Jill Biden got candid about her thoughts when she first met Joe Biden.
At a fund-raiser for her husband at the Upper East Side’s Lotos Club, First Lady Dr Jill Biden reportedly poked fun at the president’s style when they first met in 1975.
She shared with the audience: “It was the ’70s . . . It was Vietnam, love beads, equal rights. I wore my hair down to the middle of my waist, and so did most of the men I dated . . . Remember what you were wearing then? Clogs, bell-bottoms, tie-dyes.
“One day, I was asked out on a date from out of the blue, and that evening a handsome young senator showed up at my door,” she continued. “I took one look at his perfect suit and his leather loafers and I thought, ‘Thank God it’s only one date.’â
“Well, one date eventually turned into a marriage proposal. And okay, if I am being completely honest, it was five proposals, because this was not part of my plan,” the professor added.
But it wasn’t just his buttoned-up sense of style that sparked hesitation, there was also the fact that when Jill met Joe, he was a widow and a single father.
On 18 December 1972, the then-senator’s first wife Neilia Biden reportedly took their three children - sons Beau and Hunter, and infant daughter Naomi- with her to buy a Christmas tree together. His wife and daughter were killed after the car was broadsided by a tractor-trailer, while toddlers Hunter and Beau survived with serious injuries.
“After all that his two sons, Beau and Hunter, had lost,” Jill reflected. “I knew that if I said yes to Joe, it had to be forever. So eventually I realized that my love for Joe and the boys outweighed any fears I had, and I said yes. And here we are 46 years later.”
The longtime professor had previously been married to Bill Stevenson from 1970 to 1975, they had met when she was just a college student. The pair ultimately divorced, leading Jill to reportedly feel hesitant to fall in love again.
“After the disappointment of my divorce, I never wanted to feel so out of control of my heart again,” she previously wrote in Time Magazine about their courtship. “But in the months that Joe and I were dating, that desire ran up against a new reality: I was falling in love.”
In a joint interview, he and his wife did with Drew Barrymore, the president revealed that his sons - Hunter, now 52, and the late Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer at 46 in 2015 - were the ones who encouraged him to propose to Jill, approaching him when they were six and seven years old.
“I said, ‘What’s the matter, guys?’” the president recounted to Barrymore. “Beau finally said, ‘Dad, we were talking. We think we should marry Jill.’”
Ultimately, the president admitted that it took five proposals for Jill to finally say yes, the last one being after he returned from South Africa.
“I had to ask her five times, and the fifth time, I was in South Africa, trying to see Nelson Mandela,” he told the talk show host. “I said, ‘I’m asking you one more time.’ I said, ‘You don’t have to say when, but if. If you say no, I understand, and that’s it.’ I looked at her and said, ‘Will you marry me?’ She goes, ‘Okay.’ Swear to God.”