Joe Biden and his sister, Valerie, don't fight often. The relationship is so close that they understand each other intuitively. They even finish each other's sentences. There was one argument that Valerie has never been able to forget.
It was the 1996 Senate elections. Biden was running for reelection and she, as campaign manager, was the one in charge of making it happen. Suddenly, Valerie remembers her brother "stormed into my campaign office with a look I'd seen before, but never directed at me - one of contained fury." To calm down the now president, who reproached her for a campaign ad, all it took was one phrase: "It's the best ad I've ever seen."
She acknowledges in Growing Up Biden: A Memoir how that incident earned her a nickname: "The Biden Whisperer."
In the spotlight
Investigations into alleged corruption in the Biden family have expanded the focus to include this member of the clan following statements by IRS agent Joseph Ziegler.
The whistleblower, who was the lead investigator in the Hunter Biden case, stated that, despite his insistence, his superiors would not allow him to interview the Bidens. Among them, he named the Democratic leader's sister.
Ziegler also claimed that Valerie Biden Owens received a wire transfer from her nephew, the New York Post reported. The amount and reason for the payment are unknown.
Emails extracted from Hunter Biden's laptop by the same media outlet show that the president's sister meticulously controls some of the family's businesses. For example, in one, she strongly suggested who should be put on a guest list for a St. Patrick's Day breakfast. In another, she asked to change a photo of Joe Biden to make him look better.
The Post claims that Biden Owens focused primarily on raising money for family projects.
Valerie Biden Owens was involved in her brother's career from the beginning. She was campaign manager for her brother's seven Senate victories and his two defeats for the Democratic nomination. In the 2020 victory, she worked as a campaign advisor.
She graduated from the University of Delaware and married businessman Jack Owens. She is now president of the University of Delaware's Biden Institute and a partner in the Owens Patrick Leadership Seminars. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Beau Biden Foundation.
In 2016, Barack Hussein Obama nominated Valerie Biden Owens as an Alternate Representative of the United States to the 71st Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
In 2016, Barack Hussein Obama nominated Valerie Biden Owens as an Alternate Representative of the United States to the 71st Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. pic.twitter.com/g2QnfqZmg9
— 𝕔hi𝓁𝓁iຖ໐iˢ (@chiIIum) July 22, 2023
"She’s got a great gut and instinct with what connects with people. She’s sharp as a whip, and tough — as you expect from the only girl who grew up in a family of all brothers," Biden's former chief of staff Ron Klain told the Washington Post, adding that she was "unique" to 'the Biden operation.' "And she’s not afraid to tell her brother that he’s wrong."
Another former campaign contributor emphasized Valerie's importance in her brother's political career, in statements to the New York Post. He also stated that her "amazing personality" counterbalanced Joe Biden's complicated temperament with his employees:
She is gregarious, funny and gets rid of any tension immediately.
What is her role in the administration? "I would never call and say: 'Joe, I think we should do such and such,'" she explained in an interview with USA Today when she released her memoir.
Instead, she said her role is more of a "safe haven" for the president. She would often call to ask how he was doing or if he had any news about his friends, among other things.
I don't talk about what happened with Putin. (I just ask things like) Have you seen Jimmy lately? Yes, I was just down with him this weekend...
"Her role is often to be the shaper of policy rather than the creator," the adviser quoted by the New York Post argued instead. "She is particularly concerned with making sure a message translates to voters, weighing in if she feels advisers are making things too complicated."
She does not only act as a support system for her brother but also for her nephew. She has defended him numerous times in public, even saying she is proud of his exit from "hell."