For Joe Biden, long path to a potentially crucial presidency

Washington (HRNW) – When Joe Biden steps to the podium Thursday night as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, he will offer himself to a wounded, meandering nation as balm — and as a bridge.

A 77-year-old steeped in the American political establishment for a half-century, Biden cannot himself embody the kind of generational change that Presidents John F. Kennedy or Bill Clinton represented. Even with wide-ranging proposals for government action on health care, taxation and the climate crisis, he will never be the face of a burgeoning progressive movement. As a white man, Biden cannot know personally the systemic racism now at the forefront of a national reckoning over centuries-old social and economic inequities.

But the former vice president, six-term senator and twice failed presidential candidate draws plenty on lived experience — two generations spent on each end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a record that mixes partisan street-fighting with bipartisan deal-making and bonhomie, and a personal journey of middle-class mores, individual struggle and family heartbreak.

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