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"We must rekindle the fire of idealism in our society — for nothing suffocates the promise of America more than unbounded cynicism and indifference. We must reclaim the tradition of community in our society. Only by recognizing that we share a common obligation to one another and to our country can we ever hope to maximize our national or personal potential. We must reassert the oneness of America. America has been and must once again be the seamless web of caring and community."
— Speech announcing his candidacy for the 1988 Democratic Party presidential nomination; June 10, 1987

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. (born November 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania) is the 46th and current President of the United States, and the seventeenth from the Democratic Party, having been in office since 2021. He succeeded Donald Trump, whom he defeated in a contentious election in 2020, becoming the first candidate to defeat an incumbent president since Bill Clinton beat George H. W. Bush in the 1992 election. Taking the Oath of Office at 78, he is the oldest president to serve, with the previous oldest, Ronald Reagan, having left office just shy of his 78th birthday. He is also only the second Catholic president after John F. Kennedy,note  and the first and likely only person belonging to the Silent Generation (those born between 1928 and 1945) to become President.

Before his presidency, Biden was the Vice President during the administration of the 44th president, Barack Obama. He was elected to that role after serving as a U.S. senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009 (36 years); at the time of his first 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, including several tenures as chair of important Senate committees, and himself ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and again in 2008, in the second case being picked as Obama's running mate. Biden ran for a seventh term as senator while also running for VP, won both elections, and resigned his Senate seat just before he and Obama were sworn in. Before leaving office, Obama held a conference bestowing upon Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor available to a civilian, for his five decades of public service.note 

Those years of service and his established record as a moderate in both politics and temperament set Biden up early on as one of the favorites to run against Trump in 2020, and Trump was impeached twice by a Democratic House (but acquitted by the Senate) for using the president's office to attempt to disrupt first Biden's campaign and then the certification of his election. Biden successfully flipped back the three "Rust Belt" states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvanianote  that Trump had flipped in 2016 after having voted for Democrats since at least the beginning of The '90s, plus delivering unexpected (if very narrow) victories in long-solid Republican states Arizona and Georgia. Delays in the vote count and an increase in mail-in voting caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic led Trump and many of his supporters to make unsubstantiated accusations of voter fraud and even storm the Capitol during the election certification, marking only the second non-peaceful transition of presidential power in U.S. history (the first coming after Abraham Lincoln's first election in 1860) and the first time the Confederate battle flag was paraded through the U.S. Capitol. None of these accusations held up in court, and Biden was sworn in on schedule.

Contrary to concerns about Biden's ability to do much as a president, he started his time in office by signing a bevy of executive orders just moments after his inauguration to undo several of Trump's orders (as Trump had done to undo several of Obama's policies), most notably his "Muslim travel ban" and ban on transgender soldiers serving in the US military. Biden was also more publicly active in combatting COVID-19 than his predecessor, openly advocating for compliance with medical guidelines and rolling out vaccines for the disease at a rapid rate that directly contrasted Trump's diffident response. The Biden administration has seen criticism among progressives for continuing the moderate approach of the Obama era, but many have also noted that he has in some ways sought to govern in a more progressive manner than Obama did. Among other things, he reversed controversial Trump immigration policies including the policy of family separation,note  pledged to withdraw troops from Afghanistan quickly after two decades in the regionnote  and proposed some of the most aggressive infrastructure spending in decades along with other new programs to help Americans recover from the pandemic recession. Most health officials and political analysts have viewed Biden's approach to the pandemic as a marked improvement over Trump's, with America leading the world in vaccine distribution and case numbers and deaths plummeting. By the end of Biden's first 100 days in office, his approval rating had an average of 52% which, while a major improvement over Trump's consistently sub-50 rating, was also the lowest of any president in the half-century prior that early in a term other than Gerald Ford's, reflecting the increasing partisanship in American politics and the lasting impact of the voter fraud allegations, and in August 2021, Biden's popularity dropped below 50% due to the rise of COVID-19 variants, fears of economic inflation, and the Taliban conquest of Afghanistan weeks after Biden withdrew most American troops while proclaiming that it wouldn't turn into another Vietnam. How the rest of his era will progress is a matter of guesswork at best.

Biden is noted for having a rather bad case of foot-in-mouth syndrome, which naturally makes him a veritable Fountain of Memes in American politics (satirists got a lot of mileage out of his gaffes and playing up his "Mistaken for Racist" moments). He also has a mild stutter which has caused some issues in the past, leading him to speak measuredly to the point of slowly to minimize it, to mixed results. The combination of these two resulted in satirical portrayals of Biden shifting towards that of a possibly ableist portrayal of a borderline (if not outright) senile elder during the 2020 election cycle, popularized by The Onion after it retired its prior Cool Old Guy depiction.

Impressionists have had a hard time portraying Biden, as he doesn't have an especially distinct accentnote  or tic (other than maybe "malarkey") they can latch onto, with some satirists after 2020 simply using a generic "old man voice" to parody him.note  By comparison, Bernie Sanders is more animated than Biden—and has a distinctly Brooklyn accent—and is consequently easier to parody for his bombastic speaking style and habit of hunching down while gesticulating toward the camera. Attempts at lampooning Biden for clumsiness took off for a time after he slipped on the steps of Air Force One, but they didn't stick like they did with Gerald Ford.

On a lighter note, he's also known for his love of aviator sunglasses, trains (as a senator he famously didn't move to Washington, D.C. and instead commuted home to Delaware to be with his children and grandchildren), ice cream, and Irish poetry (he read poetry out loud to help overcome his stutter, leading to a lifelong habit of quoting Irish poets in speeches). He's also perhaps the only president to have an actual Sitcom Arch-Nemesis.note 

Tragically, Biden has endured a number of painful personal losses during his public service. His first wife Neilia and their baby daughter died in a car accident with both their young sons severely injured, shortly after his first election to the Senate in 1972 — nearly leading him to resign before his career got started. Biden himself suffered a nearly-fatal brain aneurysm in 1988, then underwent another surgery for a second one. His older son Beau, a National Guard veteran and Attorney General of Delaware who seemed set to follow in his father's footsteps, died of brain cancer in 2015 towards the end of Biden's tenure as VP (leading him to shelve his tentative plans to run in the 2016 election), and his surviving son Hunter has had long-term struggles with both mental health and substance abuse, with Biden involved in his care and recovery. While Biden is normally seen as fairly mild-mannered, going after his family is certainly not to be advised. Nor is questioning his Catholic faith, being (as previously mentioned) only the second Catholic president after JFK.note 

More information on his life and career can be found a more detailed page over on The Other Wiki.

Tropes associated with Joe Biden in media and portrayals in fiction:

Joe Biden in fiction:

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  • He appears as a character in the 2016 Made-for-TV Movie Confirmation, about the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings (when Biden was the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee), played by Greg Kinnear.note 
  • Game Change: A good section of the film involves Sarah Palin preparing to take on Biden for the 2008 vice presidential debate. Biden (who only appears via archive footage) is characterized as an experienced veteran in contrast to the upstart Palin. When Palin first spots him backstage on the night of the debate, he's limbering up in preparation. She awkwardly imitates him.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Biden appeared in a cameo on the Season 5 Parks and Recreation "Leslie vs. April." (Leslie Knope's crush on Biden was a long-standing Running Gag on the show, and the cameo was explained as her fiancé Ben calling in favors to give her an engagement present.)
  • Once made a cameo on Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? to name show host Greg as the best detective of the year. (The year in question was 1993, while he was still a senator.)
  • During his time as Vice President, Biden appeared in an episode of Law & Order: SVU, where he commends the team for their work in clearing rape kit backlogs.
  • The Community election episode "Intro to Political Science" centered around a campus visit by the then-Vice President. The whole thing went Off the Rails, as was typical for that show—first when Greendale failed to elect a real student president for Biden to meet with, and again when Abed created a fake security alert so that Special Agent Vohlers would have an excuse for keeping tabs on him.
  • He's one of the personalities spoofed in the 2020 revival of Spitting Image, being portrayed as a scatterbrained Cloudcuckoolander, basically taking the same role Ronald Reagan had in the original series. Biden had previously made an "appearance" in the original, when the Neil Kinnock plagiarism scandal which derailed his 1988 presidential campaign was mocked using a generic puppet named "Joseph Bidet".
  • On Saturday Night Live, he would become a regular character of the show after he became the 2008 Democratic vice-presidential nominee,note  being portrayed by Jason Sudeikis, who would continue portraying him during his subsequent vice-presidency. After Sudeikis left the show, it took a while for it to settle on a steady portrayal of him in the 2020 election cycle, with Woody Harrelson playing him on a semi-regular basis after first portraying him while hosting the show, Sudeikis briefly returning to reprise the role, and former SNL writer John Mulaney playing him on a one-off sketch, before Season 46 introduced Jim Carrey as his new regular performer after he'd become the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, playing him until the night Biden was announced as the winner of the election. Carrey dropped the role afterwards, so Alex Moffat played Biden since the midseason finale. Moffat's Biden lampshaded the High Turnover Rate of actors playing Biden, saying, "I'm like Colonel Sanders — every time you see me, I'm a different guy." In Season 47 the show at last seemed to settle on a regular performer with new cast member James Austin Johnson (who ironically had been best known for his impression of Donald Trump), which was quickly hailed by fans as one of the show's best takes on a President.

    Video Games 
  • The Idle Class: One of the emails you receive has the title "FW: The Legacy of Stalin: How Joe Biden Embodies Far Left Radicalism".

    Web Original 
  • During his time as Vice President, The Onion regularly published articles on Biden, portraying him as a Cool Old Guy and a Lovable Sex Maniac (its first appearance being in an article famously titled "Shirtless Biden Washes Trans Am in White House Driveway"). This characterization, nicknamed "Diamond Joe", was so popular that it even got its own page on Wikipedia. After Biden began his 2020 presidential campaign, former Onion editor Joe Garden wrote a self-critical op-ed where he said that while he still felt the caricature had been funny, he expressed regret that it had failed to provide more meaningful commentary on Biden's real-life record, and after reviving the "Diamond Joe" version of Biden for one final article ("Biden Pulls Off Dusty Tarp Covering Old Campaign Motorcycle"), his characterization in The Onion changed, and articles portrayed him as more of a ineffectual moderate.
  • The "Prankster Joe" meme, which became popular after Donald Trump's election in 2016, portrays Biden as an impulse-driven Manchild who enjoys Trolling his political opponents... as well as his allies. Biden heard of the meme and admitted that he found them funny; his favorite was the one about leaving a fake birth certificate at the Oval Office desk to mess with Trump.
    Biden: Guess who just upper-decked the toilet outside the Oval Office?
    Obama: Dammit Joe, I have to live here for two more months!

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • In the American Dad! episode "Scents and Sensei-bility" Biden makes a picture-only appearance. Sensei Tom idolizes him, to the point of naming his business Dojo Biden and featuring a shrine with a (photoshopped?) picture of Biden in a suit, barefoot doing a flying kick. Later in the episode, he reveals to Steve:
    Sensei Tom: In the words of Joe Biden: "You do not have permission to use my name on your dojo."
  • Family Guy:
    • In the episode "Brokeback Swanson", a Navy Seal named Vic (Brian was pretending to be Vic's dog so he could sleep with Vic's wife Tori) complained that after he killed Osama bin Laden, he never got the chance to shake hands with then Vice President Joe Biden. Chris and Stewie rescue Brian from Vic's house by bringing Biden with them and having him shake hands with Vic, thanking him for shooting the man "they said" was Osama bin Laden. They thank Biden, who accepts, and then he proceeds to compare his term against the show Veep and how unrealistic it is. But since none of them has seen Veep, they aren't interested.
    • Joe Biden also appears in "HTTPete" as a guest on Peter's new Internet series, "The 6-Second Talk Show".
  • Paradise PD: There's a Running Gag about Biden being a Memetic Molester, with a particular interest in Dusty.note 


Video Example(s):


Senator Joe Biden

During the 2008 primary campaign, Senator Joe Biden deftly pushes back on charges of "uncontrolled verbosity" and being "a gaffe machine".

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