'He does it for you': Jill Biden gives personal speech as her husband receives DNC nomination

Jill Biden spoke as a teacher, a mother and a wife when she addressed the Democratic National Convention on the night her husband was formally nominated to challenge President Donald Trump.

The former Second Lady described her husband as a man who has gone through the unimaginable while still managing to keep putting one front in front of the other.

“He does it for you,” she said of Joe Biden. “His faith is in you, in us.”

And she shared her own pain from the 2015 death of Beau Biden, the family’s oldest child, drawing larger lessons to be applied to a divided nation.

“How do you make a broken family whole? The same way you make a nation whole,” she said. “With love and understanding – and with small acts of kindness. With bravery. With unwavering faith.” 

In this Feb. 29, 2020 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, accompanied by his wife Jill Biden, speaks at a primary night election rally in Columbia, S.C.

Biden spoke from Room 232 of the high school in Wilmington, Delaware, where she taught English when her husband served in the Senate.

A sign on the bulletin board read: “Welcome back Dr. Jill Biden.”

While she didn't mention Trump in her 10-minute speech, Biden used the backdrop of the school to address the pandemic, saying she’s heartbroken by the magnate of nation’s loss of life and the “failure to protect our communities.” She said she feels the frustration of parents juggling work while supporting their children’s learning or fearful they’ll get sick at school. 

"Like so many of you," she said, "I’m left asking: how do I keep my family safe?" 

Biden called for "leadership worthy of our nation."

"Honest leadership to bring us back together, to recover from this pandemic and prepare for whatever else is next," she said, so "these classrooms will ring out with laughter and possibility once again."

After Joe Biden was elected vice president, Jill Biden surprised many people – but not her husband – by teaching full time at Northern Virginia Community College.

“Teaching is not what I do. It’s who I am,” she’s said many times, including on Tuesday.

Biden, who has a doctorate in education, goes by the name “Dr. B” on campus and tries to keep her political and educational worlds separate. She instructed her Secret Service agents to dress like college students.

“I do get asked once in a while, `Hey! Are you Joe Biden’s wife?” she told NPR in 2013 interview. “And I’ll say, `Um, he’s one of my relatives.”

Biden has taken a break from teaching for the presidential campaign where she’s had the unofficial role of back-up bodyguard.

Twice, Jill Biden, who is 69, intervened when protesters tried to storm the stage.

"I’m probably the only candidate running for president whose wife is my Secret Service. Whoa, you don’t screw around with a Philly girl, I’ll tell you what," Joe Biden said the day after his wife pushed away animal rights protesters at a Super Tuesday rally in Los Angeles.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, right, watches as his wife Jill Biden, center, blocks a protester from arriving on stage during a primary night rally in  Los Angeles on March 3, 2020.

Jill Biden also defended her husband last year after multiple women claimed he had hugged, kissed or rubbed noses with them without permission. In a 2019 interview, Jill Biden told USA TODAY that Joe Biden grew up in a very physically affectionate family but understands that times have changed and he “will not be in people’s space.”

Beyond her work as Second Lady to support military families, Biden often kept a low profile during the Obama administration. She’d step into the spotlight during the conventions to testify to her husband’s “big strong heart that drives him forward every day.”

President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden wave at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

As she’s done at past conventions, Biden on Tuesday told the story of Joe Biden losing his first wife and baby daughter in a 1972 car crash. His two sons, Beau and Hunter, were badly injured.

"I fell in love with a man and two little boys standing in the wreckage of unthinkable loss," Biden said. "We found that love holds a family together.”

After Jill and Joe married in 1977, they had a daughter, Ashley.

Beau Biden, who introduced his father at the 2008 and 2012 conventions, died of brain cancer in 2015 at 46.

“I wondered if I would ever smile or feel joy again,” Jill Biden said Tuesday.

But, four days after Beau’s funeral, she watched her husband put on a suit, take a deep breath and “walk out into a world empty of our son.”

“He went back to work. That’s just who he is,” she said. “I know that if we entrust this nation to Joe, he will do for your family what he did for ours: bring us together and make us whole."