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. Sam

    I really like this down to earth man, I feel I can trust both him and Obama. I don't feel the same about the other two.

    September 16, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. Ratgurl

    You gotta love a Veep candidate who's not afraid to be among the people, just to chat. Can't wait to see him in the white house alongside Obama!

    September 16, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. John McCain

    You go Joe!! I stay at home, hihihi

    September 16, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  4. Mike, Lorain, Ohio

    I find it quite hypocritical to hear McCain supporters express desire to leave Bristol Palin alone, which I agree with; but then they go and attack Joe Biden's son.

    September 16, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  5. Susan

    Remember when Bill Clinton said in his DNC speech, "I love Joe Biden, and America will too"? That's what he meant. Great guy.

    And for those of you republicans out there, let me remind you that Biden rightly called Milosevic a war criminal to his face and was instrumental in bringing him to justice. Pee on that all you want, but that's decency and integrity at a level that your gal Sarah ain't got the chops for.

    September 16, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. E

    Good for you Biden, You show REAL family values.

    Too bad you can't have anymore nice peaceful trainrides home with a good book.

    September 16, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. Patrick

    Don't worry Joe, things will be back to normal in November – sorry to say Amtrack isn't Barry's taste though. He will likely have a driver to take him to his new day time talk show with Oprah in November.

    September 16, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. bo

    I give him props for doing this commute for so many years and sacrificing for his family and the people he represents. Hopefully he does not have to take any more train rides for 8 years after Nov. 4th.

    September 16, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. Rose

    Many of the comments I have just read consider Biden an honest guy, how about what he did to get his law degree. Is that what you call honest??

    September 16, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  10. Retired Republican Iraqi Vet For Obama

    Hey olivia, Fox News is that way-–>

    September 16, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  11. pam Eugene OR

    Unlike Palin Joe pays his own way home on the train and does not collect expenses from the state to stay in his own house.Palin charged Alaska for over 300 nights she slept in her own bed. Plain is a thief AND a liar.

    September 16, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |

    I have heard Senator Obama referred to as "an empty suit", I say better an empty suit than an empty head aka McShame and Joan of Artic.

    September 16, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. Martin, AL

    I like Joe and I support him as Obama's VP pick. I've been watching his political events online, since he doesn't get a lot of media attention. He's very good, and he makes a lot of sense to me. I am also moved by his personal story and I wish him and Obama much success.

    September 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. grannie

    I like Joe, I love Hillary, but that ship has sailed..., I am very pleased with Joe. But, has anyone given any thought to the possibility that the 'republican machine' has placed Sarah Palin in the VP slot because they intend to challenge McCain's ability to become president because he was not born in the U.S.

    I know that others have been nominated, but no one has ever made it to the point of being challenged. Think about it..., If McCain was elected (the republican base aren't really crazy about him anyway) and the if republican machine challenges it constitutionally, or has someone else do it, that would leave Palin as the president. Roe v Wade would be immediately overturned, the only rights gays would have would be to an attorney while they are being charged for lude and illicit behavior. It will set women't rights back to the dark ages. Has anyone else considered this fact? Unconstitutional I tell you...

    My sister in law was born on a military base in Germany, and when she was born, her parents were told, she is a U.S. Citizen, but that "she could never be president of the United States".

    September 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. Big D

    Joe Biden is an honorable man. And he actually is like real people who commute every day, and who value their families, and who live and work with honor. It's sad to see how far others have fallen off he path, while Joe continues to serve his country honorably and with integrity. Way to go, Joe!

    September 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. CM

    Notice the GOP supporters don't have anything to say that makes any sense. God forbid their candidates undergo the same attacks. They might have to scream sexism or reverse racialism.

    September 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  17. Boston

    vperry.....i am scared mccain is out of touch, look how he picked his vp running mate.

    September 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  18. Peter (CA)

    vperry-"I am scared that Obama is a fascist."

    And it frightens me that you are allowed to vote.

    Haters, keep trying, you can't touch this one. Biden is more like one of us than even Palin. Unless he asks for a tanning bed for the train....or a rifle so he can shoot at squirrels on his commute.

    September 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |

    There's no going back now for you Joe! Things have changed for the better!

    OBAMA / BIDEN '08 and BEYOND!

    September 16, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  20. California Gold

    The last time McCain set foot in a common, ordinary train was at an amusement park when he was 2 years old.

    Leave it to Republicans to make nasty remarks about Biden riding public transportation home at night to see his kids (like millions across the country do).

    September 16, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  21. annie - former democrat

    Who Cares!!!

    September 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. Joe Regis

    What a true regular American gent, never forget where he came from and where he wants to take the country. Yes, Obama/Biden will take the country out of the destress and hard time the repubs are leaving it.

    For real change and reform, Obama/Biden 08/12.

    September 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  23. Mike from Calgary

    Kipling used to talk of GRACE, in terms of one who walks with Kings, but still has the common touch Could be talking about Obama or Biden.

    September 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  24. Liz

    All of you railing against lobbyists do realize that political lobbyists aren't ALL big business right?!?! There are quite a few who are actually working for YOU, helping YOU get healthcare, clean water, decent roads, food without toxins, decent educations, etc. etc. etc. I have worked in some of these offices and NEVER seen people more dedicated, UNDERPAID, and working such long hours to help people who are so ungrateful, spiteful, whiny and ignorant and who vote for an administration who has caused everyone who isn't the religious right to be audited by the IRS every year for the past 7 years.

    The corporate lobbyists, the ones who OWN Cheyney: Haliburton, big oil, coal, guns, etc. have destroyed the system with their bribes and payoffs and you voting against Obama is only making them stronger. .

    September 16, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  25. Some people don't think...

    @ RealityKing "How much has this commute cost the taxpayer? For the last 36 years if I must ask??"

    I'm pretty sure it's much less than what some senators, like McCain, pay for homes in DC. Think about it.

    September 16, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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