Family Business

Beau Biden is the next Biden to watch. Will he follow in his father’s footsteps?

This story was originally published in the July 2003 issue of Delaware Today.



As the son of a senator who has been in public service for 33 years, Beau Biden (Joseph R. Biden III) feels a call to action, not pressure by any means, but a calling.
“I’ve seen how a person can really have an impact on what’s going on around you,” he says. “You couldn’t leave my dinner table without the sense that you had an obligation … to try to impact your world.”
Asked to run against state Attorney General Jane Brady in the 2002 election, Beau says he respects the people who approached him, and he considered it. “I was thoroughly flattered,” he says. “But at the time, there were other things I had going on in my life.”
He’s been busy in the past year. In the spring of 2002 Beau left his job as an assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, where he prosecuted federal crimes since 1997, to join the law firm founded by his father. Monzack and Monaco in downtown Wilmington was originally called Biden and Walsh when it began in 1970, although Joe Biden left the firm only two years later to become U.S. Senator. Last November Beau married Hallie Olivere — an Archmere Academy guidance counselor — at an intimate wedding on Nantucket Island, Mass., the place where he proposed to her a year earlier, and where his family has celebrated Thanksgiving for the past 26 years.
Now focused on developing his law practice and building a family, Beau’s also likely to step into the political arena — although when and in what way he says he has not yet decided.
The person who probably knows him best is his younger brother Hunter, who calls Beau his hero and closest confidant. Hunter hints that Beau will join the political arena, and says, “I will run his campaign.”
While Hunter, 33, got the head start when it comes to raising children — he has been married to his wife Kathleen for 10 years and has three daughters — he wants Beau to be the one to run for political office first. He says he thinks about running himself, but “I think about it more for Beau, just because I have such great faith in him, not only as a brother but as a politician.”
Beau says, “I intend to be engaged and involved in the political process, and what form that takes, we’ll see.” He adopted from his father and grandfather Plato’s philosophy that the price good men pay for not being involved in politics is being governed by people who are not as good as they are. “You couldn’t be raised in my family and not want to be involved,” he says.
Biden family dinners, which often included Beau’s grandparents in addition to his dad and mom Jill, younger brother Hunter and sister Ashley, were an important part of daily life. “Our dinner table was a place where eating was almost incidental to the discussion, whether it be my mother’s teaching career or what was going on in our state or the nation or the world.”
For 31 of Beau’s 34 years, his father has been a senator, so he has had plenty of exposure to politics. Even when Beau and his brother Hunter were very young, they were allowed to be with their father while he worked, “as long as we spoke when we were spoken to,” he says. “And so I remember being in his office as a
5-, 6-, 7-year-old kid in meetings with other senators and leaders, both in government and industry.” Beau has also gone to parades and traveled with his father throughout the state since he was 4 years old.
As he’s gotten older, Beau has often filled in for his father at local fundraisers and dinner events. When the senator can’t make it back in time from Washington, D.C., his son is a more personable stand-in than a staff member.
Hallie, 30, remembers the first time she watched then-boyfriend Beau speak in public in place of the senator.
They had plans to go out with friends when Beau called and told her he was sorry, but they had to go to a dinner so he could say a few words for his father.
They attended a benefit for Saint Francis Hospital and when it was time for the speech Sen. Joe Biden was scheduled to give, Beau got up and talked about the many injuries he and his younger brother Hunter had over the years and how good the hospital had always been to his family.
“It was startling how personable he was,” Hallie says. “The real him came across.” She looked around at the audience and saw how intently everyone was listening. “As a girlfriend, I was so proud and impressed.”
Hunter, who is a year and a day younger than Beau, says, “I don’t know anybody you’d talk to who knows Beau intimately and doesn’t consider Beau one of the most impressive people they’ve met, as a person and a friend.”
Hallie says Beau’s energy is contagious. He’ll drop whatever he’s doing to help out a friend or family member. He runs out the door just as he’s about to sit down to dinner if his grandmother calls and needs him. If one of Hunter’s three daughters forgets her lunch, Beau happily drops it off at school.
Rob Buccini, a longtime friend of Beau and the real estate developer with the Buccini/Pollin Group working to revitalize downtown Wilmington, says he and Beau have gone from riding motor bikes and trick-or-treating together to visiting one another at college. Now both back in Wilmington and working only a few blocks apart, they speak once or twice a day. “There’s a comfort level,” Buccini says. “After a long week, he’s the perfect person to go out with on a Friday night if I am tired or drained.”
Hunter, who has a law practice in  Washington, D.C., and who wears “vote Democratic” cuff links on the day of our interview, says he knew few children of politicians growing up. Now that he has lived in other cities and has had a chance to meet more people, he realizes that he and Beau are in the minority of people who want to go into the “family business.”
While Hunter says it is not in his immediate future to run for office, he is eager to help big brother Beau in whatever course of action he takes. “I think he’s completely sincere in that he hasn’t made any decision yet about when and what office,” Hunter says.
One thing’s for sure — there’s more to come from the Biden family. Delaware will have to wait and see.   


 

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February 2016

Delaware State University will feature the following events and exhibitions during its 2016 Black History Month celebration: Wednesday, Feb. 3 Black Lives Matter Symposium Documentary...

Cost: FREE and open to the public

Where:
Delaware State University
1200 N DuPont Highway
Dover, DE  19901
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Cost: Free

Where:
First State Heritage Park
121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd N
43 The Green
Dover, DE  19901
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Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
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The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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201 Hagley Creek Rd
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The Station Gallery
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
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Delaware State University will feature the following events and exhibitions during its 2016 Black History Month celebration: Wednesday, Feb. 3 Black Lives Matter Symposium Documentary...

Cost: FREE and open to the public

Where:
Delaware State University
1200 N DuPont Highway
Dover, DE  19901
View map »

More information

Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »


Website »

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Cost: $0-14

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Rd
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Delaware State University
1200 N DuPont Highway
Dover, DE  19901
View map »

More information

Our Winter Group Show features oil paintings by Rosemary Castiglioni, Jim Gears and Mary Ann Weselyk. Still-life paintings with subtle color variations by...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
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Cost: Call for information.

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801 Middleford Road
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Telephone: 302-629-6611x2446
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Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
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East Coast Garden Center
30336 Cordrey Rd
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Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church
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Cost: FREE and open to the public

Where:
Delaware State University
1200 N DuPont Highway
Dover, DE  19901
View map »

More information

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View map »


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Kimmel Center - Commonwealth Plaza
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Delaware State University will feature the following events and exhibitions during its 2016 Black History Month celebration: Wednesday, Feb. 3 Black Lives Matter Symposium Documentary...

Cost: FREE and open to the public

Where:
Delaware State University
1200 N DuPont Highway
Dover, DE  19901
View map »

More information

Our Winter Group Show features oil paintings by Rosemary Castiglioni, Jim Gears and Mary Ann Weselyk. Still-life paintings with subtle color variations by...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »


Website »

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Cost: $0-14

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201 Hagley Creek Rd
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The Gibby Center for the Arts
51 W Main St.
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Sponsor: The Gibby Center for the Arts
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Contact Name: Caroline Zeitler
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Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
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Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
801 Middleford Rd.
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Cost: $13

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1101 Arch St.
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Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

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Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »


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More information

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51 W Main St.
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Sponsor: The Gibby Center for the Arts
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Cost: Free

Where:
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51W Main St.
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View map »


Sponsor: The Gibby Center for the Arts
Telephone: 302-449-5396
Contact Name: Caroline Zeitler
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Cost: $15–$18

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Middletown, DE  19709
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View map »


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Cost: $40

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, DE

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Cost: Free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free with admission

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Delaware Museum of Natural History
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Wilmington, DE  19807
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Cost: $13

Where:
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1101 Arch St.
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More information

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Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
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Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »


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What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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Guests can explore three floors of exhibitions in the Visitor Center, stroll along the river through dozens of historic structures from the Industrial Revolution, and explore the gardens and...

Cost: $0-14

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Rd
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Meg Marcozzi
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Penn Museum opens the world premiere exhibition The Golden Age of King Midas—featuring ancient treasures on loan from the Republic of Turkey—with a spectacular daylong public...

Cost: $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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This art exhibit features fine art works and three dimensional pieces that embrace the subject “red.” Artist are free to use their imagination and creativity, so works will include...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Gibby Center for the Arts
51 W Main St.
Middletown, DE  19709
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Sponsor: The Gibby Center for the Arts
Telephone: 302-449-5396
Contact Name: Caroline Zeitler
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For more information, please contact: Dave Ruffner ​Rehoboth Beach Film Society 107 Truitt Ave. Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 302-645-9095, ext. 4 administrator@rehobothfilm.com...

Cost: Free

Where:
, DE


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
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The Rehoboth Beach Film Society and CAMP Rehoboth will co-present "Tab Hunter Confidential" and "Portrait of a Serial Monogamist" as part of its annual Another Take...

Cost: $8

Where:
Metropolitan Community Church
19369 Plantation Rd.
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
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"La Sylphide" shares the beautiful and romantic story of our hero, James—a young Scottish farmer who, on the eve of hid wedding, abandons his betrothed, Effie, after being...

Cost: $25

Where:
Salesanium School
1801 North Broom St.
Wilmington, DE  19802
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Sponsor: Academy of International Ballet
Telephone: 1-866-908-5666
Contact Name: Denis Gronostayskiy
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Venture back with us for an evening where we re-imagine the Victorian Industrial Age as seen through our steam-powered, futuristic goggles.  Our biggest fundraiser of the year and all proceeds...

Cost: $100-$110

Where:
Smyrna Opera House
7 West South Street
Smyrna, DE  19977
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A spoiled orphan girl is sent to live with her uncle on the Yorkshire moors and discovers renewed life, for herself and her sickly cousin, in bringing her dead aunt’s secret garden back to...

Cost: $15–$18

Where:
The Secret Garden
47 W Main St.
Middletown, DE  19709
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Sponsor: The Everett Theatre
Telephone: 302-540-8561
Contact Name: Chris Everett
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Location: St. Mark’s High School, 2501 Pike Creek Road, Wilmington Time: Registration: 11:30 a.m. Race: 12:30 p.m. Fee: $25 (until Thursday, Feb. 11), $35 after and day of event...

Where:
, DE

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Location: Beebe Healthcare’s Medical Center, 424 Savannah Road, Lewes Date: Saturday, Feb. 13 (and the second Saturday of each month) Time: 9 a.m. Fee: Free For more...

Where:
, DE

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Ditch the winter whites for a world of dazzling color at Longwood Gardens, where you can stroll through thousands of orchids in bloom. Kennett Square, www.longwoodgardens.org 

Where:
, DE

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A successful writer of Broadway thrillers is struggling to overcome a dry spell when he receives a script from a student —a potential Broadway hit. Thereafter suspense...

Where:
, DE

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Regional artists Carol Tippit Woolworth, Catherine Drabkin, Pahl Alexander Hluchan, Colleen Randall and Dan Jackson explore the concept of place—physical, emotional and spiritual—in...

Where:
, DE

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