Joe Biden in the spotlight; why Americans love him

Senator Joseph Biden knows a thing or two about hardship, personal loss and coming through enormous grief only to keep serving the country he loves.

Speaking CNN during the early stages of the Democratic primaries, Biden spoke of his thirty-five years in the Senate, and shared his personal story of loss. 

“I got elected when I was 29, and I got elected November the 7th. And on Dec. 18 of that year, my wife and three kids were Christmas shopping for a Christmas tree. A tractor-trailer broadsided my family and killed my wife instantly, and killed my daughter instantly, and hospitalized my two sons, with what were thought to be at the time permanent, fundamental injuries.”

Biden spoke of his wife, Neilia, and 13-month-old daughter, Naomi, who died that day, his two sons fortunately made full recoveries. “They’re both, thank God, healthy and well,” said Mr. Biden.

“I know, I understand what it is like to be a single parent, to struggle.  If it wasn’t for my family, especially my sister who is my campaign manager too, I would have never made it.”

Biden’s popularity is undeniable; he is liked on both sides of the American political divide.

Biden was not keen on George W. Bush’s post-9/11 leadership. “We had the world in the palm of our hand. The palm of our hand,” he said.

“Europe declared that the attack on us was an attack on all of us. There were forty thousand Iranians – Iranians! – who showed up at the boarded-up U.S. embassy with candles and flowers and notes. We had the world in the palm of our hands. And what did this guy do?

He and Cheney literally went out there and divided the world. They literally divided it.” And when the moment called for national sacrifice, Biden scoffed, “This guy told us to fly, and to go shopping!”

Biden finished his time on CNN reiterating that he had the same passion and enthusiasm he did the day he walked on the Senate floor 35 years ago.

Now presidential hopeful Barack Obama has selected Biden as his right-arm, his top advisor and Vice-President, if elected.

Political pundits and reporters are quick to highlight Biden’s past gaffes and stumbles, as Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza did today.  He writes, “While Biden was on his best verbal behavior for much of the rest of the campaign, there is no question that his tendency to shoot from the lip worries some in Obama world.

As one Democratic consultant put it: ‘You know there will be three days in the campaign where someone in Chicago will get a call and respond — ‘What did you say he said?.’ “

It is exactly Biden’s unfettered brain-to-mouth honesty and humor that Americans appreciate in this age of polished political liars and overboard political correctness, where the word “articulate” has been castigated as a deliberate “code” for racial condescension. 

Biden doesn’t have a malicious bone in his body for anyone, is one of the best bridge makers in Washington, and has suffered the greatest of personal losses. 

Americans know this, and they get him and like him even more for it.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.