In week 21 of our U.S. Presidential campaign reporting, we come to Vice President Joseph Robinette “Joe” Biden, Jr.
Mentioned often during the early speculation days of the campaign, Biden appears to have dropped from mainstream news media consideration as a potential candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination. Of course, if U.S. President Barack Obama were to leave office then Biden would be next in line.
Biden, 72, campaigned for President in 1988 and 2008, dropping out, on both occasions, early in the primary process. Before joining the Obama ticket, Biden served as a U.S. Senator from Delaware (1973-2009) and the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Additionally, Biden chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee during the contentious nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.
Although Biden has made no public remarks of late regarding a campaign, there is a movement to get him on the ballot. Draft Biden 2016 is an effort by volunteers to collect signatures and petitions on the Vice President’s behalf.
On its website, www.draftbiden2016.com, the group highlights Biden’s qualities of experience, values, foreign policy and ability as a skilled negotiator as reasons to draft him. On June 20, in Davenport Iowa, about three dozen people attended a “rally” organized by Draft Biden 2016 Executive Director Will Pierce, reported the Quad-City Times. Pierce told the Times his group has collected more than 81,000 signatures of support.
In terms of LGBT issues, Biden was an early supporter of marriage equality, stating on the television program “Meet the Press” in May of 2012 that he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage in society. Biden’s position, many analysts believe, helped convince Obama to take a stronger stance for equal marriage rights.
Biden is married to Jill, an educator. The couple is mourning the loss of their eldest son, Beau, who passed from brain cancer last month.