The 5 things you need to know about Beau Biden

We originally posted this item in August 2013, when Biden was undergoing medical testing. We're reposting it today in light of the news that he plans to run for governor of Delaware in 2016. Biden underwent treatment at a cancer center last year and a doctor on his team said in February that he was in good health. 

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden is undergoing medical testing in Houston, following what his office says was a bout of weakness and disorientation after a long drive last week.


Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden. (Jacquelyn Martin /AP)

Biden, 44, the elder son of Vice President Biden, is viewed as a rising star in Democratic politics. Here are the five biggest things to know about him:

1. He made a big decision to pass on a Senate run in 2010, but keep an eye on him for the future: After considering running for the seat once held by his father, Biden announced in early 2010 that he would not make a Senate bid. At the time, his decision represented a big victory for Republicans, who viewed then-Rep. Mike Castle as  well-positioned to win the seat. But Castle's loss to tea party favorite Christine O'Donnell allowed Democrats to regain the momentum in the general election, which Chris Coons (D) ultimately won. Biden, meanwhile, is still very young, and by virtue of his last name and resume, is in a good position to run for higher office down the road, should he want to do so. The next time a Senate seat opens up in Delaware, you can be sure that Biden's name will be at the top of the list of pols to watch.

2. He is very popular: Biden faced a somewhat competitive race in 2006, but in 2010, he was easily reelected to a second term as attorney general, claiming nearly 80 percent of the vote.

3. He served in Iraq: Biden belongs to the Army National Guard and was deployed to Iraq for a year in 2008, while serving as attorney general. A JAG officer, Biden was part of his brigade's administrative staff.

4. He gave an emotional speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention: Biden introduced his father at the DNC with a speech in which he recounted the death of his mother and sister in an automobile accident when he was a young child, as well as the kind of parent his father was after the tragedy. "As a single parent, he decided to be there, to put us to bed, to be there when we woke up from a bad dream, to make us breakfast," Biden said of his dad.

5. He once suffered a mild stroke: Biden suffered what was deemed a "mild stroke" in 2010, at 41. There is no indication that incident bears any connection to the the medical testing Biden is currently undergoing.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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