October 3rd, 2008
11:06 AM ET
5 years ago

Biden sends off son's National Guard unit

Joe Biden sends off his son's National Guard unit.
Joe Biden sends off his son's National Guard unit.

DOVER, Delaware (CNN) – Joe Biden spoke briefly but emotionally Friday morning at the deployment ceremony for his son Beau’s Iraq-bound National Guard unit.

“I’ve come here many times before,” Biden told the 261st Signal Brigade as they stood in formation. “As a Delawarean, as a United States senator. But today I come as you prepare to deploy as a father. A father who got some sage advice from his son this morning. “Dad, keep it short, we’re in formation.

Watch: Biden sends off son, troops

“I always listen to my general,” he continued. “So let me simply say, like all of the family members that are here today gathered on this green, my heart is full of love and pride.”

Biden didn’t get as choked up as he has in the past when talking about his family, but did show the emotion often seen on the campaign trail; his two-and-a-half minute remarks were filled with pregnant pauses, and delivered with a shaky voice. Biden wore his trademark aviator sunglasses during the entire event, except when speaking.

Related: Biden addresses ceremony

Thirty-nine-year-old Beau - a captain in the National Guard, and Delaware’s attorney general — is not immediately leaving for Iraq. He spends Friday and Saturday at home with his family before heading to Fort Bliss, Texas for additional training with his unit that will ship out for a year-long tour of duty in six to eight weeks.


Once in Iraq, Beau will be a prosecutor enforcing the Unified Code of Military Conduct in a unit that will provide communications for U.S. forces in the country.

Sarah Palin’s son Track deployed to Iraq September 11, a fact that Biden referenced in his closing remarks at Thursday night’s debate: "For both of us, selfishly, may God protect our troops."


Filed under: Beau Biden • Joe Biden
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. martha

    I thought I was the only one thinking this! I understand that the McCain people know that her family "connects" with the public, but can't they at least let the baby be safe in his snuggy bed at that hour as he should be. He is, after all, not much older than an infant. The sister lurching around the stage with the baby in her arms (no support of the back) looked pretty dangerous too! Back in the 70's and 80's I was a single mother and if I was out late at a business meeting etc, my young children were home like they should have been. It's pretty bad when a campaign uses babies!!!

    October 3, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. jim

    Failin was not even close to presidential.

    At best she did a very good job as a NewsCaster spreading the mantra of her party.

    She did not appear real, honest, or that she was talking from what she knows.

    Instead she looked Fake, Prepped, and truthfully like a talking Parrot.

    October 3, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Dixie

    I am so excited about the O'Bama-Biden ticket. It would be so nice to have intelligence in the White House again. I think most of the people that voted for "someone to have a beer with" have learned that it is a job that requires intellect. Senator Biden explained so many things tonight that Senator McCain lied about.

    Obama/Biden

    True America!!

    October 3, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. Tim

    Very political of him. I thought that was frowned upon. Oh, never mind, I forgot, it's only frowned upon when it's a Republican.

    October 3, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Kevin

    Sending his son to a war whom Obama voted against. Man I would love to hear that conversation between his son and Obama.

    October 3, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. Noemi in Los Angeles

    We love you Joe!! May God bless your son and the troops!

    October 3, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. Dan

    Biden was really great, the only mistake he made was the mentioning of an unknown ethnic group in the Baltic's whose people go by "Serbiak's.. that cracked me up but everyone knew who he was talking about. I really felt bad for him when his voice began to quiver when speaking about his deceased wife and daughter. Sad story, no one can fault the guy for showing emotion on that.

    I can't wait to check out Fox news to see how they spin this into a Pallin blowout

    October 3, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. Latina for Obama (nj)

    Im so proud of MY ticket!!!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08/12!!!!

    YES WE CAN!!!! AND WE WILL!!!

    October 3, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. JImmy in California

    Beau I will add you and your unit to my prayers for all of our troops. Take care, be safe and come home.

    Joe I am proud to call you our Vice President. You gave the debate of your life last night and it made me proud. You spoke of what you know while Gov. Palin spoke of what she had memorized.

    There is a difference. Yours came from the heart while hers came form the cue cardsgiven her by her coaches.

    October 3, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. Emily

    I will vote for the man who had the audicity or the best strategy to run against the Clinton administration and won. What we need for these challenging times are leaders who know the difference between strategy and tactics.

    The Republican Party is very good at "tactics"-therefore Palin but when it comes to "strategy", well see the mess we are in!

    Obama/Biden sealed the deal for me yesterday night!

    October 3, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. Dana from NY

    Praying for his son and all the soldiers in harms way... that we can bring them all home- as soon as possible- with total honor and respect and the benefits they deserve!!

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 3, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. carol

    Obama/Biden

    It's confirmed!!

    October 3, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  13. Quentin in Nashville

    Joe,

    Great job on not crushing Palin last night–she buried herself in her own stupidity. You came; you conquered; you were great. She's a complete Nincompoop . Period.

    October 3, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Missouri

    May God be with you and your son and your family and to all who face and have faced sending love ones off to war.

    Thinking of You.

    October 3, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. julia

    C;mon, would you feel safe with Palin as President in these precarious times and with so much repair to be done? No, I didn't think so.

    October 3, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. John

    Sarah Palin helped herself, but not McCain. Joe Biden attacked McCain more than he praised Obama, but that helped Obama.

    October 3, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. keith

    More eloquent, more intelligent, clearer on what the ticket would do. Palin just babbled, even giving third-graders a shout out.

    October 3, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Barb

    I think Joe Biiden looked intelligent and thoughtful. Sarah Palin wants to be a vice president just like Dick Cheney. Yikes!!!!!

    October 3, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. VOICE OF REASON

    HOW CAN ANY LOVING PARENT WITH SO MUCH ANIMOSITY TOWARD BUSH'S WAR WITH A GOOD CONCIENCE AND FEIGNED NIECTIES SEND THEIR SON INTO HARMS WAY WITHOUT PROTESTING TO HI HEAVEN SUCH A DECISION. ITS ONE THING TO BE AGAINST A THING AND ANOTHER TO SEE YOUR CHILD OFF INTO THAT VERY EVIL. JOE BIDEN AND OBAMA EMBODY SUCH STUPID HYPOCRISY! THIS VERY THING SO READILY DESCRIBES THEIR TICKET. LIE NOW AND SCHMOOSE LATER. THE OLD OOPS DID I DO THAT APPROACH.

    October 3, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. N.S of Huntsville, Al

    I like your style Joe Biden

    may God Bless your son!

    October 3, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. maggi

    Yeah!!!!!! I'm doing Oprah's version of the happy dance. Mods, please merge this with the other thread!!!!

    October 3, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. No Hillary = No Obama

    Joe Biden seems to have depression right at the surface – he chokes up when speaking of his life's traumas and looked stressed and tired at the debate. I wonder if his obvious depression is being treated.

    October 3, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. Verronica

    Joe is great. I'm proud that he's my VP nominee and he's a credit to Barack Obama's leadership and a credit to the Democratic Party.

    October 3, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. No Hillary = No Obama

    Joe Biden needs to be on anti-depressants.

    October 3, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. Bluce

    He was the professional. Can you imagine her speaking to a foreign leader....Dog gone golly...wink wink. God help us if they would win.

    October 3, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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