Joe Biden’s “What Happened” book is shaping up to be a must-read for 2020

Campaigning in California and New Mexico, Biden aims to ease voter anxieties

When Senator Joe Biden gets out on the stump, he tends to do what he does best—listen.

Biden says he listens to voters on the campaign trail. He says he listens to leaders outside his circle of trusted advisers. He says he listens to his wife and daughters and to his mother. He listens to former President Barack Obama, whom he met while they served together in the White House.

And he says he listens to his son Beau, the Democratic senator from Delaware.

He listens to him because this is who he is.

“I listen to my son as much as anybody else,” Biden said during a campaign stop in North Carolina last month. “I do read the newspapers in the morning before we pack the car. And I know his mind. I know what’s on his mind. I like to think that I do more of what he does than just the opposite.”

Biden says he also listens to his campaign finance filing and his own internal campaign manager, who helps him make decisions, including who is good for an endorsement and who to push out. And he said he listens to the advice of his daughter, Amy, who is one of his top campaign operatives.

“I never get tired of listening to him,” said Amy, who is the chief operating officer for the Biden campaign. “He always makes me feel like he believes me and I believe in him.”

Biden makes this same point in an upcoming book that’s shaping up to be a must-read for the 2020 field: “What Happened,” which has been selling briskly in bookstores, and was made available on the Biden campaign’s website Thursday.

The book, according to campaign aides, is designed to be a “lively, candid, readable” memoir. It’s also shaping up to be a must-read for political nerds out there who want to know what the senator from Delaware feels about the challenges in the Democratic presidential race.

Some campaign aides are comparing the two books.


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