After a long career in politics, Joe Biden has officially made it to the pinnacle of his occupation. Elected as a county counselor in 1970, he was then elected in 1972 as the 6th youngest American senator aged 29.
Biden's voting history and priorities paint an unclear picture as to whether the President-Elect is truly progressive. In the 1970's Biden was one of the few senators against busing, a process that tried to tackle racial integration by busing teenagers to different school districts.
The politician was also very vocal regarding the Iraq war. He supported the instigation of the conflict but was against sending more US military to the middle east in 2007. Although, regarding gay marriage, he stated in 2012 that he was 'absolutely comfortable' with it.
All of this totals up to a pretty mixed bag, and it's hard to tell whether his values are aligned with many modern democrats. Nontheless, as Biden is not a hard left democrat (his views land more to the centre) - many of his staff appointees are what we expected.
However, one nomination that has ruffled feathers is that of John Kerry. Kerry has a highly unbalanced history with climate change. The former Secretary of State signed the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 on behalf of the US.
"Secretary Kerry elevated environmental challenges as diplomatic priorities, from oceans to hydro-fluorocarbons. He was a key architect of the Paris Climate Accord, and signed the historic agreement to reduce carbon emissions with his granddaughter on his lap."- Biden Harris Presidential Transition web page, November 2020.
Be that as it may, it's important not to forget Kerry's promotion of oil shale and fracking in 2016. This creates a dangerous game - although the US can promote clean energy and climate reform abroad, they can exploit this and promote US energy at the same time.
What this can create is monumental. If Joe Biden is willing to give old friends positions (similar to the old boys' network in the UK), it will have extensive backlash on true progress in the United States.
In doing such, Biden is creating an opportunity for the US to profit from their own resources, whilst petitioning for cleaner energy abroad. So, what does this do for the President-Elect? With one sketchy nomination in his staff, there are bound to be other staff members that raise eyebrows when it comes to their views.
But, after all, Biden is a politician. He can pledge to be progressive throughout his campaign; but delivering on this progress will remain to be seen.