September 10th, 2008
04:05 PM ET
10 years ago

Biden: Second wife 'restored my life' after tragedy


Watch this clip from this weekend's CNN Presents special about Sen. Biden.

(CNN) - An emotional Joe Biden told CNN’s Amy Boudreau his wife Jill “restored my life” after the death of his wife and infant daughter in an accident.

“I asked her once not long before our wedding how she could marry me knowing how much –” the Delaware senator said said, and paused for several seconds.

“…Knowing how much I adored Neilia. And she didn’t hesitate. She said, quote, That’s the reason I can marry you, she told me. Anybody who loved that deeply once can do it again.

“That’s when I realized exactly how much Jill’s love had done for me – it had given me permission to be me again.”

Biden paused again to collect himself. “God, I’m sorry,” he said. “But she did, I mean she restored my life. I know that sounds corny but she really did.”

Watch Abby Boudreau’s full interview with the Democratic vice presidential nominee this weekend on CNN

Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. dr j kothary, Vancouver

    a great guy, a great husband & a great & honest politician & vice president material.

    September 10, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. Rich

    What a Man and What a Woman!

    September 10, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. John McIdiot

    A real man doesn't put a woman on the ticket because of her looks and what she will do to excite his base. A real man thinks about the country if he should die. But John McCain, selfish to the end, only thought about himself. This is his life long dream, he couldn't lose. So he put Miss Alaska on the ticket and low and behold it worked. Good for John, good for the Sarah, bad for the country. But what the hay, "Country last" right John.

    September 10, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  4. McCain=the draft

    What a stark contrast from McCain, who cheated on and ditched his badly injured wife after her auto accident, for heiress Cindy.

    September 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  5. Emily, DE

    His wife's name was Neilia, CNN.

    September 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. femi b

    Its the idea of what family value is all about,keeping the memories of loved ones,that cant be said to our McCain.

    This is actually the challenge in this election for the evangelical Christian, who have arrogated whom theyve chosen as holy to fit into the office of president.

    They owe the American public an apology for imposing George they are imposing a man with two wifes or a divorcee,God hates divorce. and a v.p,who has a 17 year old pregnant daughter,who is not married.

    This are no American values,or are they now? over to the evengelical christian judges.

    September 10, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. Willy Brown

    Awl. Playing the victim card

    September 10, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. Debra

    Your a good man Joe – glad to have you as the Democratic VP.

    September 10, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. Nia Hussein- Phoenix, AZ


    September 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  10. Will in Richmond, VA

    I dig this guy.

    Excellent choice for VP. We need to hear more stories like this from Biden going forward. If they want to make this about personality instead of issues, then we can oblige them.

    But once the American public gets its fill of the powder puff Palin, and starts paying attention to what's going on in their environment, job site, and pocketbook, the Repubs won't have a leg to stand on.

    September 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  11. YEAR

    Biden is the man...such a family man and very caring!!!!!!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  12. Crazy Cat Lady

    Bless you, Joe. What an honest loving heart you have.

    September 10, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |


    September 10, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  14. Marie C.


    September 10, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  15. Helen

    And that is the type of dedication I know you will carry to the White House as our next Vice President of the United States.

    Unlike the Spitzers, Craigs, and Edwards alone with countless others I trust that your faithfullness will carry over into other aspects of your life.

    Another man with morals and values....Thank you VP Biden.

    Obama/Biden 08"

    September 10, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. redneck for obama

    this is a 'real' person. obama is a 'real' person. mccain /palin are mere actors.

    September 10, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  17. the Professor

    Right on, Joe. And you'll be a darned good #2.

    September 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  18. DebM, Allentown, PA

    He may open mouth, insert foot occasionally, but there is no mistaking that Joe Biden is a deeply emotional, honest human being.

    And before you repub trolls start on the plagiarist thing, he acknowledged that he ONCE left out the citation of Neil Kinnock's name in a speech. Neil Kinnock has forgiven him and just recently endorsed both Obama and Biden.

    September 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  19. Rob

    Biden truly deeply loved his wife. As contrasted by McBush who dumped his wife after several adulterous affairs to run off with a young rich heiress. But lets all get upset by a cliche,'Lipstick on a Pig'. A cliche that McBush is shown on video saying himself.
    The McBush / Paleny ticket is the saddest thing that has ever happened to the GOP. The very best thing that could happen to the Republicans would be to lose this election and re group in 2012. A GOP victory would be a disaster that might well doom the GOP forever.

    September 10, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  20. Rich

    Using your first wife to gain points and this is the kind of as#hole that would be in the #2 spot ( Right ).

    September 10, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. Eileen Vivoda

    This interview shows the depth of Biden and his great humanity and capacity for love. I've always been a fan of his and this seals it.

    September 10, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  22. shannon

    Biden is the only Dem that currently doesn't have his head shoved up know what.

    September 10, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  23. Young Republican

    Why doesn't CNN focus more on this stuff? This is a true story of character, loss, and human emotion. This will tell you more about a candidate than any ridiculous ad.

    Let's get away from who called whom what, supposedly, alledgedly.

    Let's get away from partisanship, and belittling someone because their emblem is a different animal.

    As I read all the comment boards on CNN, I realise why people my age don't vote.

    We're sick and tired of "adults" acting like 3rd graders, name calling and picking on everyone else.


    September 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  24. MK

    I love you Joe Biden! You and only should be on the ticket with Barack, you are a brillant man with a heart of gold. Stay on message, stay strong and stay positive. Here's to 01/20/2009!

    September 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  25. D N DC

    Real HONOR should be determined by how U treat your family....... Joe Biden and Barack Obama REAL family values!!!

    Peace and Blessings
    Obama/Biden 08

    September 10, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
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