Profile: Joe Biden

January 3, 2008 6:17:56 PM PST
Political profile of candidate Joe BidenJOE BIDEN, Democrat
Senator from Delaware
Age 65

EXPERIENCE: U.S. senator, 1972-present; New Castle County Council, 1970-72; sought presidential nomination, 1988.

EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree in history and political science, University of Delaware, 1965; law degree, Syracuse University, 1968.

FAMILY: Wife Jill Jacobs; one daughter, Ashley. Was widowed in 1972, when wife Neilia Hunter was killed in a car crash, along with daughter Naomi. He has two other children from that marriage, Beau and Hunter.


  • Favors abortion rights.

  • When asked in 2003 whether gay marriage is inevitable, said: "I'm not sure. I think probably it is."
  • Opposed constitutional amendment against it.

  • Favors negotiation of new treaty to curb emissions.
  • Voted for 2003 bill that would have capped 2010 emissions at 2000 levels, increasing energy costs.

  • Wants to expand health insurance to cover all children.
  • Supports making catastrophic care available for all.
  • Looks to states for ideas on moving toward universal coverage.

  • Backed 2006 bill offering legal status to illegal immigrants who have been in the country for at least five years, subject to conditions including English proficiency and payment of back taxes and fines, with tougher conditions for those who have been in the U.S. for shorter time.
  • Favors tightening U.S.-Mexico border with fences.

  • IRAQ:
  • Voted in favor of the Iraq war authorization, though now says he would not voted that way again.
  • Would withdraw most U.S. troops as soon as possible, leaving about 20,000 in or near Iraq.
  • That pullout is part of a political plan he sponsored with Sen. Brownback that would limit the power of Iraq's central government and give more control to three ethnically divided states.
  • The plan was part of a nonbinding resolution laying out the plan that won Senate approval last year.
  • Got 4 percent in Dec. 31st Des Moines Register Iowa Poll.

  • Biden has mentioned dropping out if he fails to meet expectations in Iowa.