The Spine

Biden's Other Virtue


I have to tell you that, with every occasion that I see or hear Joe Biden, my respect for him goes up...and up.  The Boston Globe reports this morning that "Biden (is) taking a distinctive approach to policy questions: complex answers."  But, actually, he has always been that way which should have made me more alert to him as a presidential candidate.  Not that I agree with him on everything.  Still, here is a very serious and knowledgeable thinker...and, as those of you who watched him at the Philadelphia debate, also a very funny one.  Oh, for real humor!  Yes, how about that crack about Giuliani.The fact is that I've known Biden for 35 years.  Or, rather, I knew Biden (briefly) 35 years ago.  Near the end of his first campaign for the U.S. Senate, he called me on the phone and said that he was running neck-and-neck with his incumbent opponent J. Caleb Boggs.  He needed money, and -- as I recall -- I sent him $12,000 (there were almost no restrictions at the time).  That was really a lot money in those days, particularly in a tiny state like Delaware, and he won.  I don't remember getting a thank you letter from him, and I can't find one in my admittedly disorganized files.Shortly after his first election, his wife and infant daughter died in a car crash.  Biden confessed to the public that he might not take up his Senate seat.  Many in the out-of-state peacenik constituency felt betrayed.  I wrote him to say that I thought he would be fully justified in devoting his time to his young sons rather than go to the Senate.No letter this time either.So here's another virtue.  This politician does not kow-tow to his contributors. 

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