(FINANCIAL TIMES) - On Aug 23, 2008, Mr Barack Obama chose Mr Joe Biden as his presidential running mate. That choice set Mr Biden on the path to being sworn in next Wednesday as the second most powerful man on earth. (China's leader Xi Jinping ranks first, because he doesn't have to worry much about separation of powers and may enjoy popular support for military adventures.)
Mr Biden's administration will include many veterans of 2008. But the world and the United States of 2008 no longer exist. Mr Biden, 78, needs a playbook for a new age. Here are just a few of the dizzying, distressing, interconnected changes of the past 12 years:
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