At 78, establishment stalwart Joe Biden returned to Washington as the leader of a party seeking a revolution. A moderate and a vocal defender of bipartisanship, he forced a sweeping, progressive aid package through Congress without a single Republican vote. Long known for making gaffes, he has so far governed in a hyper-disciplined manner. Is this the Joe Biden America thought it knew?
Longtime friends and allies of the president say he hasn’t changed, the moment and political opportunity have. “I think in some ways, he and I share one thing: We believe in what FDR was doing. You have to meet the moment,” says Bob Casey, a Democratic senator from Pennsylvania who lives in Scranton, Biden’s hometown. “I think he knows we’re in a unique moment. It’s a moment of crisis and a moment of great opportunity to lift the country up.”