Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. (born November 20, 1942), usually known simply as Joe, was the Vice President of the United States under Barack Obama. He is also a former US senator (Democrat from Delaware), serving from 1973 to 2009 (36 years); at the time of his election, he was just barely the minimum age to serve (he turned 30 between the election and his inauguration in January). He served six complete six-year terms, and ran for a seventh while running for VP. He won both. He resigned his Senate seat before he and Obama were sworn in. Also T.I. wants him.
For obvious reasons, satirists let out a collective sigh of relief when Obama named Biden as his running mate. He is, however, the first Catholic vice president.
Before leaving office, Obama held a conference bestowing upon Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor available to a civilian.
Biden has also made several runs for the presidency himself, though his first two ended early on. The first campaign for the 1988 election ended in September 1987, when Biden dropped out due to a combination of factors, with the primary incident being a plagiarism scandal where Biden was caught quoting a speech by British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock during a campaign stop in Iowa;note combined with a related controversy over discipline Biden had received for plagiarism in law school led to Biden electing to stay in the Senate;note though by the time of the early contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden had suffered two brain aneurysms and would not return to the Senate until September 1988, leading to Biden and supporters suggesting that Biden could have died had he been on the campaign trail. Biden actually made it to the Iowa caucus in 2008, but a poor showing in a crowded field of fellow senators Barack Obama of Illinois,note Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York,note and John Edwards of North Carolinanote convinced Biden to drop out after the caucus. He flirted with running for president again in the 2016 election, though he ultimately declined to on October 21, 2015.note In 2019, Biden announced his intention to run for president a third time. At first, Biden was seen as the clear frontrunner, but Bernie Sanders gave Biden serious competition after Sanders won the popular vote in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Biden's campaign came back to life when he won South Carolina by a wide margin, and by April he was the last candidate standing, with Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Barack Obama all giving him their endorsements, making him the presumptive nominee.
Tropes pertaining to Mr. Biden's appearances and portrayals in media:
- As Himself:
- Butt-Monkey: The Onion's depiction of "Diamond" Joe Biden sees him as a mix of this, a Frat Bro, The Casanova and The Stoner.
- Catchphrase: Biden's tendency to refer to anything he disagreed with as "a bunch of malarkey" became so entrenched in popular culture that by the time of the 2012 presidential election there were bets on how soon he would use the phrase against Paul Ryan in the VP debate, and Biden himself seemed to lampshade it when it was used in one of his first responses of the night in his 2016 Democratic Convention speech.
- Cool Car: Biden is a known car enthusiast and he owns a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette convertible that he has had since brand new (it was given to him as a gift for his first wedding). Biden and his Corvette appeared on an episode of Jay Leno's Garage where he did burnouts in it and later drag raced Colin Powell. The Onion, however, portrayed him as driving a 78 Trans Am.
- Cool Shades: There's quite some jokes that have been made about his Ray Ban Aviators, which are bordering on becoming his trademark. There's at least one instance of a rally he was in erupting into cheers just because he put them on, and John Oliver on Last Week Tonight once joked that Biden's "happy place" is an image of Biden with his sunglasses on eating ice cream while holding a wad of cash (surprisingly enough, there is an actual picture that shows Biden doing all those).
- Cloudcuckoolander: Turning him into this (with Obama as the Straight Man) is a very popular meme.
- He alternately embraces and chafes at the perception of him, because on one hand it helped him connect with voters (and it did balance out President Obama's reserved nature), but on the other, he has pointed out that he is serious about policy and not just lazing his way through life on his charm.
- Curse of the Ancients: Why some people thought "bunch of malarkey" was so funny: you don't hear it that much today, but it fits everyone's image of him as your Cloudcuckoolander great-uncle.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Portraying him and President Obama as this was a very popular meme during their time in office together, and in a post-presidency interview Obama gave, he commented that the memes were "basically true."
- Memetic Badass: Portrayed this way by The Onion.
- Memetic Troll: Portrayed as this by social media in the last weeks of his tenure as vice president, which portrayed him as killing time before the change of administration by preparing pranks for the members of the incoming Donald Trump administration. Here're some examples.
- Rail Enthusiast: Comedic portrayals of Biden parody his support of rail travel into a childish enthusiasm for the "choo-choos".
- "Sesame Street" Cred: Once he appeared in a 1993 episode of of Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?
- Trademark Favorite Food: Joe Biden's deep love for ice cream cones◊ is well documented. He even has a flavor named for him.