November 6th, 2008
06:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Biden flies home for 'coolest event in entire USA'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Vice President-elect Joe Biden rides in a horse drawn carriage during Delaware’s Return Day."]

GEORGETOWN, Delaware (CNN) – Wearing a long dark coat to keep the cold rain off of him, Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill rode around the streets of this small town in their home state Thursday afternoon in a white horse-drawn carriage as part of the biennial 200 year-old Delaware tradition known as ‘Return Day.’

“Thank you!” Biden repeatedly called out to the cheering crowds as he drove past, ducking in and out of the carriage to wave to voters who on Tuesday elected the Delaware senator to his seventh term in the U.S. Senate. (Deleware's governor will soon name a replacement Biden.)

“No matter what office I hold, I’m still Delaware,” Biden later said to loud cheers from the shivering masses in front of Georgetown’s courthouse. “There was Joe the plumber, well, I’m Joe from Delaware. And folks, it’s been an honor, it’s been a great honor representing you as a United States Senator since the first time I stood on this platform…”

“The bad news for you is Jill and I are not leaving Delaware,” he continued. “I may be the Vice President-elect but we’re going to be home every weekend so you know where we live.

“I’m still at this moment – and continue to be – Senator Joe Biden, the proudest title I’ve ever had, representing the state of Delaware,” he added. “I love you, thank you very, very, very, very much.”

Biden stood for two hours at the front of a review stand watching floats, marching bands and cars carrying past and current elected officials go by, chatting all the while with his wife and longtime friend Rep. Mike Castle.

“This is the coolest event in the entire United States of America,” Biden told a small group of reporters on the flight to Delaware Thursday morning, proceeding to spend the bulk of a 40-minute chat at the back of the plane recounting the history of the day and discussing state politics.

Return Day culminates with Republican and Democratic Party representatives jointly burying a tomahawk from the Nanticoke Indian tribe in a glass aquarium full of sand from Delaware’s Lewis Beach. The bi-partisan tradition is meant to symbolize the end of hard-fought campaigns.

The candidates from the state's races are also meant ride in the carriages together in a show of unity, the victor facing forward, the loser backwards. However, Biden’s Republican opponent, Christine O’Donnell, appeared to not have gotten the memo, leaving Biden alone in his carriage with Mrs. Biden,

Asked where O'Donnell was, Biden pointed to the carriage seat in front of him and told CNN, "I don't know, she was supposed to be here." Biden staffers said they did see her at the event but it is unclear why she didn’t join the Delaware senator in his carriage.

The future vice president's schedule forced him to leave before the actual burying of the hatchet, he is now back in Chicago and will hold a press conference with President-elect Obama on Friday, their first since winning the election.

Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Jessica from Michigan

    For all the haters and sore losers. Our country does not need negativity right now!

    Please, take your hate speech to a Fox News Blog. You are welcome there.

    November 6, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  2. HouseDiva

    HEY GRIFF...if you don't like the new America...then YOU CAN GET OUT!!!

    hahahaha...i always wanted to try that on an ignorant redneck.


    November 6, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  3. ednadavid

    Congratulations Vice President Biden – a well deserved trip home – but did anyone else see the huge bearskin rug that the Governor of Alaska has in her office – is it okay to kill and preserve these huge animal skins??

    November 6, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  4. Uh huh

    A woman in California: I'm sorry........."I'm POSITIVE that Biden will say something to irritate the heck out of a foreign leader and cause us no end of trouble. Look at his history. My sarcasm aside, Biden has a long history of saying really stupid things at really bad times and he may or may not be able to get away with it here but he's on a different stage now and now we're ALL responsible for his words. That's a scary thought.

    In general – I've seen this in the primaries with Hillary and now in the general election – Why is it that Obama supporters can ridicule, abuse, divide and attempt to tear down absolutely everyone when the election is going on and then expect others to love them once it's over? In a respectful, issue oriented election, that might be possible but this wasn't. Obama, his camp and supporters ran an incredibly divisive and negative campaign (check independent sources) and then ask everyone else why THEY aren't positive and why THEY don't want to unify. Take a look in the mirror – that's why.

    November 6, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  5. Randy

    Its time to clean the white house and for bush to take all of his clowns with him to Texas maybe he can give them a job shoveling cow manure and feeding his chicken oh yeah and bushs goat wont be safe either.

    November 6, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  6. JGM

    What a pleasant event! The election campaign was grueling and painful. I should think it refreshing for Joe and Jill, and fun for the citizens of Delaware.

    November 6, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  7. CanIcallyouJoe

    I approve of Biden. He makes normal mistakes. Not knowing if Africa is a continent or not is not a normal mistake – it's not even a mistake, it's a tragedy!

    I wish him luck in the VP seat and I hope he brings a lot of cleaning supplies with him – there's likely to be at least a foot high of slime in that office by now!

    November 6, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |


    November 6, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  9. JGM

    BTW: 'Military Wife' you are FUNNY! You think any group so engaged couldn't figure that out without Joe's comments? So is Joe's home in DE any less obvious than another one in DC? I suggest you calm down so you can think clearly.

    November 6, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  10. mike from MD

    I love this guy so real and down to earth and im proud hes VP too Joe you deserve it buddy

    November 6, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  11. Uh huh

    Red, Red Whine – Thanks for making me laugh right out loud. Republicans are "worthless, lazy, hate filled slime"? Gee, that's sounds kind of hateful there Red – may I call you Red? Grin. If Republicans (and I'm actually a moderate Dem!) truly were lazy don't you think they'd be voting repeatedly for more and better welfare while the dems would be voting for less? For what it's worth, I agree with you that the last 8 years were terrible for this country but I'm not altogether sure that the next 4 are going to be any better with an inexperienced prez confronted by two wars and a tanked economy. He wants to raise taxes on the rich and give to the poor, some of whom are poor because they're just plain lazy! Do rich people become rich by not working and being lazy? Do you not remember the last time the dems were able to "do all the work by themselves"? It was the first two years of Bill Clinton's presidency (I voted for him both times by the way) and it was an absolute travesty that brought on a turnover to a republican congress at which point things REALLY started getting done. I think we're better off when we have opposite parties in the white house and congress (unless of course it's Bush and Pelosi/Reid/Frank, etc. who are all too partisan to get anything done and should ALL be kicked out). What say you, Red? Thanks for the laugh!

    For the sake of our children and our country, I just hope there are enough Democrats to do all the work by themselves, because it's obviious the republicans aren't going to do a darn thing to help in any way, which is par for the course.

    November 6, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  12. sandee in Portland

    Good lord you nay sayers, get a clue. Obama can't do anything about our economy or anything else until he is sworn in as President. Until then, Bush and only Bush is in charge. Just goes to show you that most of the anti-Obama bloggers know about as much as Palin does.

    November 6, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  13. Independent Dave, Iowa

    GO JOE, GO!

    "Delaware's governor will soon name a replacement Biden.".......Not bloody likely!

    November 6, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  14. Benz

    I look forward to listening to smart people in power.
    The Obama and Biden family will also be examplary of what families should be. Husbands who adores their wives and children will respect women. Jill Biden is awesome and Joe's smile captivating.
    America is back. Thank God.

    November 6, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  15. Matt Geddis

    Obama/Biden 2012!

    November 6, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  16. Fred

    Yes, He's the real Joe. Right on! Go Joe!

    November 6, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  17. Tiff of lithia springs



    November 6, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  18. Judy from PA

    What a mistake. Maybe he will vote to bomb Russia again like he did during the Cold War.

    November 6, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  19. Judy Zukoski, Barnesville, PA

    I, for one, love Joe Biden. He has gone through so much in life, personally, and displayed such strength of character. In the political arena, he has an incredible knowledge of domestic and international affairs. America is lucky to have him as the Vice-President-Elect!

    November 6, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  20. Karon

    He is so down to earth! Not like "I need new clothes" Palin!

    November 6, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  21. Olivia

    Rejected by the people for president.
    Tripped up when unmuzzled.
    Saved by a friend! Well, that's what friends are for.

    November 6, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  22. Canadian for Obama

    Anyone else notice that Palin's staff decorated her office all in blue?

    November 6, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  23. DE Kris

    Return Day in Delaware is just one of many things about Delaware that make it special. I'm happy to see it, and our state get some recognition.

    I had a feeling that Our Joe would show up, and it's just testament to the man that he would take the morning off from bigger duties to keep the tradition.

    We love the Bidens. We are proud that they will represent us. I've known since I voted for him in 1972 that he'd go far. The whole family has served this state well and I know he will serve the country well.

    And yes, Chatty Joe will say something that will be misconstrued. Get over it...we have.

    November 6, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  24. Sss

    Joe Biden is a likeable person, pure at heart, he can do no wrong. Obama and Biden will make a good team.

    November 6, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  25. trying to be reasonable in West Virginia

    As an Obama supporter, I'm delighted with his victory. As a centrist, I hope that Obama has the wisdom (I KNOW he has the intelligence) to be bold while simultaneously not over-reaching. He can't govern from the far-left any more than Bush/Cheney could govern from the right.

    MEANWHILE, if we Democrats wallow in gloating and trash-talking, we'll reveal ourselves to be no better than the Rovian Neanderthal knuckle-walkers we just defeated. Remember, many Republicans are very fine people–I know, I'm outnumbered by them where I live, and I love my state and its citizens. Everyone had better tone down the rhetoric (the election's OVER, dipsticks!) and settle down to the VERY difficult task of turning the country around. I think Obama will do well, but he faces an incredibly daunting task and cannot do it alone. He'll need to catch some good breaks (Bush 43 had lousy luck), and he'll need our cooperation.

    And yes, Joe Biden IS a good guy, if a bit of a motor-mouth. But I far, FAR prefer him to Darth Vader Cheney.

    November 6, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
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