November 6th, 2008
02:05 PM ET
1 year ago

Biden talks transition, says McCain's 'still my friend'

Vice President-elect Biden said Thursday that he has not spoken to Sen. McCain since the election but also said he was still friends with McCain.
Vice President-elect Biden said Thursday that he has not spoken to Sen. McCain since the election but also said he was still friends with McCain.

GEORGETOWN, Delaware (CNN) – As he headed back to Delaware to ceremonially “bury the hatchet” Thursday as part of a state tradition, Vice President-elect Joe Biden told reporters that John McCain was “still my friend.”

He also said that he and President-elect Obama had begun meeting daily to “flesh out the transition” – and did not deny speculation that Sen. John Kerry could be under consideration for a position in the new administration.

Last week, Biden had told reporters he was not sure if the friendship could be saved. “I don’t know, I hope [the friendship] is intact, John and I have not had a chance to speak,” Biden said. “I hope [it’s] intact because I still admire him, I still like him. ... I believe when this is over, win or lose, John and I are likely to be around in one form or another, in one job or another, and I hope, my hope is we can work together.”

The Delaware native said he hasn’t spoken to McCain – his friend of over three decades – since the Democratic ticket’s victory. Asked what he’d say to McCain and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin if they were on hand, Biden seemed to reach out to his Senate colleague, but did not seem as eager to make peace with the Arizona senator’s running mate.

“I’d say John, we’re still friends,” he said, adding “I don’t know Sarah Palin. I’m not being a wiseguy, you know, it’s over. I mean, I think it’s pretty remarkable, for the all the ups and downs, [a] pretty remarkable run for her. I mean, here’s a woman who is out of Wasilla as a mayor and then governor for two years. I think it’s pretty remarkable, pretty remarkable.

“But John’s still my friend. I say, John, I need you. We need you. This is an opportunity. We really mean what we said.... Barack and I met yesterday, and we’ll be meeting every day for a while until we flesh out this cabinet and everybody else. But we really mean it. We’ve got to reach out, man. You can’t get from here to there with just Democrats, you can’t do it. And I, and I’m…well anyway, when I talk to John, that is, that’s my, that’s what I’m going to tell him.”

Biden returned to Delaware on Thursday to participate in the state’s tradition of Returns Day, the Thursday after Election Day when state party officials literally bury a hatchet while the winning and losing candidates ride in carriages together in a parade.

On the flight from Chicago, he regaled a small group of reporters with stories about the day and discussed the transition.

“There’s a sense of excitement about it because yesterday we really did, five of us in a room, seven of us in a room, really actually beginning to put together a government,” said Biden, who said he and Obama planned to meet every day. “We’ve thought a lot about it but it was the first time - he’s as superstitious as I was - and the first time we actually started talking about names and places and organizations and it’s…there’s a sense of we both know it’s going to be a very difficult road.

“...I think the world is looking to us - not Barack and me - looking to America in the same way the public’s looking to us. They sense there’s a need for immediate help, immediate help for people drowning,” said Biden. “Not a new form of our government but a new international architecture.

“We need some really good thinking and what I’m excited about is there’s an awful lot of talented people out there, an awful lot of talented people who are ready, who are thinking this way,” he added. “Thinking around the curve rather than just beginning to try to catch up.”

Asked if Sen. John Kerry - whose name has been floated for Secretary of State - is one of those people, Biden agreed but didn’t reveal anything more. “Senator Kerry’s one of those guys, sure.”


Filed under: Joe Biden • John McCain • Sarah Palin • Transition 2008
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. TyWebb

    Hey, "Anonymous", McCain lost...get over it.

    Palin can go back now and commit more ethics violations.

    November 6, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. KLEE

    I believe that John McCain will do what he needs to do for this Country and I believe that Joe Biden was sincere in this statement.

    All you politicians up there in DC – do what's right for the country – not what's necessarily right for you. You are there because "we the people" want the U.S.A. put back together again.

    November 6, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. laura

    How sweet, Joe is worried about his friendship with McCain. HHmmm I wonder if McCain said to Palin ' Keep in touch.... buddy'

    November 6, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. public opinion

    Breaking news!! Correction: Obama is not an african american, he is half black, and half white. So just as much of the time he is referred to as a black man he could easily and equally be referred to as a white man. Its just the facts people, sorry to burst your bubbles, but thems the facts, Obama is not the first african american president, he is the first HALF black, and HALF white president. aight! Peace

    November 6, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    That "liberal media" stuff is just whiny crap from people who can't win an argument about policy or issues. It's really to stupid to even take seriously. The mainstream media is all owned by large corporations – since when are those bastions of liberality? I guess some folks don't remember how the media lied for Bush to get his second war started. They only became "liberal" when the facts started looking bad for Chimpy.
    ______________

    Uh, no. The media is overwhelmingly liberal. That's not an opinion – it is a FACT. Most members of the media identify themselves as liberal (over 70 percent). People in Hollywood are rich and overwhelmingly media, so that shoots down your large corporation argument, too. Hey, I can freely admit that Fox is heavily biased towards the right. I find it laughable that people can't do the same when talking about the likes of MSNBC.

    November 6, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. why the division?

    McCain = pretty amazing man actually... just not meant to be President.... more representative of the past and old ideas.

    Obama = charismatic and invigorating... what America needs in a bad time... represents the future and innovation.

    Biden = a nice bridge between the old and the new... honest and real.

    Palin = a mistake in so many ways... she represents a last ditch attempt to hang on to old traditions and deny the change that is occuring.... being a woman, she should have represented progress, but it was just the opposite.

    Hilary Clinton = a great politician and a great woman... she could have been a great President and still might.... I hope she has a strong voice in the new government.

    Just my take. I think republicans have had some very good representatives at times, but also tend to alienate these more moderate supporters by being too right wing.

    By the way, some republicans on here seem misinformed as to which party initiated NAFTA. That was Reagan and the Republicans.
    See this link:

    http://archives.cbc.ca/economy_business/trade_agreements/topics/536/

    It was Clinton who signed on Mexico, but that was always in the cards in the original proposals. So, don't like NAFTA, don't blame the democrats.

    November 6, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Jim in Miami

    Interesting how the dems whined incessantly for 8 years and now have become self-righteous. Self-righteous, short sighted when it somes to the realignment the war will bring in the middle east (just like years of occupation realigned Germany and Japan from threats to allies) and blind to the real lessons of the financial crisis (dems pushing the 'right' of housing by loosening credit standards through Freddie and Fannie). FDR prolonged the depression for a decade with his nonsense policies and here we go again.

    November 6, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    I believe that John McCain will do what he needs to do for this Country and I believe that Joe Biden was sincere in this statement.

    All you politicians up there in DC – do what's right for the country – not what's necessarily right for you. You are there because "we the people" want the U.S.A. put back together again.
    ______________

    Well said, but I doubt it will happen. Politicians are, by and large, power hungry and would cut their own mother's throat for political advancement. They care about the people they represent when they need out vote, but then forget about us after they're in office – that is until the next election cycle comes around.

    Sadly, I fear Obama will be no different (just like McCain wouldn't have). I hope that I'm proven wrong in this regard, but I'm not counting on it. The last two presidents who I felt weren't self-serving backstabbers were Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford before him, and we saw how effective they were as presidents.

    November 6, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  9. Spiffy

    I hope the power of change really works since Obama is far and away the least qualified person to become person in American history (not a partisan comment but a clearly-stated fact – don't believe me – look in a history book or ,since I don't hink a lot of folks know what books are these days, wikipedia).

    I wish him the best, but I don't know how far giving a good speech is going to get hime.

    November 6, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. Spiffy

    I hope the power of change really works since Obama is far and away the least qualified person to become president in American history (not a partisan comment but a clearly-stated fact – don't believe me – look in a history book or ,since I don't hink a lot of folks know what books are these days, wikipedia).

    I wish him

    November 6, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. Peter (CA)

    I liked that John McCain making the concession speech. That was the John McCain I used to admire. Where has he been?

    Politics is ugly, especially at this level so I am sure McCain and Biden will make up.

    Now if the right wingers on these blogs would stop foaming at the mouth. How about an opportunity to see if we ALL can move the country forward? Scott? Debby?

    November 6, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
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