By Frank B. Calio
What will a Joe Biden Presidency look like? For starters, quite tranquil compared to the past four years. We won’t have the tweeting, no verbal insults to women, people of color, disabilities or those who oppose his programs. Catholic, he practices his religion faithfully
A person who is one of us, the blue collar worker, the way he was raised by his family. Until he and his wife Dr. Jill Biden received book offers Joe was last on the list of US Senators in net worth.
Whether you love or hate him, most people know the name Joe Biden in Delaware. “In Delaware,” he says, “I’m Joe. I mean for real. It’s not some gimmick, I’m Joe”. There is an interesting story in this months DELAWARE TODAY MAGAZINE which gives a Biden Timeline from his birth to his present day election as the 46th President of the United States.
He is loyal to his friends who have helped him over the years. He has suffered tragedy, losing a wife and daughter in a vehicle accident shortly after he was elected the youngest U.S. Senator, Dec. 18, 1972, and lost his oldest son, former Delaware AG, Beau Biden to cancer May 30, 2015.
In Feb. 11, 1988 After two near-fatal brain aneurysms ae diagnosed, Biden undergoes successful surgery. Complications lead to blood clots in the lungs. It take him seven months to recuperate.
Even as vice-president you could still see Joe pop up anywhere in a store in Delaware whether it be catching an Italian Sub at his favorite sub shop, or getting a hamburger at the Charcoal Pit where he went as a college freshman at the U of Delaware
Joe has been a familiar face in Delaware politics since he was elected to the NCCo Council in 1970. I meant him shortly after when we both served on the State Democrat Committee to reform the Delaware Democrat Party which had just suffered a devastating defeat by the Delaware GOP.
He was thinking about a run for the US Senate against the popular Republican incumbent Cale Boggs. He asked me what did he need to do to win. Without hesitation I told him to screw the Democrat State organization, and form his own organization.
He asked me if I would serve as his Sussex County chair. I reorganized the Young Democrats, started a group called Teen Democrats, a group of kids not old enough to vote but volunteered to deliver once a month his now famous lit drops, folksy pamphlets about the milk man delivering milk giving talking points about the poor economy for the working class.
I believe those young kids sold their parents on Joe. He never forgot a name, knew all the kids, spoke on their level; they loved him. Joe met my dad one time. In a parade in Laurel, he spotted dad, got out of line, came over to speak to dad.
In 1972 just a few years being a Senator, I visited his Wilmington office with a fellow Democrat seeking some information. At the conclusion of the meeting he stated that someday he was going to be President of the United States. My friend and I said nothing until we got in the car to go home and I blurted out, “Did you hear what he said?
It’s been a long and sometimes bumpy road but Joe has hung in there and his goal has been reached. I’m sorry he can’t have the pomp and circumstance other presidents have had. I know he looked forward to seeing his well wishers at the Amtrak station in Wilmington, and his ride to DC, the same ride he took everyday to his Senate job
Recently under the new environment Joe was accused of touching women and children. That was the generation, the political environment he was raised in. Then you kissed babies, held them. Politics 101. I have seen women, especially elderly, standing in line waiting for a hug or kiss on the cheek from Joe, and if he missed them, I have seen women grab him. He used to genuflect when he would see my late wife to embarrass her. She used to make his favorite Italian cookie for he and Beau. Beau spoke at her funeral, and Joe called me from DC twice to comfort me. That’s the Joe I know and respect.
The elderly women fell in love with Joe, and Joe with them. An underdog against Boggs, but he won not only the state but carried Sussex County by over 600 votes. My job was to hopefully break even in SC or keep Boggs’s vote count down. To Joe winning Sussex was a landslide win. He has always had a special live for Sussex, and recently purchased a beach home in Rehoboth. I worked on all of his Senate campaigns until he became VP.
It was upsetting to me to read the negative comments on FB about Joe during the campaign. Knowing Joe for more than 50 years, I knew this was not the Joe I know. I hope those people give him a chance to show how a president should act, how he really cares about the working class, and his deep love for this country.
Republicans threw all the dirt they could dig up against Joe during the recent campaign. Nothing stuck which led one Republican to call him, “Teflon Joe”.
In my opinion Joe is the best prepared person for the presidents position of any we have elected. He has built a tremendous amount of respect from leaders throughout the world, he is one who will work across the aisle and not be critical of the Republican Party. He will bring dignity to the office and respect throughout the world.
He knows the system and he knows how to navigate the system. A liberal he is not, a socialist he is not. He is an American who cares about the welfare of his country.
Good Luck my friend. Your country is in your hands. I know you’ll take care of ALL Americans.
Frank Calio is a former Delaware State Election Commissioner. He resides in Laurel, DE.