Opinion | With the Speech of His Life, Joe Biden Becomes the Man for This Moment – By Frank Bruni – The New York Times


Opinion Columnist

Credit…Illustration by The New York Times; Photograph by Erin Schaff/The New York Times

“Let’s be honest. One of the big questions attending Joe Biden’s big speech at the Democratic National Convention was whether he still had enough gas and enough grip to get to the end of it without losing velocity or swerving this way and that.

He did. He absolutely did. Is he in the fleetest, shiniest, nimblest form of his very long career? No. And Donald Trump — no Ferrari himself — is constantly trying to exploit that.

But as I watched Biden, 77, on Thursday night, I kept thinking that there’s another way to look at all the miles on his odometer and the unusually long road that he traveled to his party’s presidential nomination, which he first sought, disastrously, more than three decades ago.

He’s a paragon of stamina and stubborn optimism for a country that desperately needs one. In a period of great pain, he’s a crucial lesson in perseverance.”

“I understand it’s hard to have any hope now,” he said, fusing his own story, one of extraordinary loss and extraordinary endurance, with America’s. “On this summer night, let me take a moment to speak to those of you who have lost the most.

He told them: “I know the deep black hole that opens up in your chest — that you feel your whole being is sucked into it. I know how mean and cruel and unfair life can be sometimes.” And, he said, “The best way through pain and loss and grief is to find purpose.” “