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Joe Biden’s life in politics has been marked from its inception by its seismographic lurching from success to setback. Victories were followed by unthinkable personal tragedy. Self-inflicted wounds crippled nascent campaigns. And yet he has survived—36 years in the Senate, eight years in the Obama administration—becoming along the way the ultimate political wingman and the nation’s unofficial consoler in chief. His third run for the White House was playing out true to form—a frontrunning collapse into oblivion. Then came Super Tuesday.
What do voters need to know about the man who just pulled off one of the most improbable political comebacks ever? (Read POLITICO’s compilation of key facts about Bernie Sanders.) Culled from books, extensive media coverage and the archives of POLITICO Magazine, this is a quick primer on the life of Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., the eldest of four children born to Joseph Sr. and Catherine Eugenia “Jean” Finnegan, who is closer than he has ever been to achieving his lifelong ambition.
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