Vice President Joe Biden has long been an influential voice on foreign policy issues in Washington. First elected to the Senate in 1972 at age 29, Biden has spent more time in Congress than any candidate. He chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and sits on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security. Biden ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988. His campaign was tainted, however, when he was accused of plagiarizing a stump speech from a British Labour Party leader.
He returned to the Senate to become a prominent foreign policy voice in the 1990s, particularly on the Balkans conflicts. He has traveled to the region many times and was a proponent for U.S. intervention there. Biden has also been a strong advocate for nuclear nonproliferation efforts.
Biden's proposal for resolving the conflict in Iraq continued to generate discussion late into 2007. Biden, along with CFR President Emeritus Leslie H. Gelb, back creation of a federal state in Iraq with Kurdish, Sunni, and Shia autonomous regions. Biden was also one of the only candidates to support using U.S. ground forces to end the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region.
Before being selected as Obama’s running mate, Biden ran for the Democratic nomination, dropping out of the race in January 2008.