What if there were Bidens on the ballot this year?

DOVER — Some notes and quotes between carefully written headlines and missed deadlines …

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Go back a couple of years and think about what could have been the 2016 election headlines in Delaware.

It might have been a big Biden Tuesday.

What if we had a chance to see two Biden names in the polling booth?

Joe for President.

Beau for Governor.

There were “Beau” stickers — with no hint of the office he was seeking — on The Circle in Georgetown at Return Day in 2012. Speculation began that he might run for Senate. In 2014, he surprised a lot of people with an announcement that he would not seek a third term as attorney general. Instead, he would run for governor.

All that changed in May 2015 when Beau Biden, the eldest son of the vice president, died. His death altered the political landscape.

Would the Bidens have won the Delaware vote?

Delaware’s Democratic Party numbers — particularly the big sea of blue above the canal — would suggest so.

Would Joe have captured the nation? Or would he have faced the same challenge Hillary Clinton did?

Would Joe have won Kent or Sussex? Or would he have faced the same challenge Hillary did?

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From the Editor logo copy copyVice President Biden was absent from Return Day this year.

It was the first time without a Biden in the parade since 1970.

Go back to 1972 and Joe Biden — then a 29-year-old New Castle County councilman — was there as the upset winner of the U.S. Senate race against Caleb Boggs.

Before this year, Vice President Biden’s only other absence was 2010. But his son, Beau, was in the parade that year.

Beau appeared at the parade in 2014, riding in a National Guard Humvee.

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The loudest roar of the day on The Circle had to be when Town Crier Kirk Lawson announced the vote total for President-elect Donald Trump.

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The Wednesday edition was a late night/early morning challenge for us.

By 1 a.m., we still did not know who would win the race to 270 electoral votes even though it was looking good for Trump.

You always want a big impact headline for the winner on the front page for a presidential election. But you have to be sure.

No editor wants to be that “Dewey defeats Truman” guy.

We went with “Divided America,” summing up the moment and the mood of the nation.

“Trumped!” or “Madame President” — were left on the idea list.

Not only was America divided, but so was Delaware. In our primary areas of circulation — Kent and Sussex counties, Donald Trump was the top choice of all but three districts.

We started the presses about a half hour later than planned, knowing we covered the Delaware vote with diligence and knowing we needed to get papers in the hands of the delivery folks and onto driveways or those white Delaware State News tubes along the sides of Downstate country roads.

With the radio on, this editor was south of Dover about 2:30 a.m. when a possum wandered in front of the vehicle and a news anchor said Donald Trump had won.

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Reviewing Beau Biden’s plan to run for governor, the first move was Matt Denn’s. Reacting to Mr. Biden’s announcement, he went from lieutenant governor to attorney general.

The other speculative favorite, John Carney, was in U.S. Congress.

After Beau Biden’s death, Rep. Carney decided he would try again. In 2008, he lost his bid for the Democratic Party nomination in a primary with Jack Markell.

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Reporter Matt Bittle had an amusing moment with U.S. Sen. Tom Carper at Return Day.

Sen. Carper said Gov. Jack Markell is one of the two best governors the state has ever had.

Carper, you’ll recall, was governor for most of the 1990s.

Mr. Bittle asked, “Who was the other?”

Sen. Carper smiled.

“Pete du Pont,” he replied.

Reach editor Andrew West at awest@newszap.com

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