January 22nd, 2009
11:29 AM ET
11 months ago

Preston on Politics: Obama's 'Senate man'

Joe Biden has long been a fixture on Capitol Hill and now assumes the role of vice president.
Joe Biden has long been a fixture on Capitol Hill and now assumes the role of vice president.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It was a beautiful autumn day when I bumped into Sen. Joe Biden outside the U.S. Capitol, and I was desperately looking for information about questions that at the time were unanswerable.

People were fleeing the Capitol and scattering in different directions. They were headed anywhere but there - except for Biden.

At the time, I was working for the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, and I stopped and asked him "What do you know? You're the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee." He paused and said, "Let's talk down there," pointing to a location farther down the hill. "I was just told by the Capitol Police that there is an inbound plane headed for the Capitol."

That fateful day was September 11, 2001.

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Filed under: Joe Biden • Preston on Politics
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Chris from NY

    Someone please remind Obama that the wife stays on his right side as a Commander in Chief and not the elft. He should learn to implement this before the neocons start making a big deal out of nothing. I know he's left handed but Commander in Chief's wife belong on his right side and not the left.

    January 22, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. LIP

    I am not crazy about the guy, especially after the demeaning senate witch hunt he was part of during the Clarence Thomas hearings, but that aside, he is probably the best thing going for Obama and we do want Obama's presidency to be successful, as his business is the business of the people and his success makes or breaks us.

    January 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Janey

    Can't wait to hear Biden's next gaffe–so Obama can grab his arm and scowl. I see left wing is still trying to only blame Roberts for the gaffe made by Obama and him. Nice try–we all heard the errors by both. Obama jumping in and interrupting and throwing Roberts off–then lines being mixed up.

    January 22, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. believe

    like a true captain, joe was going to stay with his crew.

    January 22, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Jill

    Joe Biden talks out both sides of his mouth. Another power hungry politican. He, Pelosi, and Reid are going to drag Obama down.

    January 22, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. KATHLEEN

    Joe Biden, in my opinion, is a good, honest man. I like him. How
    could you not?

    January 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. Sharon Kitchen

    This sounds like Biden. The very first thing he did was talk to you calmly. The 2nd was to get you further away from harm that might be arriving.
    Way to go Joe.
    This calm thinking is just what this country needs right now.
    You and Obama make a good team.

    January 22, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. James

    Biden can be counted on to go consistently off-message with his Gift of Gab. Going to be a big headache for Obama unless he gets a brain transplant.

    January 22, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Mari

    Good story about Biden.

    January 22, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. Maddie

    Joe Biden is smart, sensitive, and just an all around type of guy.
    He gets picked on for his "gift of gab" but I truly like and respect him.

    January 22, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. williefloyd

    This is a very good article. I was a volunteer for V.P. Biden and happen to believe, no not believe, KNOW, he is one of the finest people in our government today. At first all the snide and derisive remarks upset me very much, but now I just consider the source and forget them. Those making the remarks obviously don't know him-so who cares what they say!

    CNN your posting of comments has been very limited lately-any particular reason???

    January 22, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Merle

    Lets hope he stays grounded...We'll see what happens...TBC

    January 22, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. Judy from PA

    Joe Biden has been running for the Democratic nominee for President since 1988. The American people never chose him, don't want him. It doesn't seem fair that now we are stuck with him.

    January 22, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. TCM

    give me a break...making an ICON out of Biden now? Please...the guy who couldn't remember that a diner had closed down 20 yrs earlier...as he cited just being there...stop with the false crap....

    January 22, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. Independent Fred

    James Wrote:
    Biden can be counted on to go consistently off-message with his Gift of Gab. Going to be a big headache for Obama unless he gets a brain transplant.

    Yes, Joe is subject to flights of fancy but he is a good man. It's also increasingly clear he has the working people of this country at heart..

    But yes he's prone to gaffs no question...

    January 22, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. Jill American

    I'm still waiting for Joe to give a 'Today, I feel like I'm the luckiest man on the face of the Earth' speech.

    Boy, did he step in it!

    January 22, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. jl

    I bet the majority of the criticizm comes from people who aren't old enough to rember anything beyond the Bush years. Sad that corruption, secrecy, and lies are what you grew up with.

    Our nation's problems are way too big to be so petty about Joe Biden. He really cares about this country, is smart, and understands and believes in the constitution (unlike Cheney). More than that, he is honest. Honesty is what we need right now, not undisclosed locations and gaff-free rhetoric.

    January 22, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. America demands answers

    For all those with so much hate on their mind. I am so sad for you guys. Many of you listen to divisive info about the President. Including saying the second oath was done behind close doors at least CNN provided the link to the video. Maybe if you are better informed you wont go around spewing hate.

    January 22, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. Barbara

    Joe should stop the slams and be respecful of all people and this administration. Joe was unprepared to swear in staff and Obama was not happy with his comments referring to our chief justice. Stop the snow Joe!

    January 22, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. David Starnes

    One of the most honest in goverment and for that he deserves our repect.

    January 22, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. Dixie

    Joe Biden, Mr. Vice President.....needs to shape up quickly, when to be serious over serious matters.....and not pretend that he is in an environment of chatting over casual matters with friends. That "jab" ref. Justice Robers...was a total out of character act, and I agree with the Presidents demeaner-visable displeasure with his V.P.'s verbal remarks and action. Can only imagine what "the boss" said afterwards 'behind closed doors'. (now, sit down and listen to me clearly!!)
    Otherwise I wish them well, and glad they did a "re-do" on oaths to clear things up..... but legally unnecessary. This is the detail/care that Obama will portray in the future. Just as long as he delegates to those necessary, and doesn't try to get toooo involved with unnecessary details of the job.!

    January 22, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. alvino

    I have a lot more faith in the leadership of Obama and Biden than I ever did in Smirky and the Penguin.

    January 22, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. Lara

    Janey, Roberts made the gaffe not PRESIDENT OBAMA. President Obama was the one that brought him back on track to finish.

    January 22, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. I love Joe

    Kathleen at 12:43:

    Exactly. He's honest and caring and genuine. Even people who don't agree with his position on policies should at least respect him for his character.

    January 22, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. Leilani

    This is an excellent article. Joe Biden is one of the best. I'm super proud to have him as one of our leaders.

    President' Obama's choice of Vice President Biden proves that he cares about this nation.

    January 22, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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