Posts Tagged ‘jill biden

12
Jul
16

The President’s Day

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk to board Marine One on July 12, 2016 at the White House in Washington, DC, before departing for Dallas following the killing of five policemen by a sniper. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 12: First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama leave the White House and board Marine One on July 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. The Obamas are on their way to Dallas, Texas where the President will deliver remarks at an interfaith service at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center with the families of the fallen police officers and members of the Dallas community. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/WireImage)

First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama leave the White House and board Marine One

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama make their way to board Air Force One before departing for Dallas, Texas from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on July 12, 2016. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

US Vice President Joe Biden (L), receives a hug from First Lady Michelle Obama as US President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Dallas Love Field in Dallas, Texas on July 12, 2016. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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US President Barack Obama pauses speaks during an interfaith memorial service for the victims of the Dallas police shooting at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on July 12, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. President Barack Obama attended a somber memorial Tuesday to five police officers slain in a sniper ambush in Dallas, as he seeks to unify a country divided by race and politics. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama speaks during an interfaith memorial service for the victims of the Dallas police shooting at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on July 12, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. President Barack Obama attended a somber memorial Tuesday to five police officers slain in a sniper ambush in Dallas, as he seeks to unify a country divided by race and politics. / AFP / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama speaks during an interfaith memorial service for the victims of the Dallas police shooting at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas

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DALLAS, TX - JULY 12: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks during an interfaith memorial service, honoring five slain police officers, at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on July 12, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. A sniper opend fire following a Black Lives Matter march in Dallas killing five police officers and injuring 12 others. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

DALLAS, TX - JULY 12: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks during an interfaith memorial service, honoring five slain police officers, at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on July 12, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. A sniper opend fire following a Black Lives Matter march in Dallas killing five police officers and injuring 12 others. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Dignitaries join hands on stage during the singing of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" during an interfaith memorial service for the victims of the Dallas police shooting at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on July 12, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.President Barack Obama attended a somber memorial Tuesday to five police officers slain in a sniper ambush in Dallas, as he seeks to unify a country divided by race and politics. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

DALLAS, TX - JULY 12: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks during an interfaith memorial service, honoring five slain police officers, at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on July 12, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. A sniper opend fire following a Black Lives Matter march in Dallas killing five police officers and injuring 12 others. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

DALLAS, UNITED STATES - JULY 12: U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama attend a memorial service for the victims of the Dallas police shooting at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas, USA on July 12, 2016. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama pauses while speaking during an interfaith memorial service for the victims of the Dallas police shooting at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on July 12, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. President Barack Obama attended a somber memorial Tuesday to five police officers slain in a sniper ambush in Dallas, as he seeks to unify a country divided by race and politics. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama speaks during an interfaith memorial service for the victims of the Dallas police shooting at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on July 12, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. President Barack Obama attended a somber memorial Tuesday to five police officers slain in a sniper ambush in Dallas, as he seeks to unify a country divided by race and politics. / AFP / Mandel Ngan (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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DALLAS, UNITED STATES - JULY 12: U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Dallas Police Chief David Brown during a memorial service for the victims of the Dallas police shooting at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas, USA on July 12, 2016. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

First Lady Michelle Obama hugs Dallas Police Chief David Brown (2nd L) as US President Barack Obama hugs Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Chief James Spiller (R) during an interfaith memorial service for the victims of the Dallas police shooting at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on July 12, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. President Barack Obama attended a somber memorial Tuesday to five police officers slain in a sniper ambush in Dallas, as he seeks to unify a country divided by race and politics. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

13
Apr
16

Chat Away

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President Barack Obama attends a Summit of the Americas Leaders’ Dinner at Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, Cartagena, Colombia, April 13, 2012. Photo by Pete Souza

First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden and Martha Stewart drop by Operation Shower, a celebration for pregnant women whose husbands are service members, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 13, 2011. The event was part of the launch of Joining Forces, a national initiative to support and honor America's service members and their families. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House. 

First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden and Martha Stewart drop by Operation Shower, a celebration for pregnant women whose husbands are service members, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 13, 2011. The event was part of the launch of Joining Forces, a national initiative to support and honor America’s service members and their families. Photo by Chuck Kennedy

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Audience members embrace President Barack Obama after he spoke at the Port of Tampa in Tampa, Fla., April 13, 2012. Photo by Pete Souza

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President Barack Obama talks with, from left: Dan Restrepo, Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs; U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk; and Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis aboard Air Force One while en route to Tampa, Fla., April 13, 2012. Photo by Pete Souza

02
Mar
16

The President And First Lady’s Day

President Barack Obama walks form the stage after honoring the 2015-2016 College Football Playoff National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, March 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) escorts University of Alabama football head coach Nick Saban (L) to an East Room ceremony celebrating the team's 2015 college football championship at the White House March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

President Barack Obama and Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban

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President Barack Obama holds up an Alabama Crimson Tide football while welcoming the 2015- 2016 College Football Playoff National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide in the East Room of the White House

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President Barack Obama, center, gestures as he honors the 2015-2016 College Football Playoff National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, March 2, 2016. Also on stage is head coach Nick Saban, left. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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President Barack Obama shakes hands with from left, Alabama Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry, and teammates quarterback Jake Coker, offensive lineman Ryan Kelly and linebacker Reggie Ragland, as the president is given a football, jersey and helmet during a ceremony to honor the 2015-2016 College Football Playoff National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide football team in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, March 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Alabama Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry

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U.S. President Barack Obama greets the 2015 national collegiate football champions, the University of Alabama, with head coach Nick Saban (L) at the White House March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

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President Barack Obama pretends to throw a football during a ceremony honoring the 2015-2016 College Football Playoff National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide football team, Wednesday, March 2, 2016, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, . (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama walks though the audience after a ceremony to honor the 2015-2016 College Football Playoff National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, March 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden

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First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during a Women’s History Month reception in honor of women veterans on Capitol Hill. After being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed a joint resolution in 1987 which designated the month of March as Women’s History Month

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers present an American flag to retired Air Force Brigadier Gen. Wilma Vaught

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23
Sep
15

Welcome To The White House, Pontifex!

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) comments to Pope Francis as they watch from onstage as the "Old Guard" fife and drum corps marches past during an official welcome ceremony on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Barack Obama comments to Pope Francis as they watch from onstage as the “Old Guard” fife and drum corps marches past during an official welcome ceremony on the South Lawn at the White House

Pope Francis listens as President Barack Obama welcomes him during a state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Pope Francis listens as President Barack Obama welcomes him during a state arrival ceremony

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President Barack Obama walk out of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, to greet Pope Francis for a state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) listens as Pope Francis speaks during an arrival ceremony for the pope at the White House in Washington September 23, 2015. The pontiff is on his first visit to the United States. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama stands with U.S. bishops and members of the President Barack Obama's cabinet during an arrival ceremony for Pope Francis at the White House in Washington September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) greets Pope Francis upon his arrival at the White House in Washington September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Pope Francis watch onstage as the "Old Guard" fife and drum corps marches past during an official welcome ceremony on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

President Barack Obama leans over to talk to Pope Francis during a state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Pope Francis wave to the crowd on South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Pope Francis wave to the 11,000 people on South Lawn of the White House

President Barack Obama points out some of the highlights on the Washington Mall to Pope Francis from the Truman Balcony of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 during a state arrival ceremony. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) looks back at Pope Francis as he delivers remarks upon the pontiff's arrival at the White House in Washington September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Pope Francis after this welcoming speech during the state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

U.S. President Barack Obama applauds with Pope Francis (L) as the pontiff is welcomed to the White House during a ceremony in Washington September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Barack Obama (R), first lady Michelle Obama, and Pope Francis wave from a balcony during an official welcoming ceremony held at the White House in Washington September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama stands with Pope Francis (L) as the pontiff is welcomed to the White House during a ceremony in Washington September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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President Barack Obama talks with Pope Francis in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Barack Obama and Pope Francis, accompanied by Msgr. Mark Miles, the English translator for the Pontiff, walk down the Colonnade before meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Barack Obama and Pope Francis, accompanied by Msgr. Mark Miles, the English translator for the Pontiff, walk down the Colonnade

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) smiles with Pope Francis in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington September 23, 2015. The pontiff is on his first visit to the United States. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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22
Sep
15

Benvenuto Pope Francis!

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President Barack Obama greets Pope Francis upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Md

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U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama (2ndR) and their daughters, Malia (L) and Sasha, welcome Pope Francis to the United States upon his arrival at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington September 22, 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

First Lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama and their daughters, Malia and Sasha, welcome Pope Francis to the United States

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) welcomes Pope Francis to the United States as the Pontiff greets dignitaries upon his arrival at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington September 22, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama greet Pope Francis upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama watch as Pope Francis motorcade departs Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Pope Francis talks to President Barack Obama as he was greeted by four children after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. The Pope is spending three days in Washington before heading to New York and Philadelphia. This is the Pope's first visit to the United States. First lady Michelle Obama is at right. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama smile as they walk with Pope Francis upon the Pontiff's arrival at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington September 22, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Pope Francis, left, greets children as he is escorted by President Barack Obama, center, and first lady Michelle Obama, right, after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. The Pope is spending three days in Washington before heading to New York and Philadelphia. This is the Pope's first visit to the United States. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

First lady Michelle Obama, accompanied by President Barack Obama, greet Pope Francis upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Continue reading ‘Benvenuto Pope Francis!’

06
Jun
15

The President’s Eulogy In Honor of Beau Biden

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“A man,” wrote an Irish poet, “is original when he speaks the truth that has always been known to all good men.”  Beau Biden was an original.  He was a good man.  A man of character.  A man who loved deeply, and was loved in return.

Your Eminences, your Excellencies, General Odierno, distinguished guests; to Hallie, Natalie and Hunter; to Hunter, Kathleen, Ashley, Howard; the rest of Beau’s beautiful family, friends, colleagues; to Jill and to Joe — we are here to grieve with you, but more importantly, we are here because we love you.

Without love, life can be cold and it can be cruel.  Sometimes cruelty is deliberate –- the action of bullies or bigots, or the inaction of those indifferent to another’s pain.  But often, cruelty is simply born of life, a matter of fate or God’s will, beyond our mortal powers to comprehend.  To suffer such faceless, seemingly random cruelty can harden the softest hearts, or shrink the sturdiest.  It can make one mean, or bitter, or full of self-pity.  Or, to paraphrase an old proverb, it can make you beg for a lighter burden.

But if you’re strong enough, it can also make you ask God for broader shoulders; shoulders broad enough to bear not only your own burdens, but the burdens of others; shoulders broad enough to shield those who need shelter the most.

To know Beau Biden is to know which choice he made in his life.  To know Joe and the rest of the Biden family is to understand why Beau lived the life he did.  For Beau, a cruel twist of fate came early –- the car accident that took his mom and his sister, and confined Beau and Hunter, then still toddlers, to hospital beds at Christmastime.

But Beau was a Biden.  And he learned early the Biden family rule:  If you have to ask for help, it’s too late.  It meant you were never alone; you don’t even have to ask, because someone is always there for you when you need them.

And so, after the accident, Aunt Valerie rushed in to care for the boys, and remained to help raise them.  Joe continued public service, but shunned the parlor games of Washington, choosing instead the daily commute home, maintained for decades, that would let him meet his most cherished duty -– to see his kids off to school, to kiss them at night, to let them know that the world was stable and that there was firm ground under their feet.

As Joe himself confessed to me, he did not just do this because the kids needed him.  He did it because he needed those kids.  And somehow, Beau sensed that -– how understandably and deeply hurt his family and his father was.  And so, rather than use his childhood trauma as justification for a life of self-pity or self-centeredness, that very young boy made a very grown-up decision:  He would live a life of meaning.  He would live a life for others.  He would ask God for broader shoulders.

Beau would guide and look out for his younger brother.  He would embrace his new mom –- apparently, the two boys sheepishly asking their father when they could all marry Jill -– and throughout his life, no one would make Jill laugh harder.  He would look after their baby sister, Ashley.  He would forever be the one to do the right thing, careful not to give his family or his friends cause for concern.

It’s no secret that a lot of what made Beau the way he was was just how much he loved and admired his dad.  He studied law, like his dad, even choosing the same law school.  He chased public service, like his dad, believing it to be a noble and important pursuit.  From his dad, he learned how to get back up when life knocked him down.  He learned that he was no higher than anybody else, and no lower than anybody else –- something Joe got from his mom, by the way.  And he learned how to make everybody else feel like we matter, because his dad taught him that everybody matters.

He even looked and sounded like Joe, although I think Joe would be first to acknowledge that Beau was an upgrade — Joe 2.0.  (Laughter.)  But as much as Beau reminded folks of Joe, he was very much his own man.  He was an original.

Here was a scion of an incredible family who brushed away the possibility of privilege for the harder, better reward of earning his own way.  Here was a soldier who dodged glory, and exuded true humility.  A prosecutor who defended the defenseless.  The rare politician who collected more fans than foes, and the rarer public figure who prioritized his private life above all else.

Beau didn’t cut corners.  He turned down an appointment to be Delaware’s attorney general so he could win it fair and square.  When the field was clear for him to run for the Senate, he chose to finish his job as A.G. instead.  He didn’t do these things to gain favor with a cynical public –- it’s just who he was.  In his twenties, he and a friend were stopped for speeding outside Scranton.  And the officer recognized the name on the license, and because he was a fan of Joe’s work with law enforcement he wanted to let Beau off with a warning.  But Beau made him write that ticket.  Beau didn’t trade on his name.

After 9/11, he joined the National Guard.  He felt it was his obligation -– part of what those broader shoulders are for.  He did his duty to his country and deployed to Iraq, and General Odierno eloquently spoke to Major Biden’s service.  What I can tell you is when he was loading up to ship out at Dover, there was a lot of press that wanted to interview him.  Beau refused.  He was just another soldier.

I saw him when I visited Iraq; he conducted himself the same way.  His deployment was hard on Hallie and the kids, like it was for so many families over the last 14 years.  It was hard on Joe, hard on Jill.  That’s partly why Jill threw herself into her work with military families with so much intensity.  That’s how you know when Joe thunders “may God protect our troops” in every speech he does, he means it so deeply.

Like his father, Beau did not have a mean bone in his body.  The cruelty he’d endured in his life didn’t make him hard, it made him compassionate, empathetic.  But it did make him abhor bullies.

Beau’s grandfather, Joe’s father, believed that the most egregious sin was to abuse your power to inflict pain on another.  So Beau squared his broad shoulders to protect people from that kind of abuse.  He fought for homeowners who were cheated, seniors who were scammed.  He even went after bullying itself.  He set up a Child Protector — Predator Task Force, convicted more than 200 of those who targeted vulnerable children.  And in all this, he did it in a way that was alive to the suffering of others, bringing in experts to help spare both the children and their parents further trauma.

That’s who Beau was.  Someone who cared.  Someone who charmed you, and disarmed you, and put you at ease.  When he’d have to attend a fancy fundraiser with people who took themselves way too seriously, he’d walk over to you and whisper something wildly inappropriate in your ear.  (Laughter.)  The son of a senator, a Major in the Army, the most popular elected official in Delaware –- I’m sorry, Joe –- (laughter) — but he was not above dancing in nothing but a sombrero and shorts at Thanksgiving if it would shake loose a laugh from the people he loved.  And through it all, he was the consummate public servant, a notebook in his back pocket at all times so he could write down the problems of everyone he met and go back to the office to get them fixed.

Because he was a Biden, the titles that come with family -– husband, father, son, brother, uncle -– those were the ones Beau valued above any other.  This was a man who, at the Democratic National Convention, didn’t spend all his time in backrooms with donors or glad-handing.  Instead, he rode the escalators in the arena with his son, up and down, up and down, again and again, knowing, just like Joe had learned, what ultimately mattered in life.

You know, anyone can make a name for themselves in this reality TV age, especially in today’s politics.  If you’re loud enough or controversial enough, you can get some attention.  But to make that name mean something, to have it associated with dignity and integrity –- that is rare.  There’s no shortcut to get it.  It’s not something you can buy.  But if you do right by your children, maybe you can pass it on.  And what greater inheritance is there?  What greater inheritance than to be part of a family that passes on the values of what it means to be a great parent; that passes on the values of what it means to be a true citizen; that passes on the values of what it means to give back, fully and freely, without expecting anything in return?

That’s what our country was built on –- men like Beau.  That’s who built it –- families like this.  We don’t have kings or queens or lords.  We don’t have to be born into money to have an impact.  We don’t have to step on one another to be successful.  We have this remarkable privilege of being able to earn what we get out of life, with the knowledge that we are no higher than anybody else, or lower than anybody else.  We know this not just because it is in our founding documents, but because families like the Bidens have made it so, because people like Beau have made it so.

He did in 46 years what most of us couldn’t do in 146.  He left nothing in the tank.  He was a man who led a life where the means were as important as the ends.  And the example he set made you want to be a better dad, or a better son, or a better brother or sister, better at your job, the better soldier.  He made you want to be a better person.  Isn’t that finally the measure of a man -– the way he lives, how he treats others, no matter what life may throw at him?

We do not know how long we’ve got here.  We don’t know when fate will intervene.  We cannot discern God’s plan.  What we do know is that with every minute that we’ve got, we can live our lives in a way that takes nothing for granted.  We can love deeply.  We can help people who need help.  We can teach our children what matters, and pass on empathy and compassion and selflessness.  We can teach them to have broad shoulders.

To the Biden family, this sprawling, intimate clan –- I know that Beau’s passing has left a gaping void in the world.  Hallie, I can only imagine the burdens that you’ve been carrying on your shoulders these past couple of years.  And it’s because you gave him everything that he could give everything to us.  And just as you were there for him, we’ll be there for you.

To Natalie and Hunter –- there aren’t words big enough to describe how much your dad loved you, how much he loved your mom.  But I will tell you what, Michelle and I and Sasha and Malia, we’ve become part of the Biden clan.  We’re honorary members now.  And the Biden family rule applies.  We’re always here for you, we always will be — my word as a Biden.  (Laughter.)

To Joe and Jill –- just like everybody else here, Michelle and I thank God you are in our lives.  Taking this ride with you is one of the great pleasures of our lives.  Joe, you are my brother.  And I’m grateful every day that you’ve got such a big heart, and a big soul, and those broad shoulders.  I couldn’t admire you more.

I got to know Joe’s mom, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden, before she passed away.  She was on stage with us when we were first elected.  And I know she told Joe once that out of everything bad that happens to you, something good will come if you look hard enough.  And I suppose she was channeling that same Irish poet with whom I began today, Patrick Kavanagh, when he wrote, “And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.”

As hard as it is right now, through all the heartache and through all the tears, it is our obligation to Beau to think not about what was and what might have been, but instead to think about what is, because of him.  Think about the day that dawns for children who are safer because of Beau, whose lives are fuller, because of him.  Think about the day that dawns for parents who rest easier, and families who are freer, because of him.  Some folks may never know that their lives are better because of Beau Biden.  But that’s okay.  Certainly for Beau, acclaim was never the point of public service.

But the lines of well-wishers who’ve been here all week — they know.  The White House mailroom that’s been overflowing with letters from people — those folks know.  The soldiers who served with Beau, who joined the National Guard because of him.  The workers at Verdi’s who still have their home because of him, and who thanked him for helping them bus tables one busy night.  The students in Newark who remember the time he talked with them for hours, inexhaustible, even after giving a speech, even after taking his National Guard fitness test.  The Rehoboth woman who’s saved a kind voicemail from him for five years, and wrote to say “I loved the way he loved his family.”  And the stranger who wrote from halfway across this great country just to say, “The only thing we can hope for is that our children make us proud by making a difference in the world.  Beau has done that and then some.  The world noticed.”

Jill, Joe, Hallie, Hunter and Natalie — the world noticed.  They noticed.  They felt it, his presence.  And Beau lives on in the lives of others.  And isn’t that the whole point of our time here?  To make this country we love fairer and more just, not just for Natalie and Hunter, or Naomi, or Finnegan, or Maisy, or Malia, or Sasha, but for every child?  Isn’t that what this amazing journey we’ve been on is all about -– to make life better for the next generation?

Beau figured that out so early in life.  What an inheritance Beau left us.  What an example he set.

“Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.  “But, above all, we have learned that whether a man accepts from Fortune her spade, and will look downward and dig, or from Aspiration her axe and cord, and will scale the ice, the one and only success which it is his to command is to bring to his work a mighty heart.”

@PeteSouza

Beau Biden brought to his work a mighty heart.  He brought to his family a mighty heart.  What a good man.  What an original.

May God bless his memory, and the lives of all he touched.

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04
Jun
15

The Biden Family Pays Their Respects

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Dr. Jill Biden comforts Vice President Joe Biden during a viewing for their son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden at Legislative Hall in Dover, Delaware. Standing with Dr. Biden are Beau Biden’s widow, Hallie, and granddaughter Natalie

An honor guard carries a casket containing the remains of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden as members of the Biden family, left, look on, Thursday, June 4, 2015, before a viewing at Legislative Hall in Dover, Del. Biden, the vice president's eldest son, died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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An honor guard carries the casket containing the remains of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden

Vice President Joe Biden, bottom center, leads his family to a viewing for his son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Legislative Hall in Dover, Del. Walking alongside Biden are his granddaughter Natalie, from bottom left, daughter-in-law Hallie, grandson Hunter and wife Jill. Beau Biden died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

Vice President Joe Biden and his family arrive for the viewing of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden at Legislative Hall before a viewing in Dover, Del. Biden, the vice president's eldest son, died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46.  (Jason Minto/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP)  NO SALES

Vice President Joe Biden consoles Hallie Biden wife of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden before a viewing at Legislative Hall in Dover, Del. Biden, the vice president's eldest son, died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46.  (Jason Minto/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP)  NO SALES

Vice President Joe Biden comforts Beau Biden’s wife, Hallie Biden

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Vice President Joe Biden comforts his granddaughter Natalie

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Vice President Joe Biden lays his hand on his son’s casket

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Jacqueline OBoomer

As our thoughts go with the Bidens …

People make the father smile
One heart to another heart
Helps him walk another mile
Briefly helps his tears depart

The loving son has gone on first
A proud family waves farewell
He was here but for a time
Until he heard the angel’s bell

Now they know they all can cling
To each other’s hands, not alone
Later they’ll smile in the knowing
God just called their loved one home

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A long line of mourners wait to pay their respects to the Biden family

Vice President Joe Biden, left, hugs a mourner as they stand near a casket containing the remains of Biden's son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, during a viewing, Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Legislative Hall in Dover, Del. Beau Biden died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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Governor Jack Markell speaks at the viewing of Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III in the Senate Chambers at Legislative Hall in Dover

Vice President Joe Biden, left, greets mourners near a casket containing the remains of Biden's son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, during a viewing, Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Legislative Hall in Dover, Del. Beau Biden died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

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Governor Jack Markell holds a military medal awarded to Beau Biden

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Firefighters create a flag arch for Beau Biden’s procession in Dover

People stand on line next to a family portrait of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden during a viewing for Biden on Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Legislative Hall in Dover, Del.   Beau Biden died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46.  (Jason Minto/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP)  NO SALES

08
May
15

The President And First Lady’s Day

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President Barack Obama speaks to Nike Employees and other Oregonians at Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. The President spoke about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pacts which include the U.S. in a trade agreement with 11 other nations

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U.S. President Barack Obama greets employees as he arrives to deliver remarks on trade at Nike's corporate headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon May 8, 2015. Sports shoe maker Nike Inc put its weight behind Obama's push for a trade deal with Asian countries on Friday with a promise to create up to 10,000 U.S.-based manufacturing jobs if the pact is approved.    REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he arrives to deliver remarks on trade at Nike's corporate headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon May 8, 2015. Sports shoe maker Nike Inc put its weight behind Obama's push for a trade deal with Asian countries on Friday with a promise to create up to 10,000 U.S.-based manufacturing jobs if the pact is approved.     REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

U.S. President Barack Obama high-fives employees after his remarks on trade at Nike corporate headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon May 8, 2015. Obama on Friday pressed fellow Democrats to support his push for a trade deal with Asian countries, promoting the benefits he sees as attainable in a visit to sneaker maker Nike Inc, which promised the pact would help it create up to 10,000 U.S. jobs. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Barack Obama takes off his coat after his remarks on trade at Nike corporate headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon May 8, 2015. Obama on Friday pressed fellow Democrats to support his push for a trade deal with Asian countries, promoting the benefits he sees as attainable in a visit to sneaker maker Nike Inc, which promised the pact would help it create up to 10,000 U.S. jobs. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Barack Obama high-fives a boy in the audience after his remarks on trade at Nike corporate headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon May 8, 2015. Obama on Friday pressed fellow Democrats to support his push for a trade deal with Asian countries, promoting the benefits he sees as attainable in a visit to sneaker maker Nike Inc, which promised the pact would help it create up to 10,000 U.S. jobs. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

President Barack Obama high-fives a little boy after his remarks on trade at Nike corporate headquarters

U.S. President Barack Obama bids farewell to employees after his remarks on trade at Nike corporate headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon May 8, 2015. Obama on Friday pressed fellow Democrats to support his push for a trade deal with Asian countries, promoting the benefits he sees as attainable in a visit to sneaker maker Nike Inc, which promised the pact would help it create up to 10,000 U.S. jobs. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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First lady Michelle Obama, right, joined by Jill Biden speaks to an audience of mothers and children during their annual Mother’s Day Tea to honor military-connected mothers at the White House in Washington, Friday, May 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

First Lady Michelle Obama, joined by Dr. Jill Biden speaks to an audience of mothers and children during their annual Mother’s Day Tea to honor military-connected mothers at the White House

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First lady Michelle Obama poses for a selfie with Hannah Bajakian during the annual Mother’s Day Tea to honor military-connected mothers at the White House in Washington, Friday, May 8, 2015. Hannah's father, Todd Bajakian, leads the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Drum, N.Y. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

First lady Michelle Obama reacts as a little girl gives her a gift during the annual Mother’s Day Tea to honor military-connected mothers at the White House in Washington, Friday, May 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

First Lady Michelle Obama reacts as a little girl gives her a gift

Continue reading ‘The President And First Lady’s Day’

30
Apr
15

Changing The Conversation On Mental Health

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Watch FLOTUS and SLOTUS May 4th on The Night Shift

17
Apr
15

The President And First Lady’s Day

Barack Obama, Matteo Renzi

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Obama welcomes Renzi before their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington

 President Barack Obama welcomes Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi before their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House

Obama speaks with Renzi at the start of their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington

Barack Obama, Matteo Renzi

U.S. President Obama listens during joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Renzi at the White House in Washington

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Barack Obama, Matteo Renzi

 President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The two leaders spoke on a range of issues, including Ukraine, Libya and Islamic State militants

Barack Obama, Matteo Renzi

U.S. President Obama and Italian Prime Minister Renzi listen to a question during joint news conference at the White House in Washington

U.S. President Obama addresses joint news conference at the White House in Washington

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Barack Obama

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U.S. President Obama greets Italian Prime Minister Renzi after their joint news conference at the White House in Washington

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Barack Obama, Matteo Renzi

President Barack Obama greets poet laureate Elizabeth Alexander during an event in the State Dining Room at the White House. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the event in celebration of National Poetry Month

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Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Alexander

First Lady Michelle Obama attends an event in celebration of National Poetry Month

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Poet laureate Elizabeth Alexander gives a poetry reading in the State Dining Room of the White House

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Obama arrives to deliver opening remarks at a poetry reading by Alexander, in honor of National Poetry Month, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington

Barack Obama

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Obama waves to students sitting behind her as she arrives for a poetry reading by Alexander, in honor of National Poetry Month, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington

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Barack Obama, Elizabeth Alexander

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Barack Obama




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