2. Learn from mistakes to ensure your legacy

In 1988, Biden entered the presidential race, but reports of plagiarism during law school and false claims about his academic record derailed his campaign. He later admitted to mistakes and pledged to be more candid in the future.

Over time, Biden became seen by many as a uniquely honest public figure. A 2015 CBS News/New York Times poll found that Biden topped the list of the most trustworthy politicians in either party.

In 1991, Biden faced controversy again, this time over his handling of the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings, which involved allegations of sexual harassment by one of his employees, Anita Hill. Biden did not call three other witnesses who could have echoed Hill’s charges, a move that some progressives found unfair.

In the years that followed, Biden promoted legislation that foregrounded women’s concerns. In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Violence Against Women Act, which Biden had introduced to Congress. And as Vice President, he became a chief advocate for the Obama administration’s campaign to combat sexual assault on college campuses.

The VP also racked up other accomplishments: He oversaw a $840 billion economic stimulus package, led the administration’s task force to strengthen the middle class, worked to reduce gun violence and became a key player in U.S. foreign relations.


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