Washington: Jill Biden has been familiar with the political spotlight ever since she married Joe Biden, a Washington insider in 1977, and she was America’s second lady for eight years. Also Read - For Big Tech, Joe Biden Brings A New Era But No Ease In Scrutiny By Marcon Gordon
But now that her husband has won the White House, she will have the opportunity to push the role of first lady into the 21st century — by keeping her full-time job as a professor. Also Read - 'Don't Ever Talk to The President that Way': Donald Trump Snaps at Reporter Over Election Question | Watch
“Most American women have both a work life and a family life, but first ladies have never been allowed to do so,” said Katherine Jellison, a history professor at Ohio University. Also Read - Will Leave White House if Electoral College Declares Biden Victory, Says Trump
“Maybe the time has come, however, when more Americans will feel comfortable with a first lady who isn’t on-call at the White House 24/7,” she added.
Of course, 69-year-old Biden for years has been a trusted advisor to her 77-year-old husband, who defeated incumbent President Donald Trump.
As first lady, she is expected to work on education issues and relaunch Joining Forces, a mission to rally around military families that she and Michelle Obama started in 2011.
But she is also a professor, a mother, a grandmother and the rock that kept Biden going after tragedy struck nearly five decades ago.
In 1972, Joe Biden lost his his young wife and daughter to a tragic car crash, and was left alone to raise his two young sons, both injured in the accident.
Then came Jill Jacobs, who was born in 1951 and grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Her father rose up the ranks in banking from teller to president, and her mom was a homemaker.
Jill was in the process of divorcing her first husband when she met Biden, a widower who was commuting daily from Delaware to Washington, where he served as a US senator.
The couple wed in 1977, and she became “Mom” to his sons Hunter and Beau. The Bidens have a daughter, Ashley, who was born in 1981.
While raising her family, Biden also earned two Master’s degrees. She would eventually earn a doctorate in education, and now teaches at Northern Virginia Community College.
Since then, the couple has been through two failed presidential runs, his eight years as vice president, the death of Beau Biden after a battle with cancer — and now, a successful White House campaign.
“She put us back together,” Biden said in a video shown in August during the Democratic National Convention, as he described Jill’s impact on the tragedy-scarred family.
“She is so damn tough and loyal,” he said.
In her convention speech from a classroom at a Wilmington High School where she taught English in the 1990s, she vouched for her husband’s character, capabilities and heart.
“How do you make a broken family whole?” she said of Biden’s persistence through adversity, a quality she believes connects him with millions of American families suffering through the pandemic, mass layoffs and racial tensions.
“The same way you make a nation whole,” she added, “With love and understanding — and with small acts of compassion. With bravery. With unwavering faith.”