Biden, 78, is to be sworn in as the 46th president in inaugural ceremonies on the west front of the Capitol that have begun in Washington, D.C. The ceremonies have been scaled back because of the coronavirus pandemic, with heightened security measures arising from the Capitol riot exactly two weeks ago.
Biden will become just the seventh person to have served as senator, vice-president and president and the first to achieve that feat since Richard Nixon. While on paper that wealth of previous experience may give the impression of inevitability to his becoming president, there were two failed bids and multiple points along the way where one could reasonably doubt he'd ever be addressing the nation Wednesday as the incoming commander-in-chief.
Biden took his first oath of office as a Washington politician just over 48 years ago, in a hospital room in Delaware as his two sons recuperated from a car crash that killed Biden's first wife, Neilia, and their baby daughter, Naomi.
Biden the senator-elect agonized over what to do just two months after his 3,000-vote upset win over Cale Boggs, but moved forward with the support of sister Valerie and extended family, who helped raise the young boys, Beau and Hunter. Still, Biden told reporters in the hospital room he was going to give it six months to see how it went.