Interview: With Biden, ‘we are most likely going to see an era of serious politics,’ says biographer

Pulitzer winner Evan Osnos released an unofficial biography of the president-elect this week. “It’s settled down and it’s not that ambitious,” he says.

The award-winning journalist Evan Osnos has spent the past few years following in the footsteps of US President-elect Joe Biden and analyzing a political rise in which the perseverance and centrism they have been key to convincing the largest number of Americans in history to vote for him in the elections, as he explained in an interview with the EFE agency.

Pulitzer Prize Winner, Osnos published this week in Spain “Joe Biden. A new era” (Peninsula), an unofficial biography that draws on his articles in The New Yorker magazine and interviews with dozens of sources, starting with Biden himself, whom he has seen evolve in a particular way in his public facet.

“It has settled and not so ambitious. It sounds fun to say this about a person who just ran for president, which is the most ambitious there can be, “says the author, noting that at 78, Biden has been guided The responsability” in the face of “vanity” in a country marked by pandemic and division.

“I think the most likely thing is that we will see something that could be called an era of serious politics,” says Osnos of the former Democratic candidate, who in front of the outgoing president, Donald Trump, led a calm “battle for the soul of the nation”, his slogan.

-Joe Biden has one of the longest political careers in the US Are you more driven by ambition or resilience?

-In the beginning, his recipe was 80% ambition and 20% political, and that has changed during that 48-year period. The difficulties of his life, ups and downs, tragedies and failures, regrets, have made him more in tune with other qualities.

One of the things that have become central to his worldview is the power of resilience, and the idea that perseverance is essential. At the 2008 (Democratic) convention, he said failure in life is inevitable, but giving up is unforgivable, and I think that’s the basis for how he sees his role in politics.

-You have crossed the milestone of 80 million votes in a large turnout, but there is a very divided electorate. Will he be able to unite the country?

-For him, unity is more an aspiration than a practical policy objective. (…) In the political business, observers, analysts and writers laughed and even mocked that unity was something worth seeking.

We looked at Donald Trump, who was successful after all using the language of wrestling, division, force, damage; and Biden was making something that was like a hot cup of tea.

But he proved he was right, and to be honest, many political reporters were wrong. I remembered that he has been at this from the beginning, has learned a few things and can be more astute and insightful than a political reporter who has worked a few years and thinks he knows everything.

-Quotes a Barack Obama official who compares Biden to a “weather vane” pointing to the center of the party.

-It is a “weather vane” in the sense that it notices where the wind blows and is oriented. It is not an act of cynicism, it tries to represent the honest attitudes and desires of the people. In part, it is a product of his political origin and his entry into adulthood in a part of Delaware that is north and south. He has noticed different winds at various times and his goal was to try to find the center of the game, which is moving. He has moved with it.

-What will the Biden era be like? How different from his predecessor, and how similar to Obama’s?

-To show the most obvious contrast: we go from a president who stood on a podium and imagined aloud if we should inject bleach into our veins, to a president subordinate, proudly, to scientists.

He knows that his biography is not transcendent and that the power of his rhetoric is limited, compared to Obama, and he believes that the Government is the daily work of people who go to the office and try to do things little by little, a few days wanting and others lose, some days you get an agreement and others the negotiation falls.

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