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. Normal C

    How much do you love this guy? He's the man.

    Noticing a lot of dorky comments here from folks stomping around the bitter barn. Look: McCain lost. That's it. It's not the end of the world. One guy had to win, and one guy had to lose. But to start complaining about Obama and Biden one day after the election? Come on! At least wait for the inauguration!

    November 6, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  2. S. Boatman

    Obama And Biden Will Be The Best Team In History! Far Better Than Any Republican Team Could Ever Be! We Need To Elect Them To A Second Term And Give Them Enough Time To Fix This Mess We Are In!

    November 6, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. Eleanor

    its about time the media focused on Vice -president elect Joe Biden
    He has been left out of coverage and I find it rude
    After all its the second highest office in America
    Lets give him and his familt the coverage they are due
    Palin lost- Biden won !!! lets focus on The winning candidate
    let Palin go back to alaska

    November 6, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  4. steve

    Joe (Judas) Liberman must be stripped of his chairmanship position in the senate now.

    November 6, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  5. Donal

    Oh great...etc.

    No, everybody is just relieved that McCain and his clueless sidekick are not going to be running America.

    November 6, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. what!

    @ "Oh great.....get to hear the media kissing butt for four years"

    Uhm.. SUCK IT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 6, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  7. Betty

    Joe – I hope he keeps his comments to a minimum for the next 4 years. We wouldn't want him to make a fool of himself.

    November 6, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  8. Richie

    That is an awesome event. I'm sad O'Donnell didn't show. How special it would be to ride in Joe "the Biden"'s carriage. Go Joe. Keep on keeping on.

    All you bitter folks, lighten up. Give them a chance.

    November 6, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  9. vapalla

    I think I read that Obama is going to Hawaii this weekend. I also read that the family is keeping it a private matter at the request of his grandmother. They are following the wishes of the deseased.

    (Maybe Obama also doesn't want to publicize any of the funeral arrangements of his grandmother because the Westburo church freaks plan to picket it. )

    Yay Biden! I heard him speak at U of D. He was Great!

    November 6, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. Donal

    I can't believe all the bitter Repugs coming out of their holes to leave snide comments. What a bunch of sad, sour losers.

    November 6, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  11. Elle

    Here's one way to make it to the presidency. He couldn't do it on his own when he himself ran so now he's on Obama's cotails.

    November 6, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  12. Barbara - Atlanta

    Obama/Biden 2012

    November 6, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. Tom in Delaware

    To Red, Red WHINE!! November 6th, 2008 8:00 pm ET

    "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."

    Obviously the LSD has kicked in on this one, as even sheer stupidity couldn't account for how tremendously wrong he is...go check out the warm and glowing comments from the Obamunists about Joe Lieberman...'nuff said.

    November 6, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. Bush, TX

    Good Joe. Get out there and kick republicans' butts

    November 6, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    we in montreal, canada are delighted with the election results. now the world can g o to sleep at night,with both eyes shut. Congratulations U S A

    November 6, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  16. Dan

    I like the idea that the governor will be naming "a replacement Biden" (sic). Like they're legally bound to comb through his family tree to find his replacement.

    Just imagine the kind of world we'd live in if positions of power in government were handed to any moron who had the same name as the guy before him, huh? :-)

    Anyway, Epic Gaffes aside, Joe seems like a really nice guy, and I think he'll do the office proud. After seeing what Cheney turned the Vice Presidency into, though, I think he may be just a little sad inside when he finds Barack putting things back in their rightful order.

    November 6, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  17. Chris

    @ Oh great: How about you wait until he's actually in office before you start making any predictions? I think you'll be truly surprised. You're the only one talking about a double-standard. If he acts ridiculous he'll be criticized, but I don't think you can get as ridiculous as the person who's been occupying the White House the past 8 years....

    November 6, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  18. SHEILA

    we in montreal, canada are delighted with the outcome of your election,I t's been a long eight years- too long for the world to hold it's breath. C ONGRATULATIONS!

    November 6, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  19. Valkyrie

    Biden has met with many world leaders and is highly respected in the international community. (Read the European papers, who were very pleased by his pick as VP.) Palin was pranked by Montreal shock jocks, and she gushed and giggled like a groupie.

    They both gaffe. But that's where the comparison ends. There's a gaping chasm between them.

    November 6, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  20. sarah

    Psst...CNN did you hear. Okay, perhaps you didn't... so I will tell you. North Carolina is BLUE!!

    November 6, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  21. SHEILA

    WE IN MONTREAL, CANADA ARE DELIGHTED WITH THE PRESIDENTIAL OUTCOME. NOW THE WORLD CAN EXHALE-IT'S BEEN A LONG EIGHT YEARS,TOO LONG FOR US TO HOLD OUR BREATHS. CONGRATULATIONS, YOU DID IT!!

    November 6, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  22. BBB

    Talk about a bunch of bitter fools.... no wonder America is in the state it is!

    November 6, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  23. HouseDiva

    Awesome!

    congratulations Vice President Biden!

    November 6, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  24. country first

    i love our new president and our new vice president.

    November 6, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  25. DeeDee

    To VP Biden: Congratulations!! I believe you will do a fantastic job. We, as a nation, are so blessed to have you and Obama working together.

    To Griff: If there is someone you can call to get you off that ledge then by all means hit speed dial because you are truly a "lunchbox".

    November 6, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
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