…And the Running Mates

02 Nov 2012

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Ryan with Biden

Senator Joseph Robinette Biden was born on November 20, 1942. He became the 47th Vice-President of the United States when he was jointly elected with Obama in 2008. An experienced lawmaker, Biden had been a senator from Delaware since January 3, 1973.

Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and lived there for ten years before moving to Delaware. He became an attorney in 1969, and was elected to a county council in 1970. Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972 and became the sixth-youngest senator in U.S. history. He was re-elected to the Senate six times. He was the fourth most senior senator at the time of his resignation, and the 15th-longest serving Senator in US history.

Biden was a long-time member and former chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. His strong advocacy helped bring about U.S. military assistance and intervention during the Bosnian War. He opposed the Gulf War in 1991. He voted in favor of the Iraq War Resolution in 2002, but later proposed resolutions to alter U.S. strategy there.

He has also served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, dealing with issues related to drug policy, crime prevention, and civil liberties, and led creation of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and Violence Against Women Act. He chaired the Judiciary Committee during the contentious U.S. Supreme Court nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.

Biden unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008, both times dropping out early in the race.  Obama, however, picked Biden to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for Vice-President in the 2008 election. Biden is the first Roman Catholic and the first Delawarean to become Vice-President of the United States.

As Vice President, he has been involved in Obama’s decision-making process and held the oversight role for infrastructure spending from the Obama stimulus package aimed at counteracting the late-2000s recession. His ability to negotiate with Congressional Republicans played a key role in bringing about the bipartisan deals that resulted in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 that resolved a taxation deadlock and the Budget Control Act of 2011 which took care of the US debt ceiling crisis.

However, the Republican running mate, Paul Davis Ryan, born on January 29, 1970, is the US Representative for Wisconsin’s first congressional district. Born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin, Ryan is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio. He had worked as aide to legislators Bob Kasten, Sam Brownback, and Jack Kemp. Ryan was a speechwriter before winning election to the U.S. House in 1998. He is currently the chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Over time, he has developed budget plans that proposed privatizing Medicare for those currently under the age of 55, funding Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program through block grants to the states and other changes.

Ryan introduced the proposals in his spending plan for the House Budget Committee in April 2011 and also in an updated version in March this year. On August 11, Romney announced that he had selected Ryan as his running mate and was officially nominated at the Republican convention which held in Tampa, August 29.

Tags: Politics, World, US Electoral, Running Mates

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