Joe Biden's Non-Radical 1960sBreaking News
tags: 1960s, Joe Biden, 2020 Election
Joseph R. Biden Jr. marched into adulthood in Bass Weejuns penny loafers.
He was known around the University of Delaware campus as the teetotaling semi-jock with a sweater around his neck — the type who seemed more consumed with date nights than civil rights and expected a certain standard of decorum from his companions, once threatening to break off an evening with a woman who lit a cigarette in his borrowed convertible.
And when Mr. Biden and his friends from Syracuse University law school happened upon antiwar protesters at the chancellor’s office — the kind of Vietnam-era demonstration that galvanized so much of their generation — his group stepped past with disdain. They were going for pizza.
More than a half-century later, as Mr. Biden seeks the White House with a pledge to soothe the nation’s wounds and lower its collective temperature, he has been left to deflect a curious charge at the center of President Trump’s re-election effort: Mr. Biden, the president insists, is eager to do the far-left bidding of violent agitators and other assorted radicals.
“They’ve got you wrapped around their finger, Joe,” Mr. Trump taunted at their first debate.
“Ask yourself,” he implored voters in a recent address. “Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters?”
He does not now, friends from his youth say, and he did not then — in spite of, and perhaps partly because of, the decade in which he came of age.
Amid simmering protests, generational division and defining disputes about the course of American life, Mr. Biden was a young man keen on bringing a bit of a 1950s sensibility into the 1960s — a nice-house-on-a-cul-de-sac kind of guy who spent his weekends as a 20-something husband scouting available real estate from his Corvette.
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