Biden's Story: Tenacity Born of Tragedy

Foreign policy heavyweight brings experience to ticket
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2008 6:40 AM CDT
Barack Obama, right, huddles with Joseph Biden left, on Capitol Hill in Washington in this Jan. 31, 2007 file photo during the committee's hearing on Iraq.    (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Blunt, tough and seasoned, Obama veepstakes winner Joe Biden has a history of surviving both personal tragedy and political disappointment. Delaware's News-Journal details the story of the state's favorite son, who became modern history's youngest senator when elected at 29. His wife and baby daughter died in a car crash before he had even been sworn in.

In his autography, he writes of being drawn to suicide, but knowing he had to "fight to stay alive" to care for his two sons. His 1988 White House bid collapsed after he admitted plagiarizing a speech. He survived a nearly fatal anneurism that sidelined him for 7 months. His outspoken style—he caught flak for calling President Bush "brain-dead" while campaigning for John Kerry—has gotten him into hot water innumerable times, and those gaffes will be used against the ticket in the months ahead.