January 3rd, 2013
06:04 PM ET
10 years ago

In the Old Senate Chamber it was pure Joe Biden

(CNN) - Like it or not, Vice President Joe Biden's personality was at full-force Thursday as he greeted senators and their families for their ceremonial swearing-in in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber on the first day of the new Congress.

Biden particularly turned up the charm with lawmakers' mothers, kissing plenty of cheeks and not going shy on the flattery.

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Republican Sen. John Barrasso's mom, Louise, especially hit it off with the vice president. As they posed for a photo, Biden pulled her by the waist to stand next to him.

"Take a chance, ruin your reputation here," he joked, sparking a wave of laughter among the family.

After they took a group photo, Biden leaned down and hugged the mother, bringing her closer to the photographers. "Would you take a picture of this quickly?"

As she laughed in his arms, Biden turned to Barrasso and said: "Now I got evidence."

"I'm 90 years old," she shot back, sparking more laughter.

"I'll tell you what, 20 years from now when I show my kids this picture, you will have to come and sign it," Biden said, before kissing her on the cheek.

The vice president also flashed a big grin when Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania walked up with his family. Referring to Casey's mother, Biden said: "Guys, other than my mother, this is the finest lady I've ever known."

According to the senator's office, Biden grew up on the same street as the Casey home in Scranton, Pennsylvania. As the family walked away, Biden stood alone with his hands clasped, "Anybody else want to be sworn in as a senator today?"

He continued to show the love with Republican Sen. Dean Heller's family. After one man in the group told Biden he has "a million dollar smile," the vice president stroked the cheek of Heller's mom, saying: "There is a lot to smile about today."

"You betcha," she responded.

One of the most talked-about moments of the day came when freshman Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's family posed for a photo with Biden. A photographer told the North Dakota Democrat's husband to drop his hands, and he did.

Not missing a beat, Biden compared the photographer to a TSA agent.

"Spread your legs; you are going to be frisked," Biden said, as they all stood still for the photo. "Drop your hands – you say that to somebody in North Dakota they think it is a frisk – drop your hands to the side, you know."

The vice president also had fun with some of the children who showed up. Speaking to freshman Sen. Chris Murphy's four year old son, Biden leaned down to ask his age.

"Hey handsome, how you doin? Good to see ya. How old are you, fourteen?"

After the child quickly corrected him, Biden put his hand to his forehead. "Oh I knew there was a four in there somewhere."

Biden also helped prod the Democrat's one year old baby to hold up his arm along with his dad for the swearing-in.

Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, brought his two young daughters along, both wearing red dresses. The youngest, a toddler, started crying when Biden picked her up.

"It's a Democrat, I know, but it's OK," said the vice president, hoping to calm her down.

Biden was also quick to compliment some body types. Another freshman senator, Tim Scott of South Carolina, didn't have kids with him but introduced the vice president to one man in the group, a command sergeant major in the Army.

"He looks like it," Biden joked. "If you need any help on your pecs, let me know."

- CNN's Virginia Nicolaidis and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: Joe Biden • Senate
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. judy

    Joe is and has always been a great guy. If we had more like him around we could all work together and get things done. The right makes fun of his gaffs but he has been around awhile and knows how things work. Honest and sincere he is one of the folks

    January 3, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  2. Matt in KY

    It is my belief that Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell could "dance" the Devil into a 99 year lease in hell to grow ice. We should send them both to Egypt and NK to knock those situation in a matter of days. With a combined 784 years of Senate experience, I, for one, never considered for a second that a deal wasn't coming. Gentleman, have a bourbon and congrats.

    January 3, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  3. Jules

    Pure Biden – gotta love the guy.

    January 3, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. Independent Thinker

    I know many people dislike Joe Biden, but I have to say the man has charisma. He is one of the old school style of politicians, who can and will reach across the aisle when needed. We need more like him in the house and senate.

    January 3, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  5. ted

    Joe Biden is a great vice president and has brought back to Washington over the past four years what VPs are supposed to do and be. Cheney was such a secretive manipulative arrogant pompous jerk.

    January 3, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  6. thecrud

    Now you know why a good Vice is important.

    January 3, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  7. mary

    I watched some of this today, and I don't care what tthe negative people will say about Joe Biden, I love the guy! He just loves people and he has no problem showing it. 'Tis his personaility but I think riding the train home every morning and every night back and forth from D.C. to Delaware when he was a Senator had to have honed his remarkable people skills. Now if only John Boehner, Cantor, and the President I voted for had those skills, maybe we could get through the next few months without the toxic atmosphere we've had to put up with these past few months. I fear not though.

    January 3, 2013 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  8. Robert

    What an embarrassing man. And wait until we all learn about all the pork in the bill just passed, that Ol' Joe pushed so hard for. If even CNN is talking about the pork on it, you know it has to be bad..

    January 4, 2013 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  9. Anonymous

    What's not to like about a VP with an outgoing and charming personality?? Unless of course you're a "jealous" Rethug.

    January 4, 2013 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  10. Gurgyl

    Joe the best. Happy new year, Joe!

    January 4, 2013 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  11. James Bond

    Please dont run this guy, clinton has a much better chance, i simply coulld not survive another bush administration, nor can the middle class

    January 4, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  12. Phil Brown

    Joe Biden is a good man. Deep down he understands the deficit. The Republicsns should cultivate their old relationships with Joe Biden. Something seriously has to be done about the deficit. Perhaps Joe Biden can wake this administration up to the horrible problem we face. Ironically, this is also President Obama's chance to have a transcendent Presidency. If he could get his partisans to drop the rancor, and listen, I think he would find that there are major deals possible in this Congress on the deficit,immigration reform, civil rights, and hopefully downsizing the military. But in order to reach these deals, the President and Harry Reid need to avoiding throwing those deals in the fire. Joe Biden could just save Obama and Reid from themselves. Thereby saving the Obama presidency and the country.

    January 4, 2013 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  13. bassman

    Vice President Joe Biden cracking a joke during Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's swearing in today, "Spread your legs, you're gonna be frisked!" CNN actually believes this is cute?

    January 4, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  14. Wake up People!

    I love VP Biden! He and President Obama are a great team.

    I hope he runs for POTUS in 2016. If so he can count on my support.

    January 4, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  15. calamity jane

    I LOVE JOE BIDEN! And all these people who are posting sour grapes just have no personality themselves so the green monster of jealousy is rearing its ugly head.

    January 4, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  16. calamity jane

    Joe is an authentic individual who came through a very hard time and can smile and laugh again – AND can make other people laugh as well. That alone commands much respect from me. And I even feel badly when Boehner cries because that is authentic as well. It seems he tries hard not to, but he holds many ideas to be very dear and personal to him and that's how he expresses it. I don't agree with his politics but he is at least human.

    January 4, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. Ferret out the BS

    Joe is the quintesessional politician, kissing babies and shaking hands. This is what it's all about.

    January 4, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  18. The NRA is a T e r r o r i st organisation....Arming Mentally Unbalanced People to Kill Innocent Children

    Hate him all you want, but Joe Biden is a GOOD GUY!

    We have to see the good in people and stop playing politics all the time!!!!

    January 4, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  19. Larry in Houston

    I really like Biden – but I doubt if he's going to be the one for 2016 – he's sincere & honest, and speaks from the heart. He' one of the good 'ol boys, that knows us former factory workers.He knows what real middle class is. People with a car in their carport or in their garage / 2 or 3 bedroom house / go to work everyday / take a packed lunch / come home to their Families everyday, send their kids to school / & etc. PLUS HE CAN BE BI – PARTISAN

    January 4, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  20. Sniffit

    If there's one thing Teatrolls don't like, it's REAL. Joe's REAL.

    You may now return to your regularly scheduled hivemind hate festival.

    January 4, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. deb0155

    Joe Biden may be a great guy to party with but let's face it folks - this country is in trillions of dollars of debt and that's no laughing matter. The American people are taking the hard hits on what the goofs in Washington did to us (and that is from both sides of the aisle), and all people can talk about is how much fun Joe Biden is. To think that the fiscal cliff bill that was just passed eliminated the payroll tax cut for working Americans so that the government could get more revenue and another $4 trillion dollars of pork was added to that same bill makes me vomit.

    Yes, it was a great day in Washington with the ceremonial swearing-in, but our government really needs to get down to business and stop the spending. Otherwise, we won't have a country.

    January 4, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  22. Wake up People!

    The payroll tax was temporary.....

    That means only for a limited time.

    January 4, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  23. sifto

    How naive all these people are to think JB is sincere...Yes, he is the guy you want at a party to keep the bad jokes going , but that is all..The disrespect he showed to Ryan in that debate was inexcusable–an old washed up guy taunting a young, smart, serious guy out of jealousy or whatever.....the smirking and guffaws should be reserved for cocktail parties...

    January 4, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  24. deb0155


    The payroll tax may have been temporary but it should have been retained under these very trying times for the American people, especially the middle class. But while you are telling people to wake up – you really missed the big picture – they added another $4 trilliion dollars of pork to that same bill while taking money away from the people. The government cannot keep telling the people that they need more money from them and then spend trillions of dollars on pork! That's not the way to solve the huge deficit this country is facing. And while the government keeps tapping out the people – the people stop spending which further brings down the economy. It's basic economics! Unfortunately for the American people, our politicians are not getting it!

    January 4, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |