November 6th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Biden flies home for 'coolest event in entire USA'

Vice President-elect Joe Biden rides in a horse drawn carriage during Delaware’s Return Day.
Vice President-elect Joe Biden rides in a horse drawn carriage during Delaware’s Return Day.

GEORGETOWN, Delaware (CNN) – Wearing a long dark coat to keep the cold rain off of him, Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill rode around the streets of this small town in their home state Thursday afternoon in a white horse-drawn carriage as part of the biennial 200 year-old Delaware tradition known as ‘Return Day.’

“Thank you!” Biden repeatedly called out to the cheering crowds as he drove past, ducking in and out of the carriage to wave to voters who on Tuesday elected the Delaware senator to his seventh term in the U.S. Senate. (Deleware's governor will soon name a replacement Biden.)

“No matter what office I hold, I’m still Delaware,” Biden later said to loud cheers from the shivering masses in front of Georgetown’s courthouse. “There was Joe the plumber, well, I’m Joe from Delaware. And folks, it’s been an honor, it’s been a great honor representing you as a United States Senator since the first time I stood on this platform…”

“The bad news for you is Jill and I are not leaving Delaware,” he continued. “I may be the Vice President-elect but we’re going to be home every weekend so you know where we live.

“I’m still at this moment – and continue to be – Senator Joe Biden, the proudest title I’ve ever had, representing the state of Delaware,” he added. “I love you, thank you very, very, very, very much.”

Biden stood for two hours at the front of a review stand watching floats, marching bands and cars carrying past and current elected officials go by, chatting all the while with his wife and longtime friend Rep. Mike Castle.

“This is the coolest event in the entire United States of America,” Biden told a small group of reporters on the flight to Delaware Thursday morning, proceeding to spend the bulk of a 40-minute chat at the back of the plane recounting the history of the day and discussing state politics.

Return Day culminates with Republican and Democratic Party representatives jointly burying a tomahawk from the Nanticoke Indian tribe in a glass aquarium full of sand from Delaware’s Lewis Beach. The bi-partisan tradition is meant to symbolize the end of hard-fought campaigns.

The candidates from the state's races are also meant ride in the carriages together in a show of unity, the victor facing forward, the loser backwards. However, Biden’s Republican opponent, Christine O’Donnell, appeared to not have gotten the memo, leaving Biden alone in his carriage with Mrs. Biden,

Asked where O'Donnell was, Biden pointed to the carriage seat in front of him and told CNN, "I don't know, she was supposed to be here." Biden staffers said they did see her at the event but it is unclear why she didn’t join the Delaware senator in his carriage.

The future vice president's schedule forced him to leave before the actual burying of the hatchet, he is now back in Chicago and will hold a press conference with President-elect Obama on Friday, their first since winning the election.


Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Laurel

    Joe Biden is a Whoot-Love em!

    November 6, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    THANK YOU FOR THE PICTURE.

    November 6, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  3. db

    Joe "The Vice President Elect"!!
    Just a tad better than "Tito the builder", Huh??

    I LOVE IT...

    November 6, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  4. Jangz

    Love this guy. Im not an American, but find his story very inspiring. Congratulations Joe.

    November 6, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  5. Larry Sinclair

    Hey Red: If you had a clue you would realize ti was the community reinvestment act that put us in the financial situation we are in. It makes a lot of sense to lend money to people who cant make the payments doesnt it? And if I recall didnt that take place during the Clinton years? And werent Barney Frank and Chris Dodd the Chairs of the Senate and House banking committees? Blaming this on Bush is a convenient lie for the demoncrats. But the real blame belongs to the leniency of bad loans required by community reinvestment act whic was democrat policy with no oversight by the lazy Frank and Dodd. So Red put blame where it belongs.

    November 6, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  6. 3strikes

    biden nauseates and disgusts me, same as nobama

    November 6, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  7. bj, texas

    Obama/Biden, the era of dumb and dumber begins. I'm counting down the day's to '12.

    November 6, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  8. TyWebb

    Hey, "Uh huh", "Judy from PA", and "Olivia" – you three need to get a room. McCain lost – get over it!

    November 6, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
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