The Audacity of Joe Biden

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

PROMISE ME, DAD: A YEAR OF HOPE, HARDSHIP, AND PURPOSE by Joe BidenFlatiron Books, 272 pages, $27.00

Joe Biden’s memoir Promise Me, Dad is many things. It is a snapshot of a painful period of Biden’s life, as his son, Beau, fights a highly aggressive form of brain cancer and eventually dies in June of 2015. It’s a powerful look at how illness and bereavement can permeate every facet of a politician’s personal and professional life. And it’s also a barely concealed argument that Joe Biden could have won the presidency in 2016—and could still win it in 2020.

Promise Me, Dad should be a coda to Biden’s long career in government. It is emblematic of the qualities that made Biden