November 6th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
10 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. Al from Georgia

    I have been to "Returns Day" in Georgetown, Delaware. Joe Biden is correct, it has to be one of the coolest political events in the country. A real shame his Senate opponent chose not to participate but not surprising since she was a lightweight sacrificial lamb filling a slot on the Republican ticket.
    Congratulations Vice-President Elect Joe Biden!

    November 6, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. Rave

    Great sense of Humor and a humble man. His wife Jill is an icon for decency. Overall a great American Family.
    You deserve it Joe.. Do you plan on moving to NJ.. we would love to have you here 🙂

    November 6, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. Griff

    You are full of Crap, Mr Dobbs...

    November 6, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. Delaware Proud

    Lewis Beach is actually Lewes Beach. Lewes pronounced Lewis.

    November 6, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  5. Disgusted

    McCain sources should be glad Palin gave the much needed boost to the campaign that she did. If she hadn't come on when she did things would have been much worse than they were in the end.

    November 6, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. Joe Terrogano

    I love Joe Biden, gaffs and all. What a character.

    November 6, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. julie in nc

    I lived in DE for six years and never heard of this! Not like there's a bunch of news in Delaware but still....

    Congrats again to the new President-elect and VP elect. I wish them well!

    November 6, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  8. Steve

    A heartbeat away....Joe The Idiot then Pelosi.

    November 6, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  9. Disgusted

    And for all of the liberal communist and socialist who voted for a man who thinks partial birth abortion is a procedure and not murder, and that a civilian force is anything but the Brown Shirts and that the trick down effect doesn't really exit. You'll see. When in two years people wake up and put more conservatives back in the government to clean up the mess this moron is going to make. And all of the sudden this person is referenced as an african american. Wouldn't it be correct to say he's a African Caucasian American. Unless of course he lied about that too.

    November 6, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  10. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Where is the picture?

    November 6, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  11. Independent white female patriotic voter

    Joe Biden may be a regular gaffe but he is one cool guy. He has a way about him. I look forward to having him as VP, he'll keep us laughing.

    November 6, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  12. Westwood girl

    McCain / Palin Supporters and Obama Supporters:

    What the HELL is the matter with all of you?! Especially you Obama supporters, you're better than this and you know it!!! SHAME! Can we please act like adults now? We have a BROKEN COUNTRY and we need to FIX IT!!!

    I swear Democrats are the sorest winners in the world only matched by the insanity of the sore loser Republicans. BOTH SIDES THINK THEIR POSITION IS ORDAINED BY GOD or something.

    We need to work together, not act like a collection of kindergardners. Why do you IDIOTS think our country's in such a bad position in the first place? If you're looking for the answer look in the flippin' mirror first.

    November 6, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  13. David Minneapolis

    I think that this event was beyond cool. I hope that these guys are for real and understand the expectation that we have for them. They have the weight of our collective futures in their hands, I trust that they will not let us fall, or be seduced by the glitter and acolades. You have the hardest jobs in the world right now, our economy is in shambles, our planet is in peril, you know the drill. So, it's not cool, it's real, real cool right now, and the honeymoon could wear off real, real fast if it's seen as just too cool and not enough sweat.

    November 6, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  14. Jordan

    Joe's the man!

    November 6, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  15. karen

    I like Vice-President Biden, he seem to be a down to earth guy. I think he and OBama make a good team!

    November 6, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  16. Cindy

    I [HEART] Joe Biden!

    and I'm not even in Delaware.

    November 6, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  17. Marie

    Good luck Vice President Biden and I hope you and Senator McCain will continue to be friends.What are people to expect Biden to do when running in a campaign.He never said anything personal about McCain it was all political.Don't each of us find ourselves diagreeing with our friends?And I wish those of you that says Obama is not qualified stop saying it because the american people that thought he was qualified said it with their vote and it was enough to elect him president.It's time to let it go and move on.Some of these comments posted on this site about Palin,McCain,Biden and Obama are disgusting and you go after these people when you don't personally know them.They have families just like you when they read some of these hateful things.Just tell me what have you done for your neighbor or community today or within the last month?HOW MANY SKELETONS DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR CLOSET?HMMMM just what I thought

    November 6, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. Stu-Florida

    Welcome home, Joe! Nice job...
    The best of luck in the new one (job)

    November 6, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  19. Cody

    Live it up, Senator Biden. We are all honored to have voted for you and elected you and Senator Obama to the Executive branch. We will be even more honored to call the two of you Vice President and President.

    May God bless you and The United States!

    November 6, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  20. Gene

    He's still just Joe.. Joe the VP.. I'll take him over the Joe the Plumber any day.

    November 6, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  21. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    THANKS JOE! We appreciate the gracious, smart, funny, strong and loyal Vice Presidential candidate you were! Congratulations on the WIN!

    HOPE WON****HOPE WON*****HOPE WON********HOPE WON******



    November 6, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  22. Good ole Joe!

    God bless him! You have to love this guy's spirit and genuine heart!

    I'm so happy for him and for us!

    November 6, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  23. Red, Red WHINE!!

    Typical of republicans. Still no shows. The only thing they are good at is pissing and moaning. Their long tradition of being worthless cry babies is at an all time high. It is no wonder we are in the shape we are in after having a republican in the white house for 8 years.

    To prove my point, go look at all the republican posts on CNN through out these blogs. The whole lot of them are absolutely worthless, lazy, hate filled slime. The only people with any thing good to say, or a positive attitude towards getting down and dirty and taking care of business are the democrats. For the sake of our children and our country, I just hope there are enough Democrats to do all the work by themselves, because it's obviious the republicans aren't going to do a darn thing to help in any way, which is par for the course.

    November 6, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  24. Joe

    No mention of President elect Barack Obama-????????

    November 6, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  25. dickelocker, Ft. Lauderdale

    6pm Biden article filed. 7pm Palen article filed.
    He won & will be V.P.
    She lost and should be irrelevant to immediate concerns.
    No comments on Biden. 200 comments on Palen.
    What a wacky country!!
    Her gaffes are slightly worse than his, in my opinion.
    Both can and should be forgiven.
    Why must we continue the National Enquirer mentality?
    Instead, let's get on with repairing what's broken, including civility.

    November 6, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
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