WASHINGTON — Jill Biden continued to teach at a community college while her husband was vice president, against the advice of multiple aides at the time. Will she do it again?
In an August interview with CBS This Morning, Jill Biden said she would continue to teach if her husband was elected to the presidency.
The projected future first lady taught English at Northern Virginia Community College from 2008 to 2016.
Jill Biden has three education degrees, including a Masters in Education from West Chester University and a Master of Arts from Villanova University.
Learn more about Jill Biden
Jill Biden is a prankster.
It's the first thing most of her friends and former aides say when asked about her character. She once sneaked into a close aide's birthday party dressed as catering staff and surprised him with a drink. She has dressed up as the Grinch to toy with colleagues during Christmas. And she likes to put on a red wig with a bob to pop up unnoticed at events or make her husband laugh.
That sense of humor has helped Joe Biden navigate decades in public life that have been marked by achievements, defeats and considerable personal loss.Those who have worked closely with Jill Biden say her warmth will appeal to Americans confronting tough times of their own.
"She has a very good sense of, especially in these times, that bringing a little smile, some joy, some levity into moments is important," Courtney O'Donnell, who served as Jill Biden's communications director during her husband's first term as vice president, said.
Jill Biden married the projected presidential winner in 1977, more than four years after his first wife and young daughter were killed in a car accident. She helped raise his surviving sons, Beau and Hunter, before giving birth to daughter Ashley in 1981.
As Joe Biden commuted from Delaware to Washington while serving as a senator, Jill Biden built a career as a teacher, ultimately earning two master's degrees and then a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware in 2007.
Along the way, former coworkers say, Jill Biden, 69, became one of her husband's most valuable political advisers, someone whose opinion was paramount in most of his biggest decisions, both political and personal. She was skeptical of his 1988 presidential campaign, but pushed him to run again in 2008, according to her memoir.
Jill Biden does remain one of her husband's closest confidantes — particularly now, at a time when both Bidens are largely confined to their Wilmington home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Aides say the Bidens often pass each other in the halls during the day as they head from a briefing to a virtual event to a fundraiser.
"They see each other a lot, but there's a lot of passing and crossing each other. In the evening they try to sit together and just kind of regroup and chat about things," Russell said. "They've got grandkids and kids and two dogs. They've got family and lives that are sort of spinning around them, and I think they just try to always find time for each other."
A self-described introvert, Jill Biden was initially a reluctant political wife. In her memoir, she writes of giving her first political speech and having no desire to "give any speeches, anytime, anywhere — just the thought of doing so made me so nervous I felt sick."