Since abandoning his first run for the White House in 2008, Vice President Joe Biden has made a career out of holding out high hopes for his administration in times of tragedy — and when disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes hit. His determination to lead remains resolute, even in the face of a second hospital, federal prosecutor, and climbing of debts and mountains of paperwork.

Biden says the only reason he has remained in politics is to help “right the wrongs of the past four decades”. His colleagues and supporters see him as a blue-collar hero from Scranton, Pennsylvania, an ascetic little boy who was “dislocated” from his mother and father early in life, and with “chimp nose” and long tresses. His love of family and his belief in the power of the human spirit have been his greatest assets.

His desire to stay in the race for president is rooted in frustration at Hillary Clinton’s failure to earn voters’ trust, and by belief that a Vice President can make a difference. A champion of gun control, the vice president can still be regarded by Democrats as a tireless champion for progressive values.

A Biden administration would be unique in being “created and populated by Democrats”, the Vice President likes to boast. He sees himself as a “deeply practical man”, even though he was previously the Bush-Biden chief of staff and a senator for Delaware, home to Goldman Sachs.

The vice president has held positions in domestic and foreign policy, and in all of them he has offered inspiration and experience through a modern mix of principles and personal passions. The many causes he has championed are seen as making possible for others to succeed.