Talk:Joe Biden

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PGA review[change source]

Here is a very short review of the article:

  • Can we get in-text references? - "This page uses content of the English Wikipedia" is very nice, but not really helpful.
  • Generally look at the use of tenses. "For..." usually does not lead to the simple past being used, but rather the present, perhaps the present-perfect ("For a long time, he has worked at the burger chain"). - But consult with a native-language guy, since English is only the third language I learnt at school.
  • Lead/Blurb: Extend to be at least 3-4 times the size it is now.
  •  Fixed
  • At the moment this reads like a collection of facts/factoids/ideas about a person: What we would like to see is a "thread", meaning one sentence leads to the next. The reader is guided through the article.

Early life[change source]

  • ...and was the son of a businessman: Change to another tense, was implies he is dead (which you should have said in the lead). Link businessman
  •  Fixed
  • University of Delaware is the only red-link left in the article. Can you fix this please?
  •  Fixed
  • Biden went to school at the Univ. of Delaware: At least where I live there is a difference between going to school (at least 9 years), and attending university (which means you went to school 12 or 13 years before that). There are many people who never attend university, but they still went to school...
  • Extend to be at least as long as the next section, In the Senate

In the Senate[change source]

  • His being a senator, being elected to the senate, being one of the youngest senators, .. all need in-text references.
  •  Fixed
  • The foreign relations committee dealt with... - Do these committees not deal with such issues on a regular basis, and should the tense therefore not be changed? - Also please add a reference for the election of Clarence Thomas.
  •  Fixed
  • His taking the train home should be referenced
  •  Fixed

Running for president[change source]

  • Speech copying: please add reference
  • Look at sentence structure: The first time in 1988,... should be changed. There is simply too much in that sentence.
  •  Fixed
  • Neil Kinock: Can we get a link please?
  •  Fixed
  • He ran on the issues of Iraq: can you explain in more detail on what these issues are/were; also please change run on to a more understandable verb. This should be simple English. His running has nothing to do with a runner in a race...
  •  Fixed/explained below
  • ...and was thought of as a good choice for Secretary of State: this is completely unrelated to the first part of the sentence, and should therefore be in its own sentence. One idea per sentence.
  •  Fixed
  • Why was Palin seen as more interesting, even though she had less experience than him?
  • As always: please add references
  •  Fixed

Personal life[change source]

  • Extend to be at least the size of the other sections
  • References?

This is just a quick look. I'll look more in-depth once the article is longer/these issues are fixed.--Eptalon (talk) 07:12, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Response to Eptalon[change source]

Speaking as somebody who is a native English speaker, and an American, I acted on some of your suggestions, but have the following comments:

Lead: If it’s 3-4x the size it is now, it’ll be longer than all the sections. Isn’t a 4-5 line lead OK for most articles?
Early Life & Personal Life:

  • Was/is can be debated. A better way would be “Biden’s father was a businessman.” Biden is alive, but his father is a) not a businessman anymore; and b) dead
  • I think “university” may be too long a word…in America, “school” is acceptable for any level of schooling/education, and if we want more precision, we say college
  • Funny how we have to create several bad articles just to fix red links
  • Early life could be made slightly longer, perhaps by the addition of his playing football in high school and college, but there’s no reason that it has to be as long as “In the Senate”. He was in the Senate for 36 years out of 66, and on most other Wikipedias, his Senate career section is 3-4x the size of the early life section.
  • The best way to make those two sections longer is to merge them, which has been done on other Wikipedias


  • Deals for dealt on For. Rel. Committee, but as the appointment of Clarence Thomas was a specific past event, keep “dealt”. Also, we don’t “elect” Supreme Court Justices.
  • “For many years” can elicit the simple past if the action is completed. In this case, the simple past serves the purpose of what the pluperfect or past-perfect
  • Do we have a “common knowledge” provision here? Because the train thing is common knowledge…he alludes to it in most of his speeches.


  • Adding, “in 1988 and 2008” to end of sentence 1, which eliminates the need for “in 1988”. The use of “for” in English may be for-eign to you because there is no unique word for “for” in other languages. You may also be confused by my use of appositives.
  • I’ll link Kinnock to the big Wikipedia. Kinnock is not important enough to have an article here.
  • In English, there is the term “ran for office”, which is why “ran on the issues” is that way.
  • The Palin phenomenon is kinda hard to understand for Americans, let alone non-Americans. We don’t have a parliamentary system, so that leads to elections being decided on personality and the election of inexperienced, and sometimes dumb, candidates. The fact is that there was a lot of “buzz” and attention given to Palin that wasn’t given to Biden. There seems to be a consensus on the big Wikipedia to confine the Palin buzz to the Palin article, and I agree with that approach here.

Honestly, I am a bit peeved that a-non American and non-native English speaker is telling American English speakers how to do things. But I did make some of your changes, and added a few of my own Purplebackpack89 (talk) 15:31, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Just to clarify: I looked at the article, and pointed out the things that I felt looked wrong/bad. I am not picking on you specifically, I try to make the article better. And just for reference, I do have a Cambridge exam that tells others that my level of English is supposedly that of an educated native speaker. This does of course cover British English only. I have no idea how English is used outside Great Britain. Can we therefore focus on making the article better? - Feuding is usually counterproductive. --Eptalon (talk) 17:23, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
I did two things this morning...clean my room and make this article better (I'm in California, so it's still morning). I merged the two life sections, added to them, and put in quite a few references, as well as some sentences about him being VP. According to my calculations, the article should be about 4KB without references, the infobox, categories or interwikis. Purplebackpack89 (talk) 17:55, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Notes for GA[change source]

  • Primaries is not simple.


  • No need to link dates.
Not done. Keep birth date linked as it show who else was born on that day --Peterdownunder (talk) 17:19, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Hmm. En wiki's MOS suggests that "Dates are not normally linked". The Rambling Man (talk) 17:21, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Vice-President or Vice President? Be consistent.
all now consistent as Vice President --Peterdownunder (talk) 17:19, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
  • "from 1973-2009" - from 1973 to 2009.
  • Link "high school"
  • "They had three kids--two sons..." - "They had three children – two sons..."
Done - --Peterdownunder (talk) 17:08, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
  • "a County Council" not simple.
  • "they lived " - survived would be better (with a link)
Acceptable phrase in AmEnglish
survive is much more useful as it describes exactly what happened. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:03, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Do whatever Purplebackpack89 (talk) 20:23, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
  • "Beau is now the Attorney General in Delaware and a soldier in Iraq." - link AG, and is he really the AG and a soldier in Iraq?
clarified --Peterdownunder (talk) 22:42, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Link Iraq.


  • "Second Lady" is not Simple. You could say something like "She is called the Second Lady because she is the wife of the Vice-President"?
See Jill Biden; also  Fixed with a link
  • Not convinced that "brain surgery" is simple.
linked brain and surgery ---Peterdownunder (talk) 17:08, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Personal Life section should be called Personal life (small l).


  • "His election was somewhat of a surprise" - you need to explain why really.

 Fixed because the other guy had more $$$ and experience

  • "Senators must be at least thirty years old. His 30th birthday was after the election but before the date that new Senators are sworn in. " labouring the point somewhat that he was young. Not sure you need the second of these sentences.
Honestly, there's not really a good way to convey the information in those sentences. They struggled with it in the big Wikipedia too. If you can rewrite them to sound good, be my guest. Right now, it reads "He is one of the youngest people to become a U.S. Senator, because he was only 2 months older than the minimum age, 30, required to be one." Purplebackpack89 (talk) 23:26, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
  • "Foreign Relations" and "Judiciary" are not simple.

 Fixed b/c defined what they do

  • "Though Senators" Although.
  • "President" or "president" - be consistent.


  • Should we really be linking to articles which will be complex? simple wikt I can handle, but linking out to the Kinnock article like this is a bit too much.

 Fixed...linked to simwp Kinnock article

  • "d some bad things about Obama, such as Obama's inexperience" - perhaps "about Obama, such as criticising his inexperience" linking criticise and maybe inexperience. Or "lack of experience" if no appropriate link is available.


  • " Biden was elected Vice-President." was he "elected" VP or was he selected as VP by Obama?
See below
  • Use consistent date formats in the references if you can, so eliminate those ISO formatted ones (e.g. 2009-08-28) in favour of human-readable ones.

The Rambling Man (talk) 16:36, 28 August 2009 (UTC)


  • Survived is too big a word
  • Yes, Beau is Attorney General and is serving a tour of duty in Iraq.
  • Though is perfectly fine
now although --Peterdownunder (talk) 22:42, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually, though is perfectly acceptable in AmEnglish. Don't know if it is in BritEnglish. Would also note that "though" makes the BE850, but "although" doesn'tPurplebackpack89 (talk) 23:12, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
The point is, I can't recall ever reading a grammatically correct sentence that starts with "Though... " The Rambling Man (talk) 17:51, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
I guess although can work, provided it's in the 1500 Purplebackpack89 (talk) 17:54, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm not really sure what you're getting at. Articles here don't have to be made up of words that appear in the 850/1500. For instance, neither Joe nor Biden appear there. We need to be clever with linking and use grammar correctly. The Rambling Man (talk) 17:56, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Joe and Biden are proper nouns and therefore ineligable...was the impression I had that you should strive to use mostly BE1500 bogus? Purplebackpack89 (talk) 18:00, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Sure, strive to, but don't prohibit and certainly don't ignore reasonable grammar based on it. If you want to enforce that rule, then perhaps you need to look at words like "policy", "debated", "nomination" etc... The Rambling Man (talk) 18:05, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Note, those were three words I picked entirely at random. There could be many more... The Rambling Man (talk) 18:13, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Somebody wanted a link to Kinnock, but, IMO, he doesn't yet merit a Simple article
    • Kinnock was leader of the opposition party in the UK for 10 years, is a member of the European Parliament and is clearly notable enough for a Simple English article. The Rambling Man (talk) 17:02, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes, he was elected...what happens is voters vote for President and Vice-President...when they voted for Obama, they also voted for Biden. He was elected.
    • I thought he was elected to the House of Representatives, and then chosen by Obama as Vice President? The Rambling Man (talk) 17:02, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
      • Not even close. Here's what happens. The DNC and the RNC pick the Democratic and Republican nominees for President and Vice President. The Presidential nominee is chosen mostly through primaries, and then he picks his running mate, with the approval of the DNC or the RNC (that's how Obama chose him, and in the same way, McCain chose Palin). Then the people vote for both President and Vice-President, and then those votes are translated into electoral votes. Whomever has the most electoral votes for President is elected President and whomever has the most votes for Vice President is elected President. If there is no clear winner, the House of Representatives chooses the President and the Senate chooses the Vice President. It's kinda different because it's non-parliamentarian. I should put all this in the article about the Vice President of the United States

Purplebackpack89 (talk) an American

  • Indeed. Fascinating insight into US politics. Thanks for clearing it up. The Rambling Man (talk) 00:16, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Infobox[change source]

Too many redlinks? Dragging down the PGA of this article? Thoughts? Purplebackpack89 (talk) 21:31, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes, but you should create articles to avoid that, not remove content. Griffinofwales (talk) 21:34, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Removing a few redlinks is preferable to creating several sub-standard articles. Regards, Javert (talk) 06:23, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Major Political Aspects[change source]

Here are what I believe to be the major aspects of Biden's political career:

  • He's Vice-President now
  • He was in the Senate for 36 years
  • He was chair of the Judiciary Committee, which dealt with Thomas and Bork
  • He knows a lot about foreign policy/Iraq
  • He was chair of the Foreign Relations Committee
  • What that means
  • He ran for President in 1988 and 2008

All those things are covered. Anybody think there's something major missing? If so, add it or bring it up right here Purplebackpack89 (talk) 18:50, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

PGA review[change source]

  • Lead is too complex and sentences too long

 Fixed...split a couple sentences,

  • He did not have to fight in the Vietnam War because he was going to college and had asthma as a child. - sounds odd, change it
Not sure how to say it better...maybe you shoul
  • "Nelia Hunter" - to be linked
 Not fixed She does not have Wiki in any language (see also below).
  • "They had three children, two sons (Beau and Robert) and a daughter (Naomi)." - why are the names in parentheses?


  • Link "County Council"
  • "However, they lived and Beau is now the Attorney General in Delaware and is currently serving as soldier in Iraq." - not related to article directly
  • "He does not drink alcohol" - important but unrelated to entire paragraph

 Fixed new |P

  • "In 1988, Biden suffered from bleeding in his brain and needed brain surgery twice." - ref?

 Fixed added a ref

  • "His election was somewhat of a surprise, because the other candidate had more experience and more money to spend on his campaign." - Long sentence, poor language

 Fixed split

Many more concerns. The main point is that the article is not comprehensive. The distinction between the enwp and sewp version is clear. This might be GA, but even then missing so many details isn't ok. PmlineditorTalk 15:21, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

What details are missing? Several people have mentioned that, but no one has been able to point out any important details that are missing (IMO, there aren't any and this article is comprehensive). Also, Nelia Hunter does not even have an ENwp article, so she prob shouldn't have one here either, unless we throw her, Jill, Beau and Robert into an amorphous Family of Joe Biden article. Purplebackpack89 (talk) 20:07, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

You want it? Ok, I'm reading the enwp again and telling you. PmlineditorTalk 07:48, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I want it...been it for a week :-D Purplebackpack89 (talk) 15:31, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Review coming up, today night. PmlineditorTalk 11:45, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Simple has 2 sentences about Foreign Relations Committee. enwp has 3 paragraphs.
  • Precious little about presidential campaigns
Everything important is mentioned
  • Or about Vice Presidential campaign
Not really that much in the enwp either
  • As Vice President is 2 sentences
Evolving event
  • Take a look at the enwp section about Senate and here. See the difference. PmlineditorTalk 17:07, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Again, this is "the other article is longer, so something important must be missing" argument. Also, Vice-President is an evolving event. Nobody has been able to point to a single important detail that is missing. Also, being long isn't a requirement for GA, though it is a requirement for violating summary style. As a counterexample, I cite the von Braun article, which is a GA and is shorter than this. A double standard is being applied to this article, as well as a standard that has almost no basis in the criteria. Does not this article meet all criteria? I'm almost certain it does.
  1. The article must be about a subject which belongs in Wikipedia. Check markY
  2. At least 3.5KB long Check markY with half a kilo to spare
  3. Revisions Check markY
  4. Category/interwiki Check markY
  5. Minor revisions...hasn't been anything major in weeks
  6. Redlinks...Check markY--not a single one
  7. Illustrations Check markY--only one
  8. No templates Check markY
  9. References: Check markY 23 of them

For my money, it looks like he exceeds the requirements as they are now. Thoughts? Punches in face? Purplebackpack89 (talk) 20:00, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Fine. Do what you wish. This is not a GA imo. It needs work. Articles must be comprehensive for GA. They must touch all points and talk about them, not just skip them. PmlineditorTalk 07:51, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Actually, comprehensive is VGA; also, what does this skip? Purplebackpack89 (talk) 15:26, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Random comments[change source]

Hello, I change some little things here and there in the article; I don't know really how to title the section, so I called it random comments (Note:I am unfamiliar with US politics):

  • To me the article still looks a little "short" (I know it is 15k, before deductions, I say it looks that way).
  • I think that unless we strive for VGA, we should not look for comprehensiveness too much (esp. since you seem to be unable to agree on that point).
Agreed Purplebackpack89 (talk) 04:06, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
  • The "As Vice President" section is awfully short (I know Obama hasn't been president that long), but can we not say something else than him being an advisor to the President? - Is there not something that could be pointed out, that would be worth mentioning? - A section for two sentences looks bad.
 Fixed Doubled in length, with notes on looking at the stimulus, and more than doubled in refs. You may want to tweak wording. Purplebackpack89 (talk) 04:06, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Is there a better name for the Iraq War? - It actually was the second (One in 1991, the other in 2003); There were at least two confrontations between Iraq and Iran (which could be labelled 'Iraq War', the US was directly involved in at least one). I know this is supposedly about US politics, but the reader may not be aware of that. Finding a better word would really be nice.

Those are just random comments, keep up the good work though.--Eptalon (talk) 22:33, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

 Fixed added 1991 to Gulf War and 2003 to Iraq War. It should be noted, however, that on both here and enwp, Iraq War redirects to the one that started in 2003 Purplebackpack89 (talk) 00:52, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I believe your primary concerns have  Fixed Purplebackpack89 (talk) 00:52, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Some comments[change source]

  • Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. (born November 20, 1942) is the current Vice President of the United States. - Please specify that he's the 47th VP.
 Fixed, although contradicts earlier review
  • He is a member of the Democratic Party and is from Wilmington, Delaware. - These two ideas are entirely different and shouldn't be in the same sentence.
  • Before becoming Vice-President, he was a U.S. Senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009. - Why is there a hyphen here but not elsewhere?

 Fixed what's quirky is the whole hyphen thing period

  • He is a Roman Catholic. - Random sentence that's out-of-place.
Belongs in the lead someplace.

This is from the lead alone. –Juliancolton | Talk 20:07, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Good good. Let's here comments about the body as well, at all that it seems to be missing, but really isn't, and only would need for VGA. Purplebackpack89 (talk) 20:11, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, since I can find an issue with every sentence of the lead I don't have much confidence for the rest of the article. Even if it were comprehensive, it's still not of a very high quality. –Juliancolton | Talk 20:12, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
People have been correcting this article, the lead in particular for months, and all their comments have been addressed. You need to give specific comments within the criteria of why it's not good, . Honestly, your saying that this thing isn't good enough despite all reviews being addressed is an effront to the other reviewers. Purplebackpack89 (talk) 20:14, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

VGA approval comments[change source]

There are many sections that need expansion, like "In the Senate." Compare that section with the one on ENWP called "United States Senator." As you can see, there is much information in that section to simplify here. You can expand "As Vice President", with ENWP vision called, "Vice Presidency." We can even go the extra mile by adding the section "Awards and honors." Ian ♠♣♦♥ McCarty 14:55, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

List below:
  • Expand In the Senate
  • Expand As Vice President Yes check.svg
  • Add section Awards and honors Yes check.svg Done Ian ♠♣♦♥ McCarty 21:02, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
You can check off Vice-President--I did it this morning. Also, your awards and honors section looks suspiciously like the EN-wiki one Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 21:04, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Plus, you forgot to delete the one I already added in the "Personal Life" section. Somebody clean this up Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 21:12, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Verbal gaffes[change source]

I have moved this set of sentences from the article because I have concerns about it in its current state:

Biden continued to make gaffes (verbal mistakes). Four of his biggest were saying that people should not travel during the swine flu season, saying that Obama misread the economy, saying that Russia was not a powerful country any more, and using profanity to talk about Obama's health care bill.[1][2] Despite these mistakes, people in the Obama White House, such as Valerie Jarrett, like him because he is honest and makes people think.[3]
Sources used here

  1. Silva, Mark and Parsons, Christi (May 1, 2009). "White House adjusts Biden's swine flu advice". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 28, 2009.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. "Biden: 'We misread how bad the economy was'". MSNBC. Associated Press. July 5, 2009. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  3. Cummings, Jeanne (September 16, 2009). "Joe Biden, 'the skunk at the family picnic'". Politico. Retrieved September 17, 2009. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)

I am concerned that it is going against the WP:NPOV policy to declare what his biggest gaffes are. Additionally, we cannot declare they them gaffes on our own, we need sources that say they are, in fact, gaffes. Also, the section says "Biden continued to make gaffes" but I do not see where it states he was already making gaffes from the previous sections in the article. This needs to be fixed before being put back into the article. Either way (talk) 15:09, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

The MSNBC article currently used here is dead. The Politico article never mentions Valerie Jarrett. I see the part about honesty in there (Obama says he values Biden's candor), but I did not see the "makes people think" aspect there (I may have missed it). Either way (talk) 15:15, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I suggest changing "his biggest" to "his gaffes. And I guarantee you I can 25,000 hits on anyone of them Purplebackpack89 15:18, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Hit count alone for oft-repeated quotes such as gaffes doesn't necessarily determine notability. Otherwise, the George W. Bush article might become one of the longest pages on the site. Kansan (talk) 15:23, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I believe on the en-wiki, Bush had a whole article on his gaffes.

Rewording of section (Purple text indicates change): Biden continued to make gaffes (verbal mistakes) while serving as Vice President, much as he had while serving as Senator. Some gaffes he made included saying that people should not travel during the swine flu season, saying that Obama misread the economy, saying that Russia was not a powerful country any more, and using profanity to talk about Obama's health care bill.(refs) Despite these mistakes, people in the Obama White House, such as Valerie Jarrett, like him because he is honest and makes people think. (refs)

Sources that refer to Biden’s performance as gaffes:

  • Swine Flu

[1] [2] [3]

  • Misread Economy


  • Russia


  • Big F***ing Deal

[6] [7] [8]

I can find some more if you want. Purplebackpack89 16:59, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

I'm not saying we shouldn't say that he has had verbal gaffes, only that we don't need a full blow by blow list of them. But I don't think that you were going for that in the first place anyway. Kansan (talk) 18:24, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I was just going for a few BIG ones that incited widespread media attn, such as the recent "big f***ing deal" gaffe Purplebackpack89 19:19, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Kansan (talk) 19:36, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Page semi-protected...[change source]

Hello, Biden is the current US president. As such his article will likely get many page views. Looking at the edits of the last few weeks, I have seen many edits by IPs, who were later reverte, in most cases on the same day. I have now semi-protected the page for a bit, so that only autoconfirmed users can edit it. For all the other users: You can suggest a change here, and when everyone agrees, an autoconfirmed user can make the change.--Eptalon (talk) 22:50, 11 March 2021 (UTC)

Typo in the "rest of 2021" section[change source]

In the "rest of 2021" section, the first sentence has two periods at the end. JuliaHM123 (talk) 12:59, 14 September 2021 (UTC)