Get to Know Joe Biden


"I never went to the bridge," Biden said. "I'd get up in the middle of the night, go out and take out a bottle of Scotch … and I'd sit at the table and I'd try to make myself just lose it. I couldn't bring myself … but the hardest part is you feel guilty when you realize you want to live. If the love was as great and as profound as you believed it to be, why would you still want to live?"

However, with the help of his friends and family Biden was pressed on and continued in the Senate, with a few alterations to his lifestyle. His sister and family moved in to Biden's home to help with the children.

"Being a single parent is hard," Biden said. "I couldn't afford to have someone take care of my kids. But I had my mother, my brothers, my sister — I had a family that just took care of me."

Biden also made the decision to commute daily to Washington from his home in Delaware. To this day, Biden still rides the train every day to work.

"My being home every day was sort of the touchstone for me. And even though all three of my kids now are out and they're grown up, I still go home every day," Biden said.

Five years after his family's fatal car accident, Biden found love again with Jill Tracy Jacobs. They've been married for 30 years and have one daughter.

Aiming for the Oval Office

Biden made his first run for the White House in 1987, but scandal plagued the senator's campaign. During Biden's bid for the Democratic nomination, it was discovered that he had plagiarized a speech by a British Labor Party leader. Under intense scrutiny, Biden withdrew from the race.

"Stupid. My mistake. Born out of arrogance, thinking I didn't have to prepare," Biden said. "But [except] for the loss of my wife and daughter, it was by far the most devastating thing that ever happened to me. I didn't deserve to be the nominee."

Soon after the aborted campaign, Biden suffered two brain aneurysms. He made a full recovery, but the experience left Biden a changed man.

"I don't think there's ever anything that is determinant of what's going to happen to you, other than in a life-and-death situation," Biden said. "So my notion before, 'I have to make that meeting, I have to show up to that event, I have to be there for that,' just left."

After returning to Washington, Biden became one of the Senate's most active and vocal members. He chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee and currently heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Now in his second presidential campaign, Biden says he has a different perspective on the race.

"I'm doing it on my own terms," he said. "I just feel so much more, and have for the last 20 years, so much more at ease with everything."

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