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Biden Revisits His Past in Interview With Howard Stern

Sitting with Howard Stern, the nation’s best-known shock jock, President Biden on Friday replayed the deepest lows of his life story and the highs of a decades-long political career in an appearance designed to reintroduce him to an audience of millions.

In a surprise interview on “The Howard Stern Show” that lasted for more than an hour, Mr. Stern, a skilled interviewer versed in the art of oversharing, repeatedly asked Mr. Biden to revisit the stories of love and loss that have defined his public image.

So Mr. Biden spoke at length about grieving the death of his first wife, Neilia, and 13-month-old daughter, Naomi, who were killed in a car crash in 1972. He talked about meeting his second wife, Jill Biden, on a blind date, and said, as he often has, that his deceased son Beau Biden should be the Biden sitting in the Oval Office.

At one point, Mr. Biden — who also told Mr. Stern that he had fallen “ass over tin cup” in love with his first wife — that he had contemplated suicide after Neilia and Naomi were killed.

“I thought, let me just go to the Delaware Memorial and jump,” he said. The president then strongly encouraged those with mental health issues to seek therapy.

The appearance allowed Mr. Biden to return to some of the raw and emotionally vulnerable stories and highlight his capacity for compassion — in other words, he revisited for Mr. Stern’s massive audience everything that had made him a compelling candidate for president in 2020. Mr. Stern’s listeners are mostly white, mostly male and mostly comfortably middle class, according to figures shared by the Howard Stern Radio Network.

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