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Joe Biden

D

Twitter Followers: 9.7M

47th Vice President of the United States (2009 - 2017)

2019


Quick Facts
Personal Details

Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. (b. November 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania) is the former Democratic vice president of the United States, serving under President Barack Obama (D) from January 20, 2009, to January 20, 2017. He previously served as a U.S. senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009.

On April 25, 2019, Biden announced that he was running for president of the United States in 2020.

On January 12, 2017, President Barack Obama awarded Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his lifetime of public service, marking the last time Obama would present the nation's highest civilian honor. Biden received the surprise award with distinction, a rare additional honor given only to Pope John Paul II, former President Ronald Reagan, and retired Gen. Colin Powell in the previous three administrations.

Biden was born in 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. When he was 13 years old, his family moved to Mayfield, Delaware. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in history and political science and received his law degree from the Syracuse University Law School. Biden practiced law and worked as a public defender before seeking public office.

From 1970 to 1972, Biden served on the New Castle County Council. He was elected to represent Delaware in the U.S. Senate at the age of 29, receiving 58% of the vote to defeat incumbent Sen. James Caleb Boggs (R). Two weeks after the election, his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident, which his two sons survived.

Biden served in the Senate from 1973 to 2009. During his Senate career, he chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Foreign Relations for several years.

Biden launched his first presidential bid in 1987 but withdrew from the race. He launched a second presidential campaign in 2007, dropping out of the race following the 2008 Iowa caucuses, where he placed fifth. Then-candidate Barack Obama announced Biden was his choice for running mate in August 2008, and the pair won the general election. Biden served as vice president from 2009 to 2017.

Below is an abbreviated outline of Biden's academic, professional, and political career:

  • 1965: Graduated from University of Delaware with a degree in history and political science
  • 1968: Earned law degree from Syracuse University Law School
  • 1968-1970: Defense attorney in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1970-1972: New Castle County Council member
  • 1973-2009: United States Senator representing Delaware
  • 2009-2017: United States Vice President under Barack Obama

Education

  • JD, Syracuse University College of Law, 1968
  • BA, History/Political Science, University of Delaware, 1965

Professional Experience

  • JD, Syracuse University College of Law, 1968
  • BA, History/Political Science, University of Delaware, 1965
  • Former Adjunct Professor, Widener University School of Law
  • Former Attorney/Public Defender, 1969-1972

Political Experience

  • JD, Syracuse University College of Law, 1968
  • BA, History/Political Science, University of Delaware, 1965
  • Former Adjunct Professor, Widener University School of Law
  • Former Attorney/Public Defender, 1969-1972
  • Candidate, President of the United States, 1988, 2008, 2020
  • Vice President, United States of America, 2008-2017
  • President, United States Senate, 2008-2017
  • Senator, United States Senate, 1972-2008
  • Member, New Castle County Council, 1970-1972

Former Committees/Caucuses

Former Vice Chair, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly

Former Chair, White House Task Force on Working Families

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

  • JD, Syracuse University College of Law, 1968
  • BA, History/Political Science, University of Delaware, 1965
  • Former Adjunct Professor, Widener University School of Law
  • Former Attorney/Public Defender, 1969-1972
  • Candidate, President of the United States, 1988, 2008, 2020
  • Vice President, United States of America, 2008-2017
  • President, United States Senate, 2008-2017
  • Senator, United States Senate, 1972-2008
  • Member, New Castle County Council, 1970-1972
  • Co-Founder/Former Board Co-Chair, The Biden Cancer Initiative
  • Co-Founder, The Biden Foundation
  • Founder, The Biden Institute at the University of Delaware
  • Founder, The Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement

Other Info

Astrological Sign:

Scorpio

— Awards:

  • Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2017

Champion of the Rails 2001

Rail Leadership Award 2002

Current Car:

1967 Corvette

  • Joseph Biden Sr.

  • Car Salesman

Favorite Book:

American Gospel, Irish America

Favorite Food:

Pasta

Favorite Quote:

"History says, don't hope on this side of the grave. But then, once in a lifetime the longed for tidal wave of justice can rise up, and hope and history rhyme. So hope for a great sea-change on the far side of revenge. Believe that a further shore is reachable from here. Believe in miracles and cures and healing wells."

  • - Seamus Heaney's "The Cure at Troy",
  • "I look forward to a great future for America, a future in which our country will match its
  • military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our
  • purpose. . . . And I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world not only for its strength but for its civilization as well."- John F. Kennedy, 1963.
  • First Car:

    Chevrolet Convertible

    First Job:

    Lifeguard

    Hobbies or Special Talents:

    Weightlifting, designing homes, sketching

    Names of Grandchildren:

    Naomi, Finnegan, Roberta Mabel, Natalie, Robert Hunter

    • 5

    • 1 cat

    — Publications:

    • "Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics" - 2007
    • "Promise Me Dad: A Year of Hope" - 2017

    Spouse's Occupation:

    Community College Professor

    Elections

    2020

    Presidency

    An election for president of the United States will be held on November 3, 2020. Biden announced that he was running for president on April 25, 2019.

    2016

    Presidency

    Although Biden hinted that he was considering a run for president in 2016 in several interviews, he announced that he would not seek the office of President of the United States on October 21, 2015. Speaking from the White House Rose Garden with his wife Jill Biden and President Barack Obama by his side, Biden said, "As my family and I have worked through the grieving process. I’ve said all along that it may very well be that that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president. I’ve concluded it has closed."

    In July 2013, Biden said, "I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States of America, but it doesn't mean I won't run." Biden later said in an interview on February 7, 2014, "There’s no obvious reason for me why I think I should not run."

    President Barack Obama commented on Biden and Hillary Clinton when asked to compare them, stating, "both Hillary and Joe would make outstanding presidents, and possess the qualities that are needed to be outstanding presidents." Fourteen vice presidents have become president, but only four were directly elected after serving as vice president.

    2012

    Vice Presidency

    Biden won re-election in 2012 as vice president of the United States on a ticket with Barack Obama.

    U.S. presidential election, 2012

    Party Candidate Vote % Votes Electoral votes
    Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBarack Obama/Joe Biden Incumbent 51.3% 65,899,660 332
    Republican Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan 47.4% 60,932,152 206
    Libertarian Gary Johnson/Jim Gray 1% 1,275,804 0
    Green Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala 0.4% 469,501 0
    Total Votes 128,577,117 538
    Election results via: FEC official election results

    Other candidates that appeared on the ballot received less than 0.1% of the vote. Those candidates included: Roseanne Barr, Rocky Anderson, Thomas Hoefling, Jerry Litzel, Jeff Boss, Merlin Miller, Randall Terry, Jill Reed, Richard Duncan, Andre Barnett, Chuck Baldwin, Barbara Washer, Tom Stevens, Virgil Goode, Will Christensen, Stewart Alexander, James Harris, Jim Carlson, Sheila Tittle, Peta Lindsay, Gloria La Riva, Jerry White, Dean Morstad and Jack Fellure.

    2008

    Vice Presidency

    Biden won the 2008 election as vice president of the United States on a ticket with Barack Obama.

    U.S. presidential election, 2008

    Party Candidate Vote % Votes Electoral votes
    Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBarack Obama/Joe Biden 53% 69,498,516 365
    Republican John McCain/Sarah Palin 45.7% 59,948,323 173
    Peace and Freedom Ralph Nader/Matt Gonzalez 0.6% 739,034 0
    Libertarian Bob Barr/Wayne Allyn Root 0.4% 523,715 0
    Constitution Chuck Baldwin/Darrell Castle 0.2% 199,750 0
    Green Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente 0.1% 161,797 0
    Total Votes 131,071,135 538
    Election results via: Archives.gov official election results


    Other candidates that appeared on the ballot received less than 0.1% of the vote. Those candidates included: Alan Keyes, Ron Paul, Gloria La Riva, Brian Moore, Roger Calero, Richard Duncan, James Harris, Charles Jay, John Joseph Polachek, Frank Edward McEnulty, Jeffrey J. Wamboldt, Thomas Robert Stevens, Gene C. Amondson, Jeffrey Jeff Boss, George Phillies, Ted Weill, Jonathan E. Allen and Bradford Lyttle.

    Full history


    Policy Positions

    2020

    Abortion

    1. Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
    - Pro-choice

    Budget

    1. In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
    - Yes

    2. Do you support expanding federal funding to support entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare?
    - Yes

    Education

    Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
    - Yes

    Guns

    Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
    - Yes

    Health Care

    1. Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
    - No

    2. Do you support requiring businesses to provide paid medical leave during public health crises, such as COVID-19?
    - Yes

    Campaign Finance

    1. Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
    - Yes

    Economy

    1. Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
    - Yes

    2. Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
    - No

    3. Do you support providing financial relief to businesses AND/OR corporations negatively impacted by the state of national emergency for COVID-19?
    - Yes

    Immigration

    1. Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border?
    - No

    2. Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
    - No

    National Security

    1. Should the United States use military force to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a weapon of mass destruction (for example: nuclear, biological, chemical)?
    - No

    2. Do you support reducing military intervention in Middle East conflicts?
    - Yes

    Trade

    1. Do you generally support removing barriers to international trade (for example: tariffs, quotas, etc.)?
    - Yes

    Defense

    Do you support increasing defense spending?
    - Unknown Position

    Energy and Environment

    1. Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, geo-thermal)?
    - Yes

    2. Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
    - Yes

    2019

    Afghanistan

    1. Would you commit to the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of your first term, or would you require certain conditions be met before doing so?

    - I would bring American combat troops in Afghanistan home during my first term. Any residual U.S. military presence in Afghanistan would be focused only on counterterrorism operations. We need to be clear-eyed about our limited enduring security interests in the region: We cannot allow the remnants of Al Qa’ida in Afghanistan and Pakistan to reconstitute, and we must destroy the Islamic State presence in the region. Americans are rightly weary of our longest war; I am, too. But we must end the war responsibly, in a manner that ensures we both guard against threats to our Homeland and never have to go back.

    I would initiate and resource a high-level diplomatic effort to end the war. The State Department has led such an effort over the past several months, but President Trump has systematically undercut his negotiators and under-invested in the process. The Afghan government and people must be empowered in any negotiations with the Taliban insurgency, and the rights of Afghan women and girls must be protected. It will also be important to engage diligently with Afghanistan’s near-neighbors, including Pakistan, Iran, China, India, and Russia – they are all important stakeholders in Afghanistan and must be encouraged to support a lasting peace settlement.

    Trade

    1. Under what circumstances, if any, would you support the United States joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), formerly the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

    - When it comes to trade, either we're going to write the rules of the road for the world or China is – and not in a way that advances our values. That's what happened when we backed out of TPP – we put China in the driver's seat. That's not good for our national security or for our workers. TPP wasn’t perfect but the idea behind it was a good one: to unite countries around high standards for workers, the environment, intellectual property, and transparency, and use our collective weight to curb China’s excesses. Going forward, my focus will be on rallying our friends in both Asia and Europe in setting the rules of the road for the 21st century and joining us to get tough on China and its trade and technology abuses. That’s much more effective than President Trump’s so-called America First approach that in practice is America Alone, alienating our allies and undermining the power of our collective leverage. My trade policy will also start at home, by investing in strengthening our greatest asset—our middle class. I would not sign any new trade deal until we have made major investments in our workers and infrastructure. Nor would I sign a deal that does not include representatives for labor and the environment at the negotiating table and strong protections for our workers.

    China

    How, if at all, should China’s treatment of the Uighurs and the situation in Hong Kong affect broader U.S. policy toward China?

    - The United States should push back on China’s deepening authoritarianism, even as we seek to cooperate on issues where our interests are aligned. It is inspiring to see the brave people of Hong Kong demonstrating peacefully for the civil liberties and autonomy promised by Beijing. The world is watching; we should all stand in support of democratic principles and freedom.

    The forced detention of over a million Uighur Muslims in western China is unconscionable. America should speak out against the internment camps in Xinjiang and hold to account the people and companies complicit in this appalling oppression, including through sanctions and applying the Magnitsky Act.

    The challenge doesn’t stop at China’s borders. Freedom in the 21st century will be won and lost in cyberspace. The Free World should come together to compete with China’s efforts to proliferate its model of high-tech authoritarianism. The United States should lead in shaping the rules, norms, and institutions that will govern the use of new technologies, like Artificial Intelligence. Through diplomacy and development finance, we can work with democratic allies to provide countries with a digital alternative to China’s dystopian system of surveillance and censorship. These efforts could begin at the global Summit for Democracy that I will host my first year in office.

    Most important is that we lead once again by the power of our example. America’s commitment to universal values sets us apart from China. I will reinvigorate and repair our democracy by eliminating the Trump administration’s Muslim ban, increasing our refugee admissions, and ending the indefensible practice of separating families at the border. That is how to project a model that others want to emulate, rather than following China’s authoritarian path.

    Iran

    1. Would you rejoin the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)? What changes to the existing agreement, if any, would you require before agreeing to rejoin the accord?

    - Iran is a destabilizing actor in the Middle East; it must never be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. President Trump abandoned the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—a deal that blocked Iran’s paths to nuclear weapons, as repeatedly verified by international inspectors—with no viable plan to produce a better one. His reckless actions have produced a deep crisis in transatlantic relations and pushed China and Russia closer to Iran. As a result, the United States, rather than Iran, has been isolated. Predictably, Iran has restarted its nuclear program and become more aggressive, moving the region closer to another disastrous war. In short, Trump’s decisions have left us much worse off.

    What Iran is doing is dangerous, but still reversible. If Iran moves back into compliance with its nuclear obligations, I would re-enter the JCPOA as a starting point to work alongside our allies in Europe and other world powers to extend the deal’s nuclear constraints. Doing so would provide a critical down payment to re-establish U.S. credibility, signaling to the world that America’s word and international commitments once again mean something. I would also leverage renewed international consensus around America’s Iran policy—and a redoubled commitment to diplomacy—to more effectively push back against Tehran’s other malign behavior in the region.

    North Korea

    Would you sign an agreement with North Korea that entailed partial sanctions relief in exchange for some dismantling of its nuclear weapons program but not full denuclearization?

    - The next president will almost certainly inherit a North Korea nuclear challenge that is worse than when President Trump took office. After three made-for-TV summits, we still don't have a single concrete commitment from North Korea. Not one missile or nuclear weapon has been destroyed, not one inspector is on the ground. If anything, the situation has gotten worse. North Korea has more capability today than when Trump began his “love affair” with Kim Jong-un, a murderous tyrant who, thanks to Trump, is no longer an isolated pariah on the world stage.

    Diplomacy is important, but diplomacy requires a strategy, a process, and competent leadership to deliver. That is why, as President, I would renew a commitment to arms control for a new era — including on North Korea. The historic Iran nuclear deal the Obama-Biden administration negotiated blocked Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and it provides a blueprint for an effective negotiation. As president, I will empower our negotiators and jumpstart a sustained, coordinated campaign with our allies and others – including China – to advance our shared objective of a denuclearized North Korea.

    Ukraine

    1. What, if any, steps would you take to counter Russian aggression against Ukraine?

    - First, I would make Ukraine a U.S. foreign policy priority. On the military side, I would provide more U.S. security assistance — including weapons — to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend itself. I would also expand the successful training mission for the Ukrainian Armed Forces that was initiated by the Obama-Biden administration.

    Economically, I would work to increase Western direct investment and support for Ukraine’s energy independence from Russia, particularly if the Nordstream II pipeline is built in the coming year, because this project would severely jeopardize Ukraine’s access to Russian gas.

    I would also ensure that all U.S. assistance to Ukraine is strictly conditioned on anti-corruption reforms, including the appointment of genuinely independent anti-corruption prosecutors and courts.

    Finally, I would support a much stronger diplomatic role for the United States, alongside France and Germany, in the negotiations with Russia. For diplomacy to work, however, we need stronger leverage over Moscow, and that means working more closely with our European partners and allies to ensure that Russia pays a heavier price for its ongoing war in Ukraine. Our strategic goal will be to support the evolution of a democratic, unified, sovereign Ukraine and to force the Kremlin to pay a price for its unrelenting attacks on the international order.

    Saudi Arabia

    Given the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the civil war in Yemen, what changes, if any, would you make to U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia?

    - I would end U.S. support for the disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen and order a reassessment of our relationship with Saudi Arabia. It is past time to restore a sense of balance, perspective, and fidelity to our values in our relationships in the Middle East. President Trump has issued Saudi Arabia a dangerous blank check. Saudi Arabia has used it to extend a war in Yemen that has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, pursue reckless foreign policy fights, and repress its own people. Among the most shameful moments of this presidency came after the brutal Saudi murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as Trump defended not the slain U.S. resident but his killers. America’s priorities in the Middle East should be set in Washington, not Riyadh.

    President Trump’s first overseas trip was to Saudi Arabia. As President, I will rally the world’s democracies and our allies in the Free World. We will make clear that America will never again check its principles at the door just to buy oil or sell weapons. We should recognize the value of cooperation on counterterrorism and deterring Iran. But America needs to insist on responsible Saudi actions and impose consequences for reckless ones. I would want to hear how Saudi Arabia intends to change its approach to work with a more responsible U.S. administration.

    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

    Do you support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, if so, how would you go about trying to achieve it?

    - I believe a two-state solution is the only path to long-term security for Israel, while sustaining its identity as a Jewish and democratic state. It is also the only way to ensure Palestinian dignity and their legitimate interest in national self-determination. And it is a necessary condition to take full advantage of the opening that exists for greater cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

    At present, neither the Israeli nor Palestinian leadership seems willing to take the political risks necessary to make progress through direct negotiations. This challenge has been made even more difficult by President Trump’s unilateralism, his moves to cut off assistance to the Palestinians, and his equivocation on the importance of a two-state solution.

    I will restore credible engagement with both sides to the conflict. America must sustain its ironclad commitment to Israel’s security – including the unprecedented support provided by the Obama-Biden administration. It is also essential to resume assistance to the Palestinian Authority that supports Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation, people-to-people programs, economic development, and humanitarian aid and health care for the Palestinian people.

    My administration will urge both sides to take steps to keep the prospect of a two-state outcome alive. Palestinian leaders should end the incitement and glorification of violence, and they must begin to level with their people about the legitimacy and permanence of Israel as a Jewish state in the historic homeland of the Jewish people. Israeli leaders should stop the expansion of West Bank settlements and talk of annexation that would make two states impossible to achieve. They must recognize the legitimacy of Palestinians'aspirations for statehood. Both sides should work to provide more relief to the people of Gaza while working to weaken, and ultimately replace, Hamas. And Arab states should take more steps toward normalization with Israel and increase their financial and diplomatic support for building Palestinian institutions.

    Venezuela

    What, if any, additional steps should the United States take to remove Nicolás Maduro from power in Venezuela?

    - The overriding goal in Venezuela must be to hold free and fair elections so that the Venezuelan people may recover their democracy and rebuild their country. Nicolas Maduro is a tyrant, who has stolen elections, abused his authority, allowed his cronies to enrich themselves, and denied the delivery of food and medicine to the people he claims to lead. I was among the first Democratic foreign policy voices to recognize Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate leader and to call for Maduro to resign.

    Maduro rigged the May 2018 election, and today his regime is barely holding on through violent oppression and by dismantling the last vestiges of Venezuelan democracy. Yet, the Trump Administration appears more interested in using the Venezuelan crisis to rally domestic political support than in seeking practical ways to effect democratic change in Venezuela.

    The U.S. should push for stronger multilateral sanctions so that supporters of the regime cannot live, study, shop, or hide their assets in the United States, Europe, or Latin America. We should grant Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans already in the United States and support countries like Colombia, which are caring for millions of Venezuelans who have fled their country in desperation. I would also marshal the international community to help Venezuelans rebuild their country after Maduro is gone. Finally, the U.S. should use this pressure and promise to achieve a peaceful and negotiated outcome that leads to the release of all political prisoners and credible new elections. Maduro has used dialogue in the past as a tactic to delay action and concentrate power, so the U.S. should maintain sanctions pressure until negotiations produce results.

    Africa

    By 2050, Africa will account for 25 percent of the world’s population according to projections by the United Nations. What are the implications of this demographic change for the United States, and how should we adjust our policies to anticipate them?

    - Helping Africa capitalize on the opportunities and manage the challenges of a burgeoning population is in our shared interest. Africa will have the most youthful population and workforce at a time when other countries will face aging populations and shrinking labor pools. This provides opportunities for American businesses to access new markets and consumers, including in Africa’s growing cities. Africa enjoys some of the fastest growing economies, but that growth needs to be inclusive and sustainable.

    The United States should work with African partners today to:

    • Prioritize economic growth by strengthening trading relationships and boosting Foreign Commercial Service posts to help drive economic ties and jobs - both American and African.
    • Empower African women because we know that educated and empowered women are key to development, from economic growth to health.
    • Start an urbanization initiative, including partnerships with U.S. cities, to help African cities plan for their growth in terms of critical sectors like energy access, climate change adaptation, transportation, and water management.
    • Demonstrate the American model of democracy and economic development. The United States cannot afford to miss this moment to engage with African youth and to offer them a window into the American model of democracy.
       

    Climate

    How would you discourage the proliferation of coal-fired power plants in developing countries?

    - In June, I released the Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice. It offered a comprehensive agenda for meeting the challenge of climate change both at home and around the world. As part of the Biden Plan, I announced that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Export-Import Bank, and the new U.S. International Development Finance Corporation would be prohibited from any financing for coal-fired power plants so that U.S. finance is no longer a dirtier alternative to the World Bank. To provide incentives for, and ease the burden on, developing countries, I further announced that the United States would both recommit to the Green Climate Fund and work with international financial institutions to pursue shared debt relief for countries that use those funds for climate-friendly development. The Biden Plan also envisions building on G20 efforts during the Obama-Biden administration to  secure a worldwide ban on fossil fuel subsidies. And it outlines a number of specific steps to  deter and dissuade China from subsidizing coal exports and outsourcing carbon pollution, including G20 commitments to end all export finance subsidies of high-carbon projects, offering  alternative sources of development financing for lower-carbon investments, and making future U.S.-China bilateral agreements on carbon mitigation contingent on China ending its export subsidies for coal.

    U.S. Foreign Policy

    What has been the greatest foreign policy accomplishment of the United States since World War II? What has been the biggest mistake?

    - The biggest mistake was President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. Climate change is an existential threat. If we don’t get this right, nothing else matters.

    The greatest accomplishment since World War II was the work of the United States and our western allies to rebuild after a devastating global conflict. The investments we made in collective security and prosperity were returned to us many times over in new markets for our products, new partners to deal with complex global challenges and new allies to deter aggression. We didn’t always get it right, but we helped to build economic, political and military coalitions that prevented a third world war, faced down the threat of Soviet domination, lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, and provided prosperity for millions of people living  in the United States.

    0

    Abortion

    1. What is your stance on abortion?
    - Pro-choice, I don’t agree but the government has no right to ban it

    Social Security

    Should the government raise the retirement age for Social Security?
    - No

    Welfare

    Should there be fewer or more restrictions on current welfare benefits?
    - Fewer

    Campaign Finance

    1. Should corporations, unions, and non-profit organizations be allowed to donate to political parties?
    - Yes

    2. Should there be a limit to the amount of money a candidate can receive from a donor?
    - No

    Immigration

    1. Should children of illegal immigrants be granted legal citizenship?
    - Yes

    Marijuana

    Do you support the legalization of Marijuana?
    - Yes, but only for medical use

    Affirmative Action

    Do you support affirmative action programs?
    - Yes

    Minimum Wage

    Should the government raise the federal minimum wage?
    - Yes

    Taxes

    Should the U.S. raise taxes on the rich?
    - Yes

    Afghanistan

    1. Should the United States pull all military troops out of Afghanistan?
    - No

    Term Limits

    Should there be term limits set for members of Congress?
    - Yes

    Terrorism

    Should foreign terrorism suspects be given constitutional rights?
    - Yes

    Death Penalty

    Do you support the death penalty?
    - No, too many people are innocently convicted

    Foreign Aid

    Should the US increase or decrease foreign aid spending?
    - Increase

    Labor Unions

    Do you believe labor unions help or hurt the economy?
    - Help

    Iran

    1. Should the U.S. go to war with Iran?
    - Yes, but only with missile strikes

    Ukraine

    1. Should the U.S. provide military assistance to defend Ukraine from Russia?
    - Yes, the Russian invasion of the Ukraine threatens the balance of power in the region

    Gun Control

    Should there be more restrictions on the current process of purchasing a gun?
    - Yes

    Gay Marriage

    Do you support the legalization of same sex marriage?
    - Yes

    LGBT Adoption Rights

    Should gay couples have the same adoption rights as straight couples?
    - Yes

    Equal Pay

    Should employers be required to pay men and women the same salary for the same job?
    - Yes

    Stay At Home Order

    Should the government enforce a "stay-at-home" order to combat the coronavirus?
    - Yes

    Climate Change

    Should the government increase environmental regulations to prevent climate change?
    - Yes

    Planned Parenthood Funding

    Should the government continue to fund Planned Parenthood?
    - Yes

    Trump Impeachment

    Do you support the impeachment of President Donald Trump?
    - Yes, and Trump should resign from office

    Mandatory Vaccinations

    Should the government require children to be vaccinated for preventable diseases?
    - Yes, they are essential to protecting other children who are too young to be vaccinated

    Marital Rape

    Should marital rape be classified and punished as severely as non-marital rape?
    - Yes

    Pre-Existing Conditions

    Should health insurers be allowed to deny coverage to individuals who have a pre-existing condition?
    - No, it is immoral to deny health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions

    Police Body Cameras

    Should police officers be required to wear body cameras?
    - Yes, this will protect the safety and rights of police officers and citizens

    Gun Buyback

    Should the federal government institute a mandatory buyback of assault weapons?
    - No, it should be voluntary with strong financial incentives instead

    Religious Freedom Act

    Should a business be able to deny service to a customer if the request conflicts with the owner’s religious beliefs?
    - No

    Drug Price Regulation

    Should the government regulate the prices of life-saving drugs?
    - Yes

    Gender Identity

    Should "gender identity" be added to anti-discrimination laws?
    - Yes, and the government should do more to protect minorities from discrimination

    Armed Teachers

    Should teachers be allowed to carry guns at school?
    - No

    Government Mandates

    Should health insurance providers be required to offer free birth control?
    - Yes, except for religious organizations and charities that oppose the use of contraception

    Immigrant Children

    Should adults that are illegally attempting to cross the U.S. border be separated from their children?
    - No, and we should make it easier for immigrants to legally enter the country

    Mental Health

    Should the government increase funding for mental health research and treatment?
    - Yes, our mental healthcare system needs more funding to provide a higher quality of care and services

    Stay-At-Home Order

    When should your state end the "Stay at Home" order and reopen its economy?
    - Until a vaccine is approved by the FDA

    Border Wall

    Should the U.S. build a wall along the southern border?
    - No, this would be too costly and ineffective

    Immigration Ban

    Should there be a temporary ban on all immigration into the United States?
    - No, and we should increase the amount of immigrants we currently allow into the country

    Student Loans

    Do you support increasing taxes for the rich in order to reduce interest rates for student loans?
    - Yes

    Muslim Immigrants

    Should Muslim immigrants be banned from entering the country until the government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists?
    - No, banning immigrants based on their religion is unconstitutional

    Muslim Surveillance

    Should local police increase surveillance and patrol of Muslim neighborhoods?
    - No, targeting Muslims is unconstitutional, racist, and incendiary

    Free College for All

    Should the federal government pay for tuition at four-year colleges and universities?
    - Yes, for low and middle-income families.

    Gerrymandering

    Should the redrawing of Congressional districts be controlled by an independent, non-partisan commission?
    - Yes

    Women in Combat

    Should the military allow women to serve in combat roles?
    - Yes, preventing women from serving in combat roles is discriminatory

    Paid Sick Leave

    Should businesses be required to provide paid leave for full-time employees during the birth of a child or sick family member?
    - Yes, the lack of paid sick leave is unfair to working men and women

    Immigration Healthcare

    Should illegal immigrants have access to government-subsidized healthcare?
    - Yes, but only for life threatening emergencies or infectious diseases

    No-Fly List Gun Control

    Should people on the "no-fly list" be banned from purchasing guns and ammunition?
    - Yes, if the government considers you too dangerous to board a plane you should not be able to buy a gun

    Mandatory Military Service

    Should every 18 year old citizen be required to provide at least one year of military service?
    - No, service should be a choice instead of an obligation

    Deporting Criminal Immigrants

    Should immigrants be deported if they commit a serious crime?
    - No

    United Nations

    Should the U.S. remain in the United Nations?
    - Yes

    Drug Policy

    Are you in favor of decriminalizing drug use?
    - No, and increase punishment for drug dealers

    Foreign Lobbying

    Should foreign lobbyists be allowed to raise money for American elections?
    - No

    Medicaid

    Should the federal government increase funding of health care for low income individuals (Medicaid)?
    - Yes

    Obamacare

    Do you support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)?
    - Yes

    Electoral College

    Should the electoral college be abolished?
    - No

    Corporate Tax

    Should the U.S. raise or lower the tax rate for corporations?
    - Raise

    Illegal Immigrant Detainment

    Should local law enforcement be allowed to detain illegal immigrants for minor crimes and transfer them to federal immigration authorities?
    - Yes

    Fracking

    Do you support the use of hydraulic fracking to extract oil and natural gas resources?
    - Yes

    Foreign Elections

    Should the government attempt to influence foreign elections?
    - No, and we should not try to influence any other country’s elections or policy

    NSA Domestic Surveillance

    Should the NSA (National Security Agency) be allowed to collect basic metadata of citizen’s phone calls such as numbers, timestamps, and call durations?
    - No

    Single-Payer Healthcare

    Do you support a single-payer healthcare system?
    - No

    Immigrant Assimilation

    Should immigrants be required to learn English?
    - No, we should embrace the diversity that immigrants add to our country

    Israel Boycott

    Should it be illegal to join a boycott of Israel?
    - Yes, boycotts against Israel harm one of our most important allies in the Middle East

    Immigrant Laborers

    Should working illegal immigrants be given temporary amnesty?
    - Yes

    Sanctuary Cities

    Should sanctuary cities receive federal funding?
    - Yes

    Transgender Athletes

    Should transgender athletes be allowed to compete in athletic events?
    - Yes, but only if their hormone levels are equivalent to those in the gender category in which they compete

    NATO

    1. Should the U.S. remain in NATO?
    - Yes

    2. Should the U.S. defend other NATO countries that maintain low military defense budgets relative to their GDP?
    - Yes, and refusing to defend other NATO countries sets a dangerous precedent for the balance of global power

    Gun Liability

    Should victims of gun violence be allowed to sue firearms dealers and manufacturers?
    - Yes, any business should be held liable if the primary use of its product is for illegal activity

    Alternative Energy

    Should the government give tax credits and subsidies to the wind power industry?
    - Yes

    Military Congressional Approval

    Should the President be able to authorize military force against Al-Qaeda without Congressional approval?
    - Yes, we must use whatever means necessary to prevent another terrorist attack

    Confederate Flag

    Should states be allowed to display the Confederate flag on government property?
    - No

    Right of Foreigners to Vote

    Should foreigners, currently residing in the United States, have the right to vote?
    - No, only legal citizens should be allowed to vote

    Soleimani

    Do you support the killing of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani?
    - No, this could unnecessarily start another war in the Middle East

    Torture

    Should the military be allowed to use enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to gain information from suspected terrorists?
    - No, torture is inhumane, unethical, and violates the 8th amendment

    In-State Tuition

    Should illegal immigrants be offered in-state tuition rates at public colleges within their residing state?
    - Yes, and they should also be eligible for financial assistance and scholarships

    Social Media Regulation

    Should the government regulate social media sites, as a means to prevent fake news and misinformation?
    - No, the government should not determine what is fake or real news

    Border Security

    Should the U.S. increase restrictions on its current border security policy?
    - No, make it easier for immigrants to access temporary work visas

    Voter Fraud

    Should a photo ID be required to vote?
    - No

    Gender Workplace Diversity

    Should businesses be required to have women on their board of directors?
    - Yes

    Private Prisons

    Should the government hire private companies to run prisons?
    - No

    Corporate Mega Mergers

    Should the government prevent "mega mergers" of corporations that could potentially control a large percentage of market share within its industry?
    - Yes, if the merged corporation would have more than 50% of the market share

    Net Neutrality

    Should internet service providers be allowed to speed up access to popular websites (that pay higher rates) at the expense of slowing down access to less popular websites (that pay lower rates)?
    - No

    Plastic Product Ban

    Should disposable products (such as plastic cups, plates, and cutlery) that contain less than 50% of biodegradable material be banned?
    - Yes

    Welfare Drug Testing

    Should welfare recipients be tested for drugs?
    - Yes, but provide treatment for those testing positive

    Oil Drilling

    Should the U.S. expand offshore oil drilling?
    - No

    Israel

    Should the U.S. continue to support Israel?
    - Yes

    Citizenship Test

    Should immigrants be required to pass a citizenship test to demonstrate a basic understanding of our country’s language, history, and government?
    - Yes, but it should only cover very basic and simple topics

    Euthanasia

    Should terminally ill patients be allowed to end their lives via assisted suicide?
    - No

    Candidate Transparency

    Should political candidates be required to release their recent tax returns to the public?
    - Yes

    Paris Climate Agreement

    Should the U.S. withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement?
    - No

    Government Spending

    Should the government make cuts to public spending in order to reduce the national debt?
    - No

    Skilled Immigrants

    Should the US increase or decrease the amount of temporary work visas given to high-skilled immigrant workers?
    - Increase

    Patriot Act

    Do you support the Patriot Act?
    - Yes

    Medicaid Work Requirement

    Should people be required to work in order to receive Medicaid?
    - No, the vast majority of people who receive Medicaid are disabled

    Universal Basic Income

    Do you support a universal basic income program?
    - No, this will encourage people not to work and harm economic growth

    Medicare Drug Prices

    Should the federal government be allowed to negotiate drug prices for Medicare?
    - Yes

    Safe Spaces

    Should universities provide "trigger warnings" and "safe spaces" for students?
    - Yes

    Flag Burning

    Should it be illegal to burn the American flag?
    - No, this is a violation of free speech

    Lobbyists

    Should there be a 5-year ban on White House and Congressional officials from becoming lobbyists after they leave the government?
    - No

    North Korea Military Strikes

    Should the U.S. conduct military strikes against North Korea in order to destroy their long-range missile and nuclear weapons capabilities?
    - No, we must use every diplomatic option first

    Minimum Voting Age

    Should the minimum voting age be lowered?
    - No, and voters should be required to pass a basic test demonstrating their understanding of politics in order to vote

    Whistleblower Protection

    Should the government pass laws which protect whistleblowers?
    - Yes, but only if releasing the information does not threaten our national security

    Yemen

    Should the U.S. provide military aid to Saudi Arabia during its conflict with Yemen?
    - Yes, this will prevent Iran from gaining too much power in the Middle East

    Niqab

    Should women be allowed to wear a Niqab, or face veil, to civic ceremonies?
    - Yes, we should respect all cultural traditions

    Military Spending

    Should the government increase or decrease military spending?
    - Decrease

    Supreme Court Reform

    Should the Supreme Court be reformed to include more seats and term limits on judges?
    - Yes

    Solitary Confinement for Juveniles

    Should prisons ban the use of solitary confinement for juveniles?
    - Yes

    Free Tax Filing

    Should the IRS create a free electronic tax filing system?
    - Yes

    Syrian Refugees

    Should the U.S. accept refugees from Syria?
    - Yes, we should accept 10,000 refugees

    Common Core

    Do you support Common Core national standards?
    - No

    Foreign Assassination

    Should the US assassinate suspected terrorists in foreign countries?
    - Yes

    First Amendment

    Should the government support a separation of church and state by removing references to God on money, federal buildings, and national monuments?
    - No

    Capital Gains Tax

    Should the government increase the tax rate on profits earned from the sale of stocks, bonds, and real estate?
    - Yes, and increase to the average U.S. tax rate (31.5%)

    Animal Testing

    Should researchers be allowed to use animals in testing the safety of drugs, vaccines, medical devices, and cosmetics?
    - Yes, but not for cosmetics

    Safe Haven

    Should cities open drug "safe havens" where people who are addicted to illegal drugs can use them under the supervision of medical professionals?
    - No, this would encourage drug use and lower funding for rehabilitation centers

    Dakota Access Pipeline

    Should the government stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline?
    - Yes

    ISIS Ground Troops

    Should the U.S. send ground troops into Syria to fight ISIS?
    - Yes, send a few hundred ground troops

    Overtime Pay

    Should the government require businesses to pay salaried employees, making up to $46k/year, time-and-a-half for overtime hours?
    - Yes, and all employees should be paid time-and-a-half for overtime hours regardless of their pay scale

    Eminent Domain

    Should the government be allowed to seize private property, with reasonable compensation, for public or civic use?
    - Yes, as long as landowners are fairly compensated and the projects will benefit the community

    Drones

    Should the military fly drones over foreign countries to gain intelligence and kill suspected terrorists?
    - Yes

    Economic Stimulus

    Should the government use economic stimulus to aid the country during times of recession?
    - Yes, the government should intervene to boost a recovery

    VA Privatization

    Should there be more or less privatization of veterans’ healthcare?
    - Less

    GMO Labels

    Should producers be required to label genetically engineered foods (GMOs)?
    - Yes, consumers have a right to know what is in their food

    Universal Pre-K

    Should the federal government fund Universal preschool?
    - Yes

    Criminal Voting Rights

    Should convicted criminals have the right to vote?
    - Yes, but only after completing their sentences and parole/probation

    Dual Citizenship

    Should immigrants to the United States be allowed to hold dual citizenship status?
    - Yes, unless they have committed a crime

    Criminal Politicians

    Should a politician, who has been formerly convicted of a crime, be allowed to run for office?
    - Yes, as long as it was not a felony, violent, financial, or sexual crime

    Mandatory minimum prison sentences

    Do you support mandatory minimum prison sentences for people charged with drug possession?
    - No

    NAFTA

    Should the U.S. continue to participate in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
    - Yes, NAFTA helps lower the prices of consumer products

    Estate Tax

    Should the current estate tax rate be decreased?
    - No, and increase it at a progressive rate

    Nuclear Energy

    Do you support the use of nuclear energy?
    - Yes

    Drug Trafficking Penalties

    Should drug traffickers receive the death penalty?
    - No

    Space Exploration

    Should the government fund space travel?
    - Yes, and drastically increase NASA’s current budget

    War on ISIS

    Should the U.S. formally declare war on ISIS?
    - Yes, but only with full cooperation from the United Nations

    Cuba

    Do you support President Obama’s move to lift the trade and travel embargo on Cuba?
    - Yes

    Tariffs

    Should the government add or increase tariffs on products imported into the country?
    - No, a global free trade system is better for our businesses and consumers

    China Tariffs

    Should the U.S. increase tariffs on imported products from China?
    - No

    Domestic Jobs

    Should the President offer tax breaks to individual companies to keep jobs in the U.S.?
    - Yes, and drastically increase taxes and import tariffs on outsourcing businesses

    Tech Monopolies

    Should the government break up Amazon, Facebook and Google?
    - No

    Federal Reserve

    Should the Federal Reserve Bank be audited by Congress?
    - Yes, we deserve to know who the bank gives money to

    Farm Subsidies

    Should the government subsidize farmers?
    - Yes

    Political Advertising on Social Media

    Should social media companies ban political advertising?
    - No

    Property Taxes

    Would you favor an increased sales tax in order to reduce property taxes?
    - No

    NSA Surveillance

    Should the U.S. continue NSA surveillance of its allies?
    - Yes

    Offshore Banking

    Should U.S. citizens be allowed to save or invest their money in offshore bank accounts?
    - No

    Pension Reform

    Should pension plans for federal, state, and local government workers be transitioned into privately managed accounts?
    - No

    Edward Snowden

    Should the U.S. government grant immunity to Edward Snowden?
    - No, he should be returned to the U.S. to stand trial and face the consequences of his actions

    Russian Airstrikes in Syria

    Should the U.S. prevent Russia from conducting airstrikes in Syria?
    - No, all airstrikes should be conducted through UN coordination

    Prison Overcrowding

    Should non-violent prisoners be released from jail in order to reduce overcrowding?
    - No

    Trans-Pacific Partnership

    Do you support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?
    - No, this will incentivize companies to move jobs out of the country

    India Arms

    Should the U.S. sell military weapons to India in order to counter Chinese and Russian influence?
    - Yes, selling military weapons to foreign countries will help boost the economy

    Government Pensions

    Should pension payments be increased for retired government workers?
    - No, not until we decrease our national debt

    Public Transportation

    Should the government increase spending on public transportation?
    - Yes, and provide more free public transportation

    Jerusalem

    Should Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of Israel?
    - No, and foreign governments should not move their embassies there

    Online Sales Tax

    Should an in-state sales tax apply to online purchases of in-state buyers from out-of-state sellers?
    - Yes

    School Truancy

    Should the government decriminalize school truancy?
    - Yes

    Hong Kong Fugitive Extradition

    Should the Chinese government be able to extradite fugitives from Hong Kong?
    - No

    Corporate Subsidies

    Should cities be allowed to offer private companies economic incentives to relocate?
    - Yes, as long as the tax revenue will eventually exceed the tax incentives

    F-35

    Should the government cancel production of the F-35 fighter?
    - No

    Bitcoin

    Should the government classify Bitcoin as a legal currency?
    - No, classify it as a commodity

    State Ownership

    Should the government acquire equity stakes in companies it bails out during a recession?
    - No

    Greenland

    Should the United States acquire Greenland?
    - No, the U.S. does not need to expand its global footprint at this time

    Air Force One

    Should the military upgrade Air Force One?
    - No, not until the cost ($4B) is dramatically reduced

    Sports Betting

    Should sports betting be legal?
    - Yes, but let each state decide

    Speeches
    Articles

    How Biden Chose Harris: Inside His Search for a Running Mate

    Aug. 12, 2020

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Gretchen Whitmer wanted out. The Michigan governor had caught the interest of Joe Biden and his vice presidential vetting committee, who were drawn to her prominence in a crucial battleground state and her aggressive response to the coronavirus outbreak there. But by late spring, the nation was in the midst of a reckoning over race and inequality following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes. Whitmer sent word to Biden’s team that while she was flattered, she no longer wanted to be considered for the running mate slot, according to a high-ranking Democrat familiar with the process. She recommended Biden pick a Black woman. But Biden still wanted Whitmer in the mix, and he personally called her in mid-June to ask if she would continue on to the second, more intensive round of vetting, according to the official. Whitmer agreed. But forces in the country, and within the Democratic Party, were indeed pushing Biden toward a history-making pick. As protests over the death of Floyd and other Black Americans filled the streets across the country, an array of Democrats urged Biden to put a Black woman on the ticket — a nod to this moment in the nation’s history, to the critical role Black voters played in Biden’s ascent to the Democratic nomination, and to their vital importance in his general election campaign against President Donald Trump. On Tuesday, Biden tapped California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his running mate, making her the first Black woman to serve on a major party presidential ticket. This account of how he made that decision, the most important of his political career, is based on interviews with 10 people with direct knowledge of the vetting and selection process. Most spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose private conversations and deliberations. Biden, well aware of the potential pitfalls of being a 77-year-old white male standard-bearer of a party increasingly comprised of women, people of color and young voters, made clear even before he had clinched the Democratic nomination that his running mate would be a woman. His initial list of possible contenders was sprawling: roughly 20 governors, senators, congresswomen, mayors and other Democratic stalwarts. They were young and old; Black, Hispanic, white, Asian; straight and gay. Some, including Harris, had competed against Biden for the Democratic nomination. From the start, some Biden advisers saw Harris as a logical choice. She was among the party’s most popular figures, a deft debater and a fundraising juggernaut. She had been thoroughly vetted during her own campaign and Biden’s team expected there would be few surprises if she was the pick. Indeed, Harris’ potential downsides were well-known to Biden advisers. Her record as a prosecutor in California was already viewed skeptically by some younger Democrats during the primary and would face even more scrutiny against the backdrop of a national debate over inequality in the criminal justice system. There were also nagging questions about Harris’ most high-profile moment of the primary campaign — a harsh and deeply personal broadside against Biden over his position on school busing in the 1970s. Though Biden would later brush the moment aside as campaign tactics, the attack was said to have stunned the former vice president, who had considered his relationship with Harris strong. It also raised concern among a small cadre of Biden advisers that Harris would be eyeing the Oval Office herself from the start, a particular worry given that Biden has not firmly committed to serving two terms if elected in November. And so, as spring turned to summer, a string of other Black women would take a turn in the spotlight as Biden weighed his options. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Florida Rep. Val Demings impressed Biden’s team with their leadership during the police brutality protests. Some House Democrats — including South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, a close Biden confidant — advocated for Rep. Karen Bass, a Californian who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus. Biden also took a strong interest in Susan Rice, with whom he worked closely when she served in the White House as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser. The leading contenders, who also included Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, submitted reams of financial records, texts of speeches and other personal information. Biden’s selection team canvassed a vast array of Democrats to ask for their views on the candidates’ temperament and families, then grilled the candidates on much of the same. Biden, too, regularly discussed his potential pick with his sprawling network of friends and advisers. He used Obama in particular as a sounding board, though confidants to both men say the former president was careful not to tip his hand in those conversations as to whom he preferred. But in private, Obama suggested to others that he believed Harris was the favorite. ___ In one of Harris’ conversations with the vetting committee, Chris Dodd — a longtime Biden friend who served alongside him in the Senate — asked if she had remorse for her debate stage attack on his busing record. Harris, as she had previously done so publicly, brushed it aside as simply politics. Dodd, a member of the running mate selection committee, was put off and let that be known. The incident was first reported by Politico and confirmed to The Associated Press by a person with direct knowledge. The public disclosure of Dodd’s comments angered some of the highest-ranking women on Biden’s campaign team. Some of Harris’ allies also mobilized to defend her, including California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, who organized a call with Biden’s vetting team about two weeks ago to assuage any doubts about whether the senator was the right choice for the ticket. On the 45-minute call, Kounalakis and other statewide officials, labor and business leaders took turns sharing their personal histories with Harris and their impressions of her as a leader. “Speaking out as strongly as we did, collectively, helped them understand how supported she is and why,” Kounalakis said on Tuesday. The call ended with Biden’s vetting team telling the Harris supporters that they had all recommended her as one of the top candidates for the job.___ The pandemic had largely grounded Biden in his home state of Delaware throughout the summer, and also upended some of the ways he had expected to build a rapport with the running-mate contenders. There were no joint rallies or carefully orchestrated, yet casual-looking, outings to local restaurants in battleground states. Biden was also accepting few in-person visitors at his home. But he did want to speak one-on-one with the women who had made it through the vetting process and interviews with his selection committee. He would hold conversations with 11 women in the final nine days before he made his pick — a mixture of in-person meetings and video teleconferences. Whitmer was among those who flew to Delaware for an in-person audience. She boarded a private plane in Lansing, Michigan, on Aug. 2, spending just a few hours on the ground before returning to Michigan. Rice, who had perhaps the closest personal relationship with Biden of all the contenders, spoke twice with Biden in recent days. Duckworth also had a formal interview over the weekend, as did Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, who was initially viewed as a leading contender for the job. On Tuesday, in the hours before his campaign announced Harris as the pick, Biden would call each of those women to inform them that they had not been selected. Warren, whose relationship with Biden has deepened in recent months through regular policy discussions, was also among those to receive a personal call from the former vice president. In some of the conversations, Biden left open an opportunity. Please consider joining me in another role in the administration, he said. ___ Eggert reported from Lansing, Mich., and Ronayne from Sacramento, Calif. Associated Press writers Bill Barrow in Atlanta, Will Weissert in Wilmington, Del., and Laurie Kellman in Washington contributed to this report.Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/

    Joe Biden Makes Kamala Harris the Next Front-Runner

    Aug. 12, 2020

    “Now that the White House finally seems within reach, [Joe Biden] does not want to be outshone, according to people who know him,” reported The Atlantic last month in explaining why low-key Rep. Karen Bass was being considered for vice president. “[T]here’s less speculation that [Susan] Rice would run for the Oval Office the way [Kamala] Harris almost certainly would post-Biden. That might give Rice an edge,” reported Politico soon after. It didn’t. Biden actually didn’t mind picking a running mate who shines brightly. He passed over the contenders who signaled a lack of presidential ambition in favor of one who we all know wants the top job, because she applied for it last year. Kamala Harris will now almost certainly be the front-runner in the next open Democratic primary, whether it is 2024 or 2028. As I noted in my July 27 RealClearPolitics column, current and former VPs have almost always won presidential primaries in which they run. (The lone exception being Dan Quayle, who was widely mocked while vice president and ran against his former boss’ son in the 2000 primary before quickly dropping out. We could also count Hubert Humphrey’s losing effort in 1972, though he was burdened by having already lost a general election in 1968.) And Harris, barring health problems or a scandal, would run. Biden’s choice was greeted with cheers throughout the Democratic Party, suggesting a high degree of comfort with a Harris-led party in the near future. The few voices of discontent on the left came from outside the party, in the Twitter accounts of socialist activists, where Harris’ record as a prosecutor and ties to Silicon Valley donors are targets for criticism. Jacobin, the socialist magazine, posted links to old critiques of Harris, with teasers such as “Kamala Harris has matched every one of her progressive achievements with reactionary ones.” “Crime bill author Joe Biden selects ‘top cop’ Kamala Harris for VP as racial justice and police abolition protests continue across the country,” posted Walker Bragman. “Wall Street rejoicing over @KamalaHarris as president in 2024,” wrote Jordan Chariton. These are people who wanted Bernie Sanders to be the nominee, and probably would have settled for the populist-but-not-socialist Elizabeth Warren as Biden’s running mate. The Trump campaign immediately attacked Harris’ selection as evidence Biden is embracing the “radical left.” But the Republican National Committee picked up the smattering of socialist complaints for an email sent to reporters with the subject line “liberals revolt against Biden, Harris ticket.” The two lines of attack are not readily in sync with each other. The socialists know full well that the choice of Harris isn’t an embrace of them. Biden, who always said he wanted someone “simpatico” with his views, was never going to pick a far left candidate. But clearly some on the left held out hope for an unambitious politician like Bass who might not ever run for the job. Picking Harris greatly complicates any plans to run another presidential candidate in the mold of Bernie Sanders — the most likely option being Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the next most famous socialist elected official in the country and, being born in 1989, just barely constitutionally eligible in 2024. Harris could move towards the left over time. Her ideological zigzagging in the presidential primary prompted some criticism that she didn’t hold any deep convictions. (The Trump campaign is trying to square the competing criticisms of Harris by labeling her a “phony” who, along with Biden, will get pushed around by the “radical left.”) But Harris made some comments in the primary that suggest she does have a deeply held governing philosophy: pragmatism. In July 2019, she said to New York Times reporter Alexander Burns, “I’m not trying to restructure society. I’m just trying to take care of the issues that wake people up in the middle of the night.” That was an implicit swipe at Sanders, who often called for “revolution,” and Warren, whose mantra was “big structural change.” In a separate Times interview two months later, Harris added, “I have this saying, which is: ‘No good public policy ends with an exclamation point.’” Burns noted, “There are points when Ms. Harris appears to miss her own standards for practicality, envisioning trillions of dollars in new benefits without enough new revenue to fully sustain them.” Fair enough, but she is hardly the first politician to propose big in the campaign with an eye toward more modest compromise once in office. And to state flatly that she prefers policies that don’t have an “exclamation point” — that aren’t superficially stirring — is something a politician would only say when she means it. It’s not exactly a slogan that lights up a bumper sticker. The Atlantic posed this question last month: “Will [Biden] decide [his party’s] future by anointing a successor, or pick someone, like Bass, who’s less likely to run for president?” The question is now answered. Biden has anointed a successor in Harris. He anointed a successor who can be expected to keep the Democratic Party rooted in pragmatism. He anointed a successor who is well positioned to stave off any socialist or populist insurgents from claiming the next presidential nomination and steering the party in a more ideologically severe direction. In other words, Biden picked a woman like him.Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/

    Joe Biden's Awful Vice Presidential Pick

    Aug. 12, 2020

    For well over a year, former Vice President Joe Biden has carried forth a simple strategy: Be nonthreatening. Facing a volatile, mistake-prone incumbent, Biden merely had to mimic vital signs, stay out of the spotlight and avoid looking off-putting or radical. And he accomplished those objectives, to great effect. He barely stumbled his way through the Democratic primaries, representing the nonradical voting repository for those alienated by the extremism of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren; he refused to kowtow to the Twitter blue checkmarks calling for him to endorse rioting and looting; he shied away from insane slogans about defunding the police. He stayed in the basement, playing prevent defense against President Donald Trump. All he had before him was one final hurdle: picking a vice president. Usually, the vice presidential pick means little or nothing. The vice presidency is a uniquely powerless office, and presidents rarely hand over power to their vice presidents. But Joe Biden will be 78 in November and appears to be slipping significantly mentally -- despite CNN's protestations that he can still ride a bicycle. There is a reason nearly 6 in 10 Americans, according to a new Rasmussen poll, think Biden's vice president will finish his first term. So Biden had one task: to pick a vice president who would appear nonthreatening, mainstream and generally normal. The onus would then lie with President Trump to shift the spotlight from his own campaign. Biden couldn't do it. He made an early error on that score when he declared publicly that he would pick a woman. This made it obvious that Biden was seeking a token -- some sop for the woke progressives in his base. And that sop opened the door to further demands: the demand, for example, that he pick not merely a woman (or, as the woke left might have it, an individual with a cervix) but a black woman. And so Biden was trapped into a limited selection of politicians, ranging from the unknown (Rep. Val Demings of Florida) to the communist (Rep. Karen Bass of California), from the quietly sinister (former President Obama's national security advisor Susan Rice) to the loudly ridiculous (Georgia non-governor Stacey Abrams). None of these picks would be great; some would be far worse than others. But there was one pick who would prove far worse than all the others: Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. Harris is deeply radical. She endorsed "Medicare for All" while announcing that she would move Americans away from their private health care plans; she announced in open debate that she would use executive orders to ban "assault weapons"; she said she would ban fracking; she attacked Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a purported rapist and Judge Brian Buescher for his Catholicism. Harris is unpopular with many black Americans: As a prosecutor, she was fond of pursuing heavy sentences for light charges, as well as civil asset forfeiture -- and then she bragged about smoking marijuana during her campaign. Harris has similarly alienated moderates, attacking Biden himself as a vicious racist for his unwillingness to support forced school busing in the 1970s, and suggesting that she believed Biden's sexual harassment accusers. There is a reason Harris utterly flamed out in the primaries, aside from her bizarre habit of breaking into a Joker-esque whoop when asked difficult questions. Nothing about Harris screams nonthreatening. In fact, in her Machiavellian campaign manipulations, she appeared deeply threatening -- threatening enough that Biden campaign adviser Chris Dodd reportedly wondered why Harris "had no remorse" for her opportunistic and dishonest attacks on Biden. At the very least, Biden should hire a food taster. In selecting Harris, Biden has opened the door to the Trump campaign. And Trump should take full advantage. Biden's alleged moderation means nothing if he is willing to place Kamala Harris one heartbeat from the presidency. Biden's entire campaign strategy has now been undercut -- all in a vain attempt to please the Twitterati, who will remain pleased for precisely seven seconds. Trump should be ecstatic. The race is on. And that's all on Biden. Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/

    Events

    2020

    Sep. 8
    Vote by Mail Rally with Stacey Abrams!

    Tue 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

    Mar. 10
    Cleveland, OH: Campaign Event with Joe Biden

    Tue 8:15 PM – 10:00 PM EDT

    Cleveland, Ohio Cleveland, OH

    Mar. 9
    Detroit, MI: Get Out the Vote Event with Joe Biden

    Mon 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT

    Renaissance High School Detroit, MI