[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/16/art.amtrak.ap.jpg 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.”