Obama picks Biden for vice president
Saturday 23 August 2008
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama named veteran politician Joe Biden as his running mate today, his campaign confirmed.
Mr Biden, who chairs the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee and has three decades of experience, will help the Obama campaign challenge the frequent criticism that it lacks foreign policy experience.
Mr Obama's choice of the 65-year-old Delaware senator as his vice presidential nominee was officially confirmed by a text message to supporters this morning as his campaign continues to embrace technology to garner support.
The announcement comes ahead of the Democratic Party's national convention in Denver, Colorado, next week, where Mr Obama is likely to be officially nominated as the party's presidential nominee.
Mr Biden will help strengthen the 46-year-old Illinois senator's foreign policy credentials.
Other potential vice presidential nominees, including Virginia governor Tim Kaine and Indiana senator Evan Bayh could have helped deliver a certain set of voters, or reinforce Mr Obama's message of change.
Mr Biden will now make a speech at the convention on Tuesday, but most US pundits agree that vice presidential candidates do not swing elections.
Mr Obama's two-month search for a running mate was conducted almost entirely in secret.
His Republican rival John McCain is expected to name his vice presidential nominee next week. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney are reportedly among those being considered.
Gaffe-prone Mr Biden is known for being talkative and is prone to making statements which get him in to trouble.
Last year, as a Democratic presidential hopeful, he said Mr Obama was "not yet ready" for the presidency, a remark which will now be seized upon by the Republican attack machine ahead of the general election on November 4.
Even before Mr Obama confirmed his selection this morning, McCain campaign spokesman Ben Porritt said: "There has been no harsher critic of Barack Obama's lack of experience than Joe Biden.
"Biden has denounced Barack Obama's poor foreign policy judgment and has strongly argued in his own words what Americans are quickly realising - that Barack Obama is not ready to be president."
Mr Biden, who dropped out of the presidential race in Iowa in January, is of Irish Catholic heritage but is in favour of abortion rights, a key issue in American elections.
He originally voted to authorise the war in Iraq, but has since become a persistent critic of the Bush administration's policies there.
Born in a working class family in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on November 20 1942, Mr Biden is not a household name, but was arguably the most well-known of those being considered by Mr Obama.
He first ran for the US Senate when he was 29 years old.
He was also the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during two of the most contentious Supreme Court nomination battles of the past 50 years.
He led the opposition to the nominations of Robert H Bork, who was defeated, and Clarence Thomas, who was later confirmed.
Mr Biden married Neilia Hunter in 1966 and the couple had three children.
But his wife and 13-month-old daughter Naomi died in a car accident on December 18 1972, shortly after he was first elected to the US Senate.
His two sons, Joseph R "Beau" Biden III and Robert Hunter, were seriously injured, but Mr Biden was persuaded not to resign to look after them and was sworn into office from their bedside.
Both have since made full recoveries.
In 1977 he married Jill Tracy Jacobs, with whom he has one daughter Ashley, and he continues to commute 90-minutes each day from his home in the Wilmington suburbs to Washington, DC.
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence's own witness contradicts athlete's version of events
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
South Korea ferry: Captain Lee Joon-seok could face criminal investigation as over 280 remain missing
Peaches Geldof dead: Private funeral for the family and friends of the socialite will take place next week
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 The Hobbit: There and Back Again set for possible title change
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...