Biden has said that the death of his first wife and two children profoundly affected him as a person and as a politician, and during the campaign he relayed his experience with grief when speaking to a nation contending with hundreds of thousands of deaths from Covid-19. 

The breadth of his personal experience, as well as decades of relationship-forming in the Senate, will be necessary to deal with the tumultuous environment ahead. In his acceptance speech on Saturday, Biden spoke about uniting the country around shared goals, from fighting climate change to building an economy that works for everyone. He also added two members to his family: Harris and her husband, future second gentleman Douglas Emhoff.

“Kamala, Doug—like it or not—you’re family,” Biden said. “You’ve become honorary Bidens and there’s no way out.”

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