Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Valerie Biden Owens, an indispensable sister in arms

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No doubt she will have a front row seat on September 29 during the debate between Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his Republican rival, outgoing President Donald Trump. It may even be that Valerie Biden Owens is the author of some of the lines that will not fail to punctuate an exchange that promises to be tense.

The fraternal complicity between the former vice-president (77 years) and his younger sister (74 years) has taken, over the decades, a political turn such that some ask the question: would Joe Biden have become Joe Biden without Valerie by his side?

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The petite septuagenarian has been involved in all of her brother’s struggles, whether intimate or political. However, the 2020 presidential campaign is the first that this former teacher, who became a political consultant, does not directly criticize. Since Joe entered politics in the early 1970s, the only daughter of the Biden siblings has orchestrated his election campaigns, leading him to victory for his Delaware senatorial seat seven times in a row.

She also accompanied him, on two occasions, in his failed attempts to win the Democratic nomination for the presidential elections of 1988 and 2008. A performance which made her one of the first women to have assumed such functions. in American political history.

Spin doctor

This time, at a time when Joe is running for the supreme office, Valerie has no official title, but her omnipresence in her brother’s entourage makes her a full-fledged advisor.

During the Democratic primaries and before the pandemic due to the coronavirus put an end to public meetings, Valerie Biden Owens was on the roads and podiums, holding meetings, meetings and fundraisers in place of her brother. As part of this family collaboration, Valerie was not content to be her brother’s mouthpiece. According to the American press, she also largely contributed to composing his message, validating his speeches and preparing him for debates.

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“We have the most progressive democratic program in history”, recently declared this supporter of women’s rights and their promotion in politics. She would have convinced her Catholic brother to be more open to their access to abortion, undermined by the American right, supported by the Trump administration.

She not only helped choose her vice-president, Kamala Harris, but also shaped the image of a candidate. “Close to people”, politician tried by the accidental death of his first wife and their daughter, in 1972, then by the death of his eldest son, in 2015.

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