September 16th, 2008
04:35 PM ET
14 years ago

Biden's typical commute anything but typical

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Biden’s typical commute was anything but typical Tuesday."]WILMINGTON, Delaware (CNN) – Joe Biden returned to his regular commute Tuesday afternoon, surrounded by reminders he was no longer a regular commuter.

As he has done nearly every working day for the last 35 years, Joe Biden took the Amtrak train home to Delaware — his first rail commute since being named Barack Obama’s running mate.

Biden rode in the last car, half of which was blocked off for him by Secret Service. But the talkative Delaware senator didn’t stay seated long, wandering up to the dining car to get some refreshments and chat with his fellow travelers.

“Hey, I’m the nuisance,” Biden announced to the car as the press jostled for position in the cramped aisle. “I used to ride this thing every day and nobody paid any attention.”

“If we get elected, it will be the most train-friendly administration ever,” Biden assured another passenger, moving on to the next car.

Finally arriving at the restaurant car, Biden ordered a cranberry cocktail, assuring reporters the drink wasn’t alcoholic.

“I’m the only guy you know who doesn’t drink,” Biden said, “Never had a drink in my life, too many alcoholics in my family.”

On the way back to his seat, Biden sat down to talk shop with a group that had just come from testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, prompting Biden to remark that he would have been there if he weren’t “doing this.”

Barack Obama and his surrogates tout Biden’s nightly Amtrak commute home as a testament to his roots, and his link to Washington outsider status. At both ends of the commute Biden hugged and back-slapped Amtrak workers, telling a conductor “you’re like family.”

Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    i thought I read somewhere that Biden said Obama was not ready to lead.

    I think he is right there. Obama has as thin as resume as I've seen.

    Do you think you would let him operate on your heart if he were a heart surgeon?

    I don't thinks so. Obama is a roll of the dice.. Think risky.

    September 16, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. JOEMABA 08!

    im just gonna sit back and relax and watch Obama and Biden win.

    Joe, he's really a great guy.

    September 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. m.k.

    After all of the dust is settled, only one of the candidates will run this country. If you are happy with the status quo, vote Republican, if not, vote Democratic. This is not rocket science.

    September 16, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. JustinM

    Joe Biden is the opposite of Sarah Palin. The more you get to know Joe, the more you like him. It's the other way around with Sarah Palin.

    September 16, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  5. Ernie

    Mr. Biden could not even carry his own state. He had to go with Obama to get anywhere and now he is ready to be VP?

    September 16, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  6. TruthOnly

    American wants to know, what is the plan that McCain and Palin proposes to get our country on tract.

    Please, try to tell the Truth with what you propose. Palin has hooked up with McCain which will have very long lasting negative effect on her.

    September 16, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. Gail in Dublin, GA

    What a breath of fresh air it will be with Barack and Joe in office. Do Republicans ever tell the truth? I think not. Have they ever not cut budget with regard to education, health care or the environment. Being a "maverick" when it comes to the environment is not ideal. I prefer the Democrats' conservation and caution as opposed to charging ahead maverick style with nuclear energy, more oil drilling, more tax breaks for big business. Hey, let's give them tax breaks for being green, for conserving energy, for not polluting the air , for putting people to work and paying them a fair wage– now, that's a novel idea.

    Go Joe - you'll be the best VP yet, Obama will be a great leader, and together with all of us who really care, we will make the changes to make America proud again!!!!

    September 16, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  8. maynard hopkins wi


    September 16, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  9. anyonmous

    say hello to our 48 vice president of the united state

    September 16, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  10. Paul, Jamaica

    This is your regular Joe!!!
    I can't wait for a change in Washington. America will be better for it... Ready to cast my vote and this is from a former Republican. There are many more like me who will be turning in their cards after these eight years and going for a REAL CHANGE!!!

    Go Obama/Biden '08

    September 16, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  11. Bottom line: Obama has NO resume, even for change!!

    So Joe, you would have been there at the hearing if you "weren't doing this"?? I suppose Obama would also have taken an actual stand...... if he hadn't voted "present" all those times!!

    September 16, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. carol

    Senator Obama couldn't have chosen a better VP than Senator Biden.
    He is a real family man with REAL FAMILY VALUES and has a genuine
    connection with everyday people.
    These constant smears and out and out lies from McPalin camp are starting to be seen for what they truly are!!!
    We need two decent, respectable, honest men in the White House that will work hard for the American people and get this country back on the right track and restore it's place on the world stage.
    Roll on Nov and lets put Senator Obama and Senator Biden where they belong in the White House.

    September 16, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  13. Bill Colorado

    What a bunch of crap. As Vice Pres he will not be commuting in a what is the point?

    September 16, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  14. sandee in Portland

    Ernie, if you think Biden isn't ready to be VP after 36 years in the Senate, why would you think Palin could be VP after not quite 2 years as a Governor?

    This is an honest, good American who does not live the rich life like the majority of them. Even after all these years, his wife still works just like we do. Gee, does the "first dude" still work...not any more, but he does enter snowmobile contests LOL!

    Go Biden, a down to earth, regular guy!

    September 16, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  15. CM

    Ernie, does it matter Biden didn't run a strong primary campaign? It probably means people don't realize whats best for them.

    Take for example the GOP suppporters, they know they don't have any answers but continue to blame everyone else for their shortcomings. Ernie, you wouldn't happen to know any GOP supporters like that would you?

    September 16, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  16. Ohio voter

    Hey Hillary Supporters for McCain~Are you STILL BITTER?? My goodness, when do you get over it? Never?? I certainly don't know why you all believe you're hurting Obama more than yourselves by voting for McCain. Regardless of the outcome Obama & McCain will be just fine. Hell, Hillary is doing just peachy. Can you say the same with a failing economy? McCain certainly CAN'T help the pocketbook issue; he's simply not smart enough.

    September 16, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  17. Girl who is fed up smear campaigns and just wants both canidates to stick to the issues

    vPerry " I am scared that Obama is a fascist" You have got to be kidding me. Do you even know the meaning of fascism? Furthermore, if you want to talk about records, Nightingale, then why don't we take a little look see at Palin's political record shall we. Mayor of a small city in Alaska, and then governor of Alaska for less than 2 years. Oh and don't even get me started on her " well I had real responsibilities, and I made a budget", because lets face it her budgeting skills couldn't have been that great. When she became the mayor of Wasilla they had a surplus, when she left they had something like $20 million in long term debt. If that is any indication of her "fiscal" responsibility then say sayonara to any hope of budget reform in Washington, or for that matter any hope for social security, and the economy in general.

    September 16, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  18. America think for you

    Think twice Palin want to attack Russia and Pakistan and give Georgia UN memberships. That was third world war just start by the republicans.
    I am a Democrat and I am voting for McCain. Oh no! Why are you betraying Barack? You know why! Because John McCain had invented the Black Barry. I love my blackberry. McCain know Washington for 30 years, Barack is new to Washington. McCain is smart and does not understand the economy and I am thrill to vote for McCain. McCain is rich and Barack is not. McCain has many houses and Barack does not. If I Americans get evicted from their homes they can get a room each from McCain. McCain is the real deal that will shake up Washington and himself because he is an insider. Sarah Palin is a foreign policy expert because she can see Russia from Alaska Joe Biden cannot see Russia from Delaware. This is why I am not voting for McCain.

    September 16, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  19. george

    the new line for the dems should be vote BO AND JOE- ENOUGH IS ENOUGHN!!!!!!!!!


    September 16, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  20. David from Ohio

    As an independent, I supported Senator Biden as a presidential nominee. It's too bad that the American people do not see where he comes from. He is a great person, an intellect, a loyal friend, and a wonderful public servant. I hope he will have an opportunity to tune up this crippled country.

    September 16, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  21. Biden is honest?

    To Beth,

    Which part of Biden is honest? The part where he said Obama wasn't ready to be President?

    Or the part where he got on board once it suited his own needs?

    And by the way, Mark-NY, it's YOU'RE. Not your. As in, "YOU'RE THE IDIOT."

    September 16, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  22. dan b seguin

    i like joe

    September 16, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  23. Tamarra

    Joe Biden's children have nothing to do with the campaign. However, unlike the other VP who is throwing her kids in our faces at every turn. This man have a heart for people and he complements Obama well. They will do well in the white house.

    September 16, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  24. McWhine

    Hey Dave, Illinois:

    Dare you google songbird McCain!! McCain's son resign from the board of a bank that he ran to ground citing "family reason." Like father, like son. McWhine will run this country to the ground.

    September 16, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  25. Al from Georgia

    OK folks, I actually worked for Joe Biden (83-90). I supported his presidential campaign and froze my butt off in Iowa last January for him. I don't expect anyone to believe this but I am going to say it anyway. Joe Biden is the real deal. Warts and all you won't find a better person to talk to about anything.
    I remember one time he asked me to meet him at the Wilmington train station. He asked me to bring my bagpipes with me. Next thing I know, the train pulls into the station while I am playing. He gets one of the conductors off of the train and has me serenade him. Then he took this conductor to breakfast. Joe had learned that the conductor was retiring that very day. He made all the arrangements with the Amtrak people. No one on his staff knew anything about this.
    You should have seen the face of that soon to be retiree. Joe made him feel so special, so important. To me, that says more about the man than any pundit. He is a good person and will make an excellent vice president. If some of you want to piss on this story, so be it. The more Joe is out there, the more people will see what I have known for over 25 years.

    September 16, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
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