It’s hard to believe that a mere 3 years and some odd months ago, Joe Biden was standing alongside Barack Obama in the White House smiling with his “Uncle Joe” grin, considered by most a solid Vice President in a country whose bickering and divisiveness seemed almost nonexistent compared to the day he announced his running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris, just last week.
Now the man in the White House has a slew of nicknames for Biden, and though some may even be justified, to call them “elementary” would be an insult to the entirety of our fine fourth grade student base here in the United States, so you can Google them if you so desire.
Regardless of who was in the master bedroom at the White House over the last decade, the persona of “Joe Biden, Obama’s VP” is pretty much what the general public knew of him, and as far as Kamala Harris, she just really gained national attention in 2016 when she won a close Senate race out of California. Here is a closer look at the names that made it out of the long, often-laughable, sometimes-heated, but ultimately not-horrible Democratic debate season.
Joe Biden is a proud born-and-raised Pennsylvanian (just like the author of this article. Go Birds), having grown up in Scranton, which is actually pretty well represented in the Steve Carrel-led U.S. version of “The Office.” Fitting, too, as now with Kamala at his side, Biden can say “that’s what she said” without offending anyone… but I digress. Scranton is a hard-working town, and Biden credits his upbringing for his mentality, often quoting his father with things like, “The measure of a man is not how often he is knocked down, but how quickly he gets up.”
He faced some bullying as a kid for a stutter that he “grew out of,” and credits his compassion for this. But, judging by his recent speeches, it may be making a comeback in his older years, but it’s a much more inclusive world. His family eventually relocated to Delaware, where he graduated from a private high school in 1961 where he played football and claims to have washed the windows and mowed the lawn so his family could afford the tuition. Oh, the struggle!
His VP counterpart, Kamala Harris, started her life journey on the other side of the country in Oakland California. She was born in 1964, only a decade after the Brown v Board of Education ruling (and 3 years after Uncle Joe started college) to two foreign-born parents; a mother from India who had emigrated to attend UC Berkeley, and a father who was Jamaican-born and later became an economics professor at Stanford University.
Her mother taught her about the Hindu religion, and also took her back to India a few times, following a divorce and a relocation to Montreal, Quebec. She graduated high school in Quebec before relocating to the United States for college. She was more worldly than most before reaching adulthood.
Sticking with Kamala, she attended Howard University, a historically black university, in Washington, D.C. where she participated on the debate team and earned a degree in political science and economics. She then moved to California to follow her mother’s footsteps, ultimately earning her J.D. from the Hastings College of Law at UC Berkeley.
Biden stayed close to home for college, attending the University of Delaware where he continued to play football, and studied history and political science. In natural fashion, he became very interested in politics and change during college, a big reason being the inspiring inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961. He also met a young lady on spring break who attended Syracuse, so he applied and got accepted to Syracuse Law School the next year and would later graduate from there.
1970 – 1972 – New Castle County, Delaware Councilman
1973 – 2008 – United States Senator
2008 – 2016 – Vice President of the United States
That’s it… Joe Biden has only had 3 jobs! By most accounts he did very well at those jobs, but still pretty wild.
2003 – 2010 – San Francisco District Attorney
2010 – 2016 – California Attorney General
2016 – Present – United States Senator
Though Biden was a practicing lawyer for a couple of years before the Senate, most of his life has been spent in the legislative branch of government. Harris, on the other hand, was an attorney for a lot longer, hence her perceived “gap” in political employment. 2016 was her first time working on the legislative branch, though she is very familiar with the judicial side. It’s also fun to note that she defeated her old boss in her first election for San Fran DA.
Past Rendezvous and Other Fun Stuff
The first time Biden and Harris were mentioned together was leading up to the 2016 Senate elections, when Biden (by way of being Obama’s VP) endorsed Harris for Senate.
A couple of years later, Harris didn’t exactly return the favor when the two made their presidential bids. She went after Biden on a couple of occasions about his dedication to anti-racist initiatives. Why he didn’t ask her about her past as a “tough on crime” prosecutor is beyond me, but it seems to have worked, as he won the ticket and the two have obviously made amends.
Ultimately, their political journeys to seem to accent each other quite well, and they both have stood up to the proverbial system a couple of times, which is nice to see from anyone on either side of the aisle.
If the democrats do win the White House, there will, indeed, be an establishment Democrat at the helm with a former harsh prosecutor at his side, but both have proven to be politicians who listen to their constituents and act accordingly. If you want more progress, let them know!