When grieving with those who lost loved ones in a building collapse, President Biden invoked the car crash that claimed members of his own family decades ago. When explaining his decision to pull troops from Afghanistan, he remembered his veteran son. When discussing the importance of education, he recalled the teachers who helped him overcome his childhood stutter.
And when he met with Queen Elizabeth and then Vladimir Putin on a recent trip abroad, he couldn’t resist bringing up his mother with both of them.
The personal has always been the political for Biden. Far more than his recent predecessors, the president publicly draws on his own experiences when he makes connections with voters and considers his decisions. Many politicians make their background a central component of their political identity, but Biden is particularly prone to draw links between his own life story and the day-to-day workings of his presidency.
And the strongest connection is…