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Jan. 7, 2008

Joe Biden

by Sophie Schwadron, Online Editor-in-Chief
Editor's Note: Joe Biden dropped out of the presidential race after the Iowa caucus on Jan. 3.

Political Party: Democrat
Current Position: U.S. Senator
State: Delaware
Political Experience: Councilmember, New Castle County Council, 1970-1972; US Senator 1973-present; Chair, Committee on Foreign Relations, 2001-2003, 2007-present; Chair, Committee on the Judiciary, 1987-1995

This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from CBS News, Biden's campaign web site and Biden's Senate web site. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.

In 1972, at age 29, Joseph Biden became one of the youngest people to serve as United States Senator when he beat out an incumbent Republican. Now in his third decade in office, he is the fourth most senior Democratic Senator. Biden serves as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs.

As a candidate, Biden hopes to use his foreign policy background as a forte. When it comes to policy for Iraq, he has presented a clear, unique plan for exiting without leaving the country in chaos. Many voters feel foreign policy should dictate this election, and Biden cites his relationships with foreign leaders as integral to his qualifications for president, and as what separates him from the rest of the Democratic candidates.

Biden has been influential in the past 20 years in authoring and passing many of America's most noteworthy crime laws, bolstering local police forces and requiring communities to be told of sex offenders in the area.

In 1994, he initiated and passed legislation to establish a national hotline for women facing domestic abuse and violence, and according to his campaign web site he believes "violence against women is the ugliest and cruelest crime there is."

Although he is one of the more experienced players of the Democratic candidates, Biden's greatest obstacle is lack of public recognition or press. In the wake of the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benizir Bhutto, drawing attention to that nation's instability, Biden may soon get some acknowledgment; for months, he has been asserting that Pakistan is the most threatening nation in the world and advocating policy for transparent elections there.

Often with unique stances on important issues, Biden has expressed frustration with the Democratic party's unwillingness to be bold. He claims he avoids that by strongly advocating practical answers and inventive, clear solutions. While Biden is praised by various election pundits for being a poised, effective speaker who has performed well in debates, he is notorious for long-winded discourses on topics he feels strongly about, spending for example a half hour on three questions at a campaign stop in Newton, Iowa, CBS News reported.

Though passionate, Biden is low-key, having overcome health problems and personal tragedies to get this far. In 1972, just before his Senate inauguration, his wife and young daughter were killed in a car accident. For the next five years he raised his two other sons as a single parent, and he is vocal about the importance of family in his life.



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