Promises to Keep by Joe Biden

I took a break last week to follow the impeachment trial in the Senate. I don’t plan to share my opinions here but I felt so engrossed in everything going on that tackling anything else – even reading – seemed overwhelming. That said, I did finish my third book in my democratic primary reading list. (Halfway there!)

Joe Biden’s Promises to Keep is a lot like a narrated resume. Which makes sense because he wrote to preface his 2008 presidential run. I chose to read Promises to Keep instead of Promise Me, Dad because I felt that it would tell me more about Joe Biden that I didn’t already know. I was old enough to understand what was going on in our government between 2009 and 2017 even if I didn’t know how I could be involved in politics or how my involvement could impact my country’s politics.

So Biden’s career before 2008 is what I really wanted to know about and Promises to Keep tells all of it. In fact, his childhood and his earliest political aspirations make up little of the book. His time in the senate, his mistakes, and his proudest achievements make the book a dense one but it was worthwhile. Regardless of how his career finishes out, I believe he is the kind of politician who will be remembered; not like Jack Kennedy or a Roosevelt but still known for the things he did in public service.

I’m sure there is a lot more to him than what he chose to write about. Still, I’m confident that I have a much more rounded idea of who Joe Biden is – or at the least how he would like to be perceived. This little project has taught me that you really can’t know the ins and outs of the people you elect to office. For me, I think the best thing I can do is learn about the kind of person they would like to be and decide if that’s the idea of a person I would like to see in office.

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