Biden

Here’s Joe Biden addressing families brought together by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, a non-profit that helps families and friends of deceased military men and women. It’s twenty minutes off the cuff about his experience with death and grief, and it’s riveting.

I have to say that I’ve changed my mind pretty completely on Biden. When Obama picked him, I wondered what the hell he was thinking putting a bloviator and serial gaffe monster like this guy on the ticket. But he’s been a pretty good VP, and he’s a more genuine human being than the average politician, despite his appearance.

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88 replies
  1. 1
    Punchy says:

    I await Tim Tebow’s thoughts on the war dead and such.

  2. 2
    amk says:

    Above all, Joe is a decent man. That trait alone is good enough for him to be Obama’s veep.

  3. 3
    Dork says:

    @Punchy: I am desperate to know the feelings Snooki’s baby has for our honored vets.

  4. 4
    dmsilev says:

    Wait, are you telling me that America’s Most Trusted News Source got their Biden Memorial Day coverage wrong?. Unpossible.

  5. 5
    Raven says:

    “There will come a day, I promise you, and your parents as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It will happen,” he said.

  6. 6
    Marc says:

    I first saw this story on a muted TV in a gym–just a picture of Biden with a tagline that said “Biden’s thoughts of suicide.” My initial reaction can best be described as “holy shit Thomas Eagleton holy shit” with a side of “I guess this means Hilary will be running for VP.” But then I heard the full story and CNN changed its original tagline (which was, btw, COMPLETELY FUCKING IRRESPONSIBLE) and the true scope of Biden’s empathy became clear. It is still amazing to think that a politician can speak that openly about grief and depression, because not so long ago that would have been a career ender.

    I’m glad it’s not anymore. This was Biden showing us why Obama picked him as VP (as he showed us at that moment in the VP debate when he spoke about his family tragedy and Palin could only respond with robotic sociopathy). He’s not just a genuine human being, he’s a big sloppy warmhearted emotive guy who lays it all out there in a way that Obama rarely allows himself to do. He was an inspired choice in ways that were not obvious at the time, but I’m glad Obama saw them.

  7. 7
    SP says:

    @Marc: Re: Obama Biden vs McCain Palin- A level people hire A level people. B level people hire C level people.

  8. 8
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I love the Biden, and I have since PBO picked him as his VP candidate. He is a warm, empathetic man. I had tears in my eyes as I listened to this speech, and you can tell how the audience responded to him. He speaks from a personal viewpoint and a humanity that is rare to hear/see in politics. I really appreciate that.

    Thank you to all the soldiers and vets out there who have done so much for this country and gotten so little in return.

  9. 9
    Mike in NC says:

    I have to say that I’ve changed my mind pretty completely on Biden.

    Yet this is the guy FOX News and the rest of the corporate media hacks insist has a low popularity rating and is a drag on the ticket in every swing state. Fuckers.

  10. 10
    Drunken hausfrau says:

    This was beautiful…thanks. Been there… He gets it and he gives the right message. Time does not heal the black hole… One just learns to live with it and he’s right — someday you get to the point where the thought of your loved one brings a smile before a tear. Of course, the tear still comes…

  11. 11
    MattF says:

    Note that in the winger universe Biden is regarded as a joke, so getting him out there in front of audiences is a big hint to voters that the opposition has its head up its posterior orifice. Also note, btw, that Obama pulled both Clinton and Biden out of the Senate and into his administration– and that both are happily singing ‘Free at Last.’

    Added: Also, I’ll bet that Biden crushes whoever Romney chooses as his VP candidate in debate.

  12. 12
    donnah says:

    Joe Biden’s heartfelt address had me in tears. Clearly he speaks from his heart, and knows of what he speaks because he’s survived it. Not many politicians will bare their souls publicly, and not many have the life experience to back up what they’re saying, but Biden does.

    I cannot imagine anything like this from Cheney, can you? He lacks the empathy, sincerity, and humanity that Biden has. And Romney? Not in a million years.

    We hear every now and then that Biden has said something offensive or made some social gaffe, but I’ll take a sincere, loving guy over a sleek, smooth-talker any day. (not that Romney is a smooth-talker!)

  13. 13
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    Joe Biden is a mensch.

  14. 14
    urizon says:

    The most impressive thing about Biden is that he’s spent close to forty years in Washington, yet his net worth is less than $500,000. Biden may be the only Washington pol who hasn’t gotten rich off his time at the trough. Some might call him a fool for not taking advantage of his position. I would simply call him honest.

  15. 15
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @donnah: Remember that when Sotomayor was nominated for Supreme Court, we were treated to a few weeks of open, dripping contempt by Republicans towards the entire notion of empathy.

  16. 16
    SarahT says:

    Gotta love Biden. Gotta love all the blue collar cred he provides for PBO, & the way he spoke about being a single dad (and Bible Spice’s complete inability to respond with anything resembling human decency) was, to me, THE highlight of the 2008 debates. Plus, he seems to really enjoy The Onion stories about him. And what’s not to love about “gaffes” like “Bin Laden is dead, & GM is alive”, “This is a big fucking deal”, & the all-time greatest put down of Rudy Ghouliani ? Go, Joe !

  17. 17
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @urizon: And that’s even while being mocked as “the Senator from MBNA.”

  18. 18
    amk says:

    @urizon: This.

  19. 19
    dmsilev says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:

    Joe Biden is a mensch.

    Says it all, really.

  20. 20
    zmulls says:

    The ‘gaffe-prone’ and ‘bloviator’ tags are completely media-generated, like Gore with the “doesn’t know how to be a man” and Kerry with the “flip-flopper.”

    I never fell for it because I read Richard Ben Cramer’s “What It Takes” about the 1988 Presidential campaign, and one of the things I took from that book was an enormous respect for Biden both as a human being and as a politician. He’s a real guy. He lacks “polish” because he’s never needed it.

    One thing Cramer goes into in the book is Biden’s way with an audience, he has this need to make sure he reaches everybody in the room. He speaks from the heart and that’s why he sometimes says something a little unrehearsed.

    Remember, this guy was both the chair of the Judiciary Committee *AND* the Foreign Relations Committee. When Obama picked him, my estimation of Obama went way up.

  21. 21
    Linda Featheringill says:

    That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Wishing comfort and hope to all survivors, everywhere.

  22. 22
    gravie says:

    I watched the whole thing with tears in my eyes (and an occasional laugh out loud — now THAT’s a genius speech). I shared it on Facebook and hope all my friends who say stupid stuff like “all politicians are scum, and they’re all alike” will feel a little humbled.

  23. 23
    lacp says:

    But when will we get the Memorial Day thoughts of someone who truly understands suffering? When do we hear from George Tierney Jr. of Greenville SC?
    I kind of like Biden. It seems to me his flaws are more human-being flaws than politician flaws.

  24. 24
    Jeff says:

    OMG this needs to be broadcasted everywhere,everyday and in everyway possible. The man is a mensch.

  25. 25
    Hal says:

    Am I the only one who has never quite understood the Joe Biden Gaffe Monster tag? The things he’s supposedly gaffed on always seemed so damn minor. At one point Slate was doing some type of Biden gaffe watch and everything they featured was so fucking lame. The feature didn’t even last long.

    When I think of gaffe prone VPs that were truly embarrassing, I think of Dan Quayle. Now that dude was gaffe prone.

  26. 26
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Hal: It’s totally media-driven. Most of what he’s said has not been gaffes at all.

    I finally watched the whole thing and just bawled. What an amazing speech.

    ETA: I had seen lengthy clips before. It’s worth it to watch the whole thing.

  27. 27
    TS says:

    @MattF:

    Will be good to see a debate where Biden’s opponent is debating rather than winkin’ and wigglin’ – not sure why Biden didn’t wipe the floor with Palin in 2008 – guess he just couldn’t believe she was that dumb.

  28. 28
    Jeff says:

    @Hal: The gaffe tag was added by the beltway pundits because of his propensity to tell the truth. It got picked up and magnified by Jon Stewart because he needed a pigeon-hole to put Biden in for his jokes. I really don’t mind Stewart’s pinging on Biden because its good natured and not cruel.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The ‘gaffe-prone’ and ‘bloviator’ tags are completely media-generated, like Gore with the “doesn’t know how to be a man” and Kerry with the “flip-flopper.”

    Yup, pure Villager invention.

  30. 30
    Culture of Truth says:

    1. This is an amazing clip.

    2. Biden is about as qualified to be President or VP as you can get – decades of experience including chair of both the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees.

    3. You almost never hear people who know Biden – either Democrats or Republicans – say something bad about him. That’s because, as Obama has often said, to know him in person is to see how genuine and heartfelt he really is. He is knowledge of foreign leaders and other issues in DC are a real asset to Obama, but he’s also pretty great at times like these.

  31. 31
    West of the Cascades says:

    @SP:

    A level people hire A level people. B level people hire C level people.

    I weep for the country thinking what a C-level person like Mitt Romney is going to hire.

  32. 32
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Thanks for the link. I never would have seen this otherwise.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    feebog says:

    Saw a clip from this clip on TRMS Friday. Rachel consistently brings more good stories and interviews to her show than any other news show in the business. And yes, the speech does bring tears to your eyes. A lot of folks on this thread have made the Palin comparison, but I thik about the Cheney comparison. Darth Vader v. Dudley Dooright.

  35. 35
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @urizon:

    The most impressive thing about Biden is that he’s spent close to forty years in Washington, yet his net worth is less than $500,000.

    I think that’s partly because he’s been there so long, got there so early — and the circumstances in which he arrived meant that he’s always treated it as a job and not a money-making opportunity. The fact that he commuted every day to DC from Delaware as a senator, and never really decamped to DC, probably counts for a bit of that as well.

    He reminds me a bit of John Prescott, who was similarly maligned, but is also a genuinely decent man given shit by the press. I know civil servants in Britain who worked with him, and they all have nothing but praise.

  36. 36
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @feebog: @feebog:

    Darth Vader v. Dudley Dooright.

    Hmm. I think more Voldemort v. Atticus Finch.

    ETA: Dunno why I linked to you twice, feebog. Guess I really wanted you to read my comment.

  37. 37
    gbear says:

    @West of the Cascades:

    I weep for the country thinking what a C-level person like Mitt Romney is going to hire.

    We already know he’s going to hire all of Bush’s D-level players (which, of course, were Bush’s A-team).

    @asiangrrlMN: You staying dry? That was quite the downpour last night.

  38. 38
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @gbear: It was great. I stayed inside, but I occasionally do like to dance in the rain. How you be, gbear?

  39. 39
    Johannes says:

    Thanks for this, Mistermix–I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise, either. I’ve tank the liberty of reposting, with a link here.

    Voldemort v. Snape gets it about right, in my book.

  40. 40
    Athenae says:

    Joey, our national stoner roommate, is like my favorite thing about this administration next to Michelle. If we can keep him and Michelle, I’d be okay with or without Barack.

    A.

  41. 41
    Lojasmo says:

    @gbear:

    You guys got rain last night? Brief shower here early this morning (but I was +5 so might have slept through nighttime rain.

    That video was AWESOME. Heart joe.

  42. 42
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @TS:

    Will be good to see a debate where Biden’s opponent is debating rather than winkin’ and wigglin’

    Your comment might be premature. We don’t know yet who Biden’s opponent will be :-)

  43. 43
    Bex says:

    I heard Biden speak about the Violence Against Women Act, which he was very active in getting passed (and that the Republicans are now trying to gut). He was just as sincere and candid in that speech as he is in this video. Even the teatards I was with didn’t have much to criticize afterward.

  44. 44
    Egg Berry says:

    @West of the Cascades:

    I weep for the country thinking what a C-level person like Mitt Romney is going to hire.

    We’ve seen that movie before with C+ Augustus.

  45. 45
    Joey Maloney says:

    @West of the Cascades:

    I weep for the country thinking what a C-level person like Mitt Romney is going to hire.

    He’ll hire whoever Grover Norquist tells him to.

  46. 46
    Hovercraft Full of Eels says:

    Biden’s always been a talker, and occasionally he says dumb or intemperate things (for a politician). But he’s also always come across as a basically decent human being, and this speech is another example why.

  47. 47
    Donut says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:

    Succinct and correct.

  48. 48
    russ says:

    Man! He’s real!

    Funny that the gaffe guy is the guy I’d want to have my back in a crisis.

  49. 49
    gbear says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Surviving. Been dealing with a bout of depression that makes it difficult to get out of the house. Lost the gardening bug and my yard is starting to look like my picture of Dorian Gray. I have to get out and do some weeding today (after the laundry’s done). The rain on friday was a good excuse to stay inside, as was the heat yesterday…

  50. 50
    gbear says:

    @Lojasmo: The rain came in kind of a narrow band but it passed right over Minneapolis for a good chunk of the night.

  51. 51
    Ira-NY says:

    It seems in our political culture being a regular guy or gal is seen as antithetical to being an effective pol.

    This to a significant measure is why we find ourselves in our present circumstances.

  52. 52
    Montysano says:

    Thanks for posting this; I was riveted.

    I’ve never thought that Biden got his due as an orator. At his best, he’s incredibly moving and sincere.

  53. 53

    I mean Biden’s speech was excellent political rhetoric and just a beautiful series of human empathetic connections on the nature of grief, but it still was in the service of making it easier for the US to inflict unnecessary suffering and death for institutional goals.

    Memorial Day started when a group of thousands of black citizens in a town in South Carolina held services and parties to memorialize and celebrate the two hundred or so Union soldiers that had recently died in a nearby prison camp and been hastily buried in shallow unmarked graves.

    Former slaves celebrating the anonymous military fighters of slavery. Thinking about why we now focus on the “military” part instead of the “anonymous fighters of slavery” part would be useful, seems like.

  54. 54

    Joe Biden is indeed a mensch, as this speech illustrates, so I’m almost ready to forgive him for Clarence Thomas.

    My thoughts are with those who served, and their loved ones. Most especially for the love ones of those who did not return.

  55. 55
    greennotGreen says:

    I wasn’t high on Biden when Obama picked him because I had swallowed whole the idea that he had plagiarized Neil Kinnock. Turns out he had credited Kinnock for the remarks in many speeches before, but omitted the credit in one speech. That’s likely to be an inadvertent error, and the press damn well knew it – it just didn’t make as good a story, so they kept it from us, the voters. And we have an amendment protecting the freedom of the press – for this?

    Biden is awesome; most of the press suck.

  56. 56
    gelfling545 says:

    @TS: I suspect he was just to decent to all out attack someone clearly so far out of her depth. Like shooting rats with an elephant gun, really.

  57. 57

    he’s a more genuine human being than the average politician, despite his appearance.

    I’ve always liked Biden. Not really sure why his ‘appearance’ matters, though.

    One of the last of the old-school, pro-labor Democrats. Like something left over from the FDR/Truman era, that somehow survived into our rotten, corrupt time.

    Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I’m off to flutter my scented handkerchief at a neo-liberal for being insufficiently pure…

  58. 58
    CaseyL says:

    What an amazing speech. What an amazing man – and what does it say that the amazing thing about Joe is precisely his ordinary humanity.

    Thanks for sharing this video.

  59. 59
    quannlace says:

    I’ve always liked Biden. I could never understand the pearl-clutching ‘don’t let him near a mike’ kind of attitude towards him.

  60. 60
    hitchhiker says:

    Okay, I’m a fan, and not just because of this speech. However, in the name of reality, it has to be said that Joe Biden was chairing the hearings that gave us one Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court.

    He failed us in that moment, and I bet he spends some part of every day wishing he’d done a better job when it mattered so much. I sure wish he had.

  61. 61
    Marc says:

    @Both Sides Do It:

    Progressivism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, might not know how much you care.

  62. 62
    Beauzeaux says:

    @urizon:
    Yes, that’s what I like about him as well. When he released his tax returns they showed that his income was his Senate salary and Jill Biden’s teaching salary.

    He was in the Senate for thirty years and never enriched himself. That IS extraordinary.

  63. 63
    SBJules says:

    I have always liked Joe Byden & felt his hands were tied re: Clarence Thomas. When I heard that he took the train home every weekend after his loss tugged at my heart as did this beautiful speech.

  64. 64
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @greennotGreen:

    That’s likely to be an inadvertent error, and the press damn well knew it – it just didn’t make as good a story, so they kept it from us, the voters.

    As I mentioned upthread, his commuting habits meant that he never spent late nights in DC after work, so while Biden has always been happy to show up for a camera, he’s never schmoozed with journalists (he doesn’t drink, either), and the DC press pack love schmoozers.

  65. 65
    jenn says:

    @Marc: Okay, that one made me laugh.

  66. 66
    Hoodie says:

    @hitchhiker: Biden voted against Thomas, so did he fail “us” be allowing the focus of the hearings to be the Anita Hill scandal? I don’t see what the failure was there, and he was instrumental in keeping that lunatic Bork and some really heinous Bush appointees off the Court.

  67. 67
    JWL says:

    I think what you perceive in Biden is a simple, run of the mill, sense of empathy.

    Needless to say, it is an uncultivated quality in too many elected democrats, and ALL elected republicans (then again, maybe it’s a gift/curse that a person is either born with or not).

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Hoodie:

    I think this is one of those passed-down tidbits of “wisdom” from people who weren’t there for the actual events, like the troll who talks confidently about how Clinton vetoed his own healthcare plan.

  69. 69
    ruemara says:

    Damned video must have some magic anti-sharing property because facebooks won’t let me post it.

  70. 70
    Water balloon says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): why would you need to forgive him for Clarence Thomas? He was right, Thomas is a terrible person and a worse Justice.

  71. 71
    dogwood says:

    @zmulls:

    I never fell for it because I read Richard Ben Cramer’s “What It Takes” about the 1988 Presidential campaign, and one of the things I took from that book was an enormous respect for Biden both as a human being and as a politician.

    ;What it Takes is a terrific read, and I was always a bit surprised that Cramer’s in-depth portrait of Biden never became the basis of the media’s narrative on the guy. I mean the msm drones are pretty lazy, and Cramer did all the work. Nontheless, Joe is a good man, and a great campaigner. People should take the time at least once during the coming campaign to watch Joe in action. Just because the media doesn’t report on his events, doesn’t mean he isn’t out there doing great work.

    And while it’s fair to criticize Joe for his role in the Clarence Thomas debacle, it’s a bit disingenuous to mention that and ignore the yeoman work he did in bringing down Robert Bork.

  72. 72
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    There was a time, not too many weeks ago, when I posited on this very blog that Obama could change the game by dumping Biden and running with Hilary. I was justly lambasted.

    And then, God damn if Bill Fucking Kristol offers that same “sincere” advice publicly.

    Needs moar Evolving indeed.

    ETA: Correction of Bloody Bill’s last name. Didn’t want to confuse him with the comedian.

  73. 73
    piratedan says:

    @West of the Cascades: Romney will downsize the Veep into a rotating cabinet post thereby saving the country millions in security expenses.

  74. 74
    hitchhiker says:

    @Hoodie:

    Biden voted against Thomas, so did he fail “us” be allowing the focus of the hearings to be the Anita Hill scandal? I don’t see what the failure was there,

    He was chairman of those hearings. It was up to him which witnesses could speak.

    Sunday evening, as a second woman was preparing to testify that Judge Clarence Thomas also had made unpleasant sexual remarks to her, Senate Republicans and Democrats reached a private agreement that kept the woman off national television.

    The compromise meant that Angela Wright, who had been fired by Thomas at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, did not provide the testimony that Oklahoma law professor Anita Faye Hill’s supporters had deemed crucial to buttressing her credibility.

    Republicans counted the compromise as a victory in their attempt to isolate Hill and raise doubts about her character and motives. Democrats said that the decision not to require Wright’s public testimony was the result of time constraints and concern about Republican threats to attack her.

    Time constraints? That was also a Biden decision, to limit testimony on the matter to a single weekend. What’s really interesting is that it was probably his own decency that kept him from playing hardball with the Rs on the committee.

    a spokesman for Biden contends that the senator was simply being fair; his job was to conduct a hearing, not prosecute a case

    So he was conducting a hearing, and the Rs were going after Anita Hill with everything they had. And we got Thomas. But we also got 6 new women in the senate the following year, so it wasn’t a total loss.

    Not wanting to rain on this parade — just saying that canonization isn’t in order, and I would bet anything that Biden himself would say he failed us that weekend.

  75. 75
    The Populist says:

    @Hal: Nope, I’ve always seen the guy as geniune and real.

    Too bad people on the right believe everything the media feeds them.

  76. 76
    Desert Rat says:

    I’ve thought Biden was an ideal pick at the time (though Hillary wouldn’t have bothered me either).

    Even when he was in the Senate, he was one of the guys that you could tell took his responsibilities very seriously. When he was angry, it wasn’t acting. When he was amused, you knew it.

    Frankly, as a VP, he’s very effective at putting a very human face on the ticket. He doesn’t come off as a politician, which is a rare quality. He comes off like your warm-hearted uncle. The kind that would take you to a ballgame as a kid and you’d have a blast with.

    You also can’t sell short his experience in the Senate. This is a guy whose been in Washington since Watergate. He knows the rules and procedures, he knows most of the faces, and he’s effective at getting stuff through the Senate. I suspect he’s had a bigger hand in some of the stuff Obama has been able to get passed than we know.

    I consider him to be one of the most effective Veeps of the last half-century, and one of the few genuine human beings in Washington. We could do far worse than have a Congress filled with men and women with the heart, the drive, and effectiveness of Joe Biden.

    I also think that that VP debate in 2008 was big. He came off as warm, friendly, and real, which was in sharp contrast to Palin’s general nastiness. Obama won his debates with McCain, but I’d suggest that Biden’s victory over Palin gave a lot of comfort to some folks on the fence, knowing that Biden would be there to help Obama in case he stumbled.

  77. 77
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dogwood:

    And while it’s fair to criticize Joe for his role in the Clarence Thomas debacle, it’s a bit disingenuous to mention that and ignore the yeoman work he did in bringing down Robert Bork.

    This. But some people can’t be happy unless Democrats are to blame for everything bad. It certainly wasn’t Bush Sr.’s fault for nominating an unqualified candidate, nor Senate Republicans’ fault for doing everything possible to obfuscate and pressure the Democrats into rushing the vote, or the right-wing noise machine’s fault for successfully demonizing Hill.

    Nope, it was all Joe Biden’s fault. QED.

  78. 78
    WereBear says:

    I first noticed Joe Biden when the uproar over his “plagarism” occurred; and I found out he had always credited Kinnock, until that day. It was a hit, pure and simple, (Like the “Dean scream”) because his campaign was doing too well.

    A very warm and admirable person.

    So when Obama chose him for the VP slot, I felt it said a lot about Obama the candidate; and how he planned to govern, too.

    BTW:

    It’s easy to sit back and survey the sweep of several decades of a person’s career and cherrypick things to criticize. None of us are perfect or manage the right things at the right time, every time.

    It’s the shape of the graph, not the individual dots, that usually have the most meaning.

  79. 79
    PopeRatzo says:

    Biden is manly in a way that the Red State Strike Force clowns could never be. He’s genuine in a way that guys like Romney could never ever be.

    I really wish the President had taken a little time to learn something from Joe Biden during his first term, but I don’t see it.

    I am so tired of embarrassed liberals – people who are ashamed to be called liberal, or Democrats.

    I am so sad that there are so many of us who are literally afraid to put an Obama sticker on their car because, oh, the Right can be so mean, or worse, because Obama hurt their little progressive feelings.

  80. 80
    Ruckus says:

    I’ve always liked Biden, from the first time I heard him speak. He seems the most human of all the politicians I have heard or met. Over the last 50 yrs, the most genuine. How many of his gaffs have just been him speaking his mind? You get to see how he thinks, how he feels, not just sound bites or poll tested bromides.

  81. 81
    Brachiator says:

    @mistermix:

    Thanks very much for this. I had seen a clip of the speech on the Rachel Maddow show, and was very moved. The entire speech blows me away.

    It amazes me how deeply he not only shares his feelings, but provides examples and practical advice to encourage people to use every resource possible to deal with their losses.

    But most of all, I cannot adequately express my admiration of the degree to which he demonstrates that he stands with those in the audience who have lost loved ones. He is a member of the army of the bereaved, who has had to climb back out of the darkness.

    I hope that people are able to share this speech, or even just point people to a YouTube link. And I hope that it is replayed every Memorial Day, and whenever people who have lost loved ones need a bit of hope.

  82. 82
    Bruce S says:

    Joe Biden has done two brilliant and admirably humane things in just a couple of weeks. Helped push the debate on marriage equality forward and showed his humanity and shared vulnerability to the troops in a context that few pols could or would.

    If Biden is a “gaffe machine” as the cable news clones contend, Romney is a gaffe factory. Biden is a great asset to this administration.

    Also, his son is one of the great state AGs, in league with Eric Schniederman and Kamala Harris, who have held the financial industries feet to the fire, even when the administration has not shown a lot of spine.

  83. 83
    Steve in DC says:

    Biden has never made a “gaffe” all his “fuck ups” people loved him for. He’s insanely well liked by both sides outside of the randroid types. He’s better than the president and most of the pentagon at foreign issues, and a decent human all the time.

    It wouldn’t shock me if he ran in 2016. Part of me would be amused to see him vs Ryan in debates.

    He’s also the real “pitbull” VP pick. Pit’s aren’t actually vicious or mean, they are extreme softies, just love the fight and never give up even if it will kill them. Biden can fight and throw punches like Obama could only dream of, and he comes off nice doing it and enjoys the chaos. He’s also not afraid of the media. The village FUCKED UP here. You keep screaming “gaffe machine, oh noes, Biden is talking” and people keep hearing what he said and thinking “oh, that’s just Joe and you know what I agree” and the media turns into the boy calling wolf.

    Another bonus point, real establishment Republicans love him or are scared shitless of him. McCain and that group won’t attack him, and will savage their own party to save him. Santorum and those religion nutters, Biden is a pretty blatant christian and white guy, go ahead, hit him, you’ll look stupid as fuck.

    Biden would be a nuclear bomb in the general election, not many can touch him. All there is are the “gaffes” that he can just smile at and people will smile and say “yeah, Joe, you’re right but you can’t say that on camera”, win.

    Most villagers seem to want Hitlery Clinton to bring back anti labor Dems, if Biden gets elected it’s all labor all the time again, and that scares the crap out of them. Obama is an anti labor pro 1% tool, the only reason to vote for that poison is Biden.

  84. 84
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @gbear: Oh, I know how that goes. I’m in a funk myself right now for many reasons. ::hugs::

  85. 85
    Jebediah says:

    I know someone who lost her little brother to an IED in Afghanistan. She is in DC this weekend for this program. Her grief is nearly debilitating; I am glad she can see someone like Biden rather than a monster like Darth Cheney.

  86. 86
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @ruemara: I wrote a comment about it and then posted the vid under in the comment section on FB. It was clumsy, but still got the message across.

  87. 87
    mclaren says:

    I have to say that I’ve changed my mind pretty completely on Biden. When Obama picked him, I wondered what the hell he was thinking putting a bloviator and serial gaffe monster like this guy on the ticket. But he’s been a pretty good VP, and he’s a more genuine human being than the average politician, despite his appearance.

    Joe Biden is a sociopathic compulsive liar and authoritarian bootlicker who needs to be impeached for treason.

    Joe Biden boasts that he wrote the USA Patriot Act. He authored that shitstain on America back in 1955, after the Murraugh Building bombing. Joe Biden loves a police state and Joe Biden hates everything America stands for — he wants warrantless surveillance, kidnapping of American citizens without charges and without trial, Joe Biden wants enhanced interrogation, and most of all Joe Biden adores murdering Americans without charging them with a crime.

    All these things were “legalized” by the USA Patriot Act, and Joe Biden is proud of authoring that disgraceful document. Joe Biden hates us for our freedom. Joe Biden’s idea of America is a Stasi police goon kicking in the door of anyone who tokes a joint or anyone who downloads an mp3.

    And the War on Drugs?

    Joe Biden loves that too. Joe Biden has repeatedly gone on record that he thinks marijuana is a “gateway drug.” Joe Biden is an ignorant liar, and all the research shows he’s delusion, but he doesn’t give a shit — because Joe Biden is all about creating a bigger police state, trashing the constitution, and empowering the muggers with badges who want to turn America into a martial-law garrison camp.

    Joe Biden loved him some Iraq war, too. Every 6 months, like clockwork, Joe Biden chirped “We need to give it one last shot.”

    For five goddamn years, Joe Biden kept yelping “We need to give it one last shot.”

    Joe Biden loved those mountains of dead babies and corpses of pregnant women. When Joe Biden sniffed the air full of white phorphorus and the stench of burning flesh at Fallujah, to Joe Biden it smelled like victory.

    Joe Biden is the greatest criminal ever to occupy the office of Vice President of the United States. Joe Biden is a sociopath who needs to be tried for treason and, when convicted, he needs to suffer the full penalty allowed by law for that capital crime. Joe Biden is a hemorrhoid on the anus of America and a gob of shite sticking in the craw of the American people. As a politician, he stands right up there with Vidkun Quisling for cowardice and bully-worshiping authoritarianism. Joe Biden is a disgrace and a sewage stain on the body politic, and he has been for 20 years, ever since Biden leaped up to gut the constitution with the prototype of the USA Patriot Act during the Clinton Administration.

    In an October, 2001 New Republic article, Michael Crowley recounted that Biden was continuously boasting that the terrorism bill sent to Congress by John Ashcroft (soon to be called The Patriot Act) was a replica of legislation that Biden had long advocated — ever since the Oklahoma City courthouse bombing: “I introduced the terrorism bill in ’94 that had a lot of these things in it,” he bragged to NBC’s Tim Russert on September 30. When I spent the day with him later that week, Biden mentioned the legislation to me, and to several other reporters he encountered, no fewer than seven times. “When I was chairman in ’94 I introduced a major anti-terrorism bill–back then,” he says in the morning, flashing a knowing grin and pausing for effect. (Never mind that he got the year wrong — if you spend all your time dreaming up ways to trash the 4th and 5th and 6th and 8th and 14th amendments of the constitution, you don’t have enough time to pay attention to trivia like what year it is.) Back in his office later that afternoon, he brings it up yet again. “I drafted a terrorism bill after the Oklahoma City bombing. And the bill John Ashcroft sent up was my bill.”

    This is the poisonous insect you’re praising, people. The guy who struts and preens and boasts that the repressive unconstitutional police-state legislation rammed through by the Bush maladministration “was my bill.”

  88. 88
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @mclaren:

    Joe Biden is a sociopathic compulsive liar and authoritarian bootlicker

    So is every one else who disagrees with you, so that doesn’t tell us much.

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