April 2020. Clinton, who was the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, called Biden her “friend” and a candidate who has been “preparing for this moment his entire life” during a virtual town hall. “This is a moment where we need a leader, a president, like Joe Biden,” Clinton said, referencing the COVID-19 pandemic, which she accused Donald Trump of mishandling.
Biden gained Sanders’ official endorsement on April 13, with the Vermont senator saying, “We need you in the White House. I will do all that I can to see that that happens, Joe.” The next day, former President Barack Obama also endorsed the man who served as his VP for eight years. “Choosing Joe to be my vice president was one of the best decisions I ever made, and he became a close friend. And I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a president right now,” Obama said on Twitter.
Obama’s endorsement was followed on April 15 by another significant ally: Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. “Joe Biden has spent nearly his entire life in public service. He knows that a government run with integrity, competence, and heart will save lives and save livelihoods,” she said in a video address. “And we can’t afford to let Donald Trump continue to endanger the lives and livelihoods of every American.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also endorsed Biden on April 27, saying in a video message that, “now more than ever, we need a forward-looking, battle-tested leader who will fight For The People: a President with the values, experience and the strategic thinking to bring our nation together and build a better, fairer world for our children.”
2. He has nearly 50 years of government experience. Biden has spent his entire professional career in public office. He was elected to the Senate in 1972, then re-elected six more times until leaving in 2008 to become former President Barack Obama‘s vice president. During his time representing Delaware in the Senate, Biden served as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Biden helped pass the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, and the Violence Against Women Act, but his record isn’t squeaky clean. He supported the Iraq War and had a key role in the War on Drugs.
3. He experienced unimaginable loss with the death of his family. Just a few weeks after he was elected to Senate in 1972, Biden’s entire family was involved in a devastating car crash while Christmas shopping. His wife and one-year-old daughter, Naomi, were killed. His two sons, Beau and Hunter, survived with injuries, but made full recoveries. That was sadly not the only loss Biden experienced. His son, Beau, died of brain cancer in 2015. Joe married Jill Biden, 69, in 1977 and the pair are parents to daughter Ashley Biden, 38.
4. This was the third time he has run for president. Biden ran for president in 1988 and in 2008, dropping out both times early in the race. Biden, of course, was asked to be Obama’s running mate on the 2008 Democratic ticket. Should Biden win his third and final presidential race, he would become the oldest president on record, at 78 years old.
It’s in some of our darkest moments of despair that we’ve made some of our greatest progress — and we have that chance once again. We’re not just going to rebuild this nation — we’re going to transform it.
There is nothing we can’t do if we do it together. pic.twitter.com/iozMdaLtAw
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 3, 2020
5. He’s a proud rescue dog owner. Joe adopted his beloved German Shepherd Major in Nov. 2018. He and Jill had been fostering the pup from the Delaware Humane Association before deciding to make him a permanent member of the family. Joe was all-smiles as he posed with Major for a photo before taking him for good. The adorable pup made history when Joe became President: Major is now the first-ever rescue dog to call the White House home!