Preparing for challenge of a lifetime … or is it?


There are times when I watch public figures reach the pinnacle of whatever they are seeking to do that I wonder: What must they be thinking?

That thought has crossed my mind more than once as I observed President-elect Joe Biden prepare to become the head of state and commander in chief of our great and beloved nation.

Let’s set aside the nonsense that’s occurring on the sidelines, with the incumbent president who lost to Biden trying to perform some sort of hocus pocus by getting states to toss aside legitimate votes cast against him.

Instead, I am wondering how the president-elect is managing his emotions at this moment. It boggles my noggin, man.

This man has endured more heartache, embarrassment and misery than anyone I can fathom.

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972. He celebrated his 30th birthday between election day and when he would take office. Then in December of that year, his wife and infant daughter died in a horrific car crash. The young senator-to-be’s heart was shattered. He took office and then became a lion of the Senate.

Biden married again in 1975. He has said that “No man deserves one great love, let alone two.” He has flourished with Jill Biden at his side.

He ran for president in 1988. Then he got caught stealing lines from a prominent British politician. He re-cast the Brit’s life story and turned it into his own. Not good. He dropped out and returned to his work in the Senate.

Biden tried once again to reach for the highest rung on the ladder. In 2008, he ran against a young upstart senator from Illinois, Barack Hussein Obama. He lost that campaign. Then the Democratic nominee, Obama, selected him to be vice president. The rest, as they say, is history.

But along the way, unspeakable tragedy arrived once again, in 2015. The VP’s son, Beau, died of brain cancer, crushing the heart of his father. He persevered. He had to bury his second child. To paraphrase that earlier quote from Biden: No man should have to bury one child, let alone two. 

Now it’s Biden’s turn.

Something tells me a man whose emotions have been tested in the most profound manner imaginable is going to do just fine as he reaches this summit.