A Bond That Will Never Be Broken


George E. Condon Jr.: This Is How America Will Remember Barack Obama

Long after the last partisan battle has been fought over Obamacare, long after Barack Obama has settled into a comfortable post-presidency, and long after the last joke has been made about some Joe Biden verbal misstep, people will remember the moment when the always-in-control president struggled to control his emotions. They will remember the moment when president and vice president embraced in front of the altar and exchanged heartfelt kisses on the cheek. And they will remember how their hearts ached at this intimate glimpse of one family’s pain. In an age when so many political moments are scripted, this was real. In a country whose presidents and vice presidents have rarely been close, this was genuine closeness. In an administration that prides itself on being hip, this was decidedly old-fashioned love.

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) hugs Vice President Joe Biden during the funeral of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington

The funeral at St. Anthony’s was another highly personal moment for the president. White House aides have often tried to persuade reporters that this president and this vice president have a close bond. Just as often, reporters have voiced skepticism, aware of a two-century history of relationships ranging from open enmity to cool indifference between the men in the White House and their vice presidents. But more than six years into the presidency, it may be time to accept the claims as accurate. Even when Biden has misspoken or jumped the gun on positions, aides insist Obama harbored no anger at the vice president. “That’s just Joe being Joe,” they often say. “It’s part of who he is.” They always appreciated Biden’s loyalty and humanity. Saturday was a chance for the president to return that embrace. How he did it will be hard to forget.

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65 Responses to “A Bond That Will Never Be Broken”

  1. June 6, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    We’ll never see their like again.

  2. June 6, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    A really beautiful article, thank you so much for this Nerdy.

  3. June 6, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    As a Cuban, PBO kissing Uncle Joe spoke to me. It’s something we do all the time as men.

  4. 5 Nerdy Wonka
    June 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm

  5. June 6, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Can one imagine Cheney calling GWB his “brother”? Cheney is a soulless demon.

    • 7 hopefruit2
      June 6, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      …with a perpetual snarl to match.

    • 9 57andfemale
      June 6, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      I will always remember after the Challenger disaster there was a service and of course the Reagans presided (It was 1986). A widow of one of the astronauts turned spontaneously to Nancy Reagan and hugged her. Nancy’s initial reaction was revulsion, shock and distaste that one of these “ordinary” people would touch her.

      Mr. 57 and I looked at each other in abject horror that the First Lady’s response was so cold, so inhuman. A few pundits mentioned it but of course you didn’t show disrespect for the Reagans or question their carefully crafted persona. I will never forget it.

      And here we are in 2015 with two of the most authentic, honest politicians of our lifetime, and they won’t get the honest recognition of this deep love and sharing of deep loss.

      • 10 Dudette
        June 7, 2015 at 9:33 am

        I remember that, 57. It’s times like these that you can get a glimpse into a person’s soul. That confirmed for me who she was.

    • 11 No Child Left Behind
      June 6, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      I can hardly believe Cheney had a mother, let alone him calling anyone ‘brother’. And he passed those qualities to our Dear Liz Cheney.

      Good Evening TODVille.

      A bright light on the horizon: the invitation to LL’s wedding. But I’ll remember today and the grief of my VPOTUS and my POTUS.

  6. 12 amk for obama
    June 6, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    reporters have voiced skepticism.

    fuck’em. effing gop stenos.

    • 13 arapaho415
      June 6, 2015 at 11:48 pm

      Agree, amk.

      Two articles which circulated here (Bloomberg and WaPo) recently were written from the premise that President Obama is “aloof and arrogant.” Makes me want to spit.

      PBO is those things only in the MSM’s eyes, but they “report” as if it were true.

      Look at PBO’s spontaneity and unabashed joy at being around young people. Look at his tenderness when he gently cradles an infant. No one viewing those videos who believes their own eyes could describe his actions as “aloof and arrogant.”

      And MSM want their audience to believe that PBO and @VP are so different — I don’t think that’s the case. PBO takes everything into consideration, and that includes having his honest words twisted by the war-mongering, plutocrat-sponsored MSM. He deeply understands his current role from the perspective of the “Obama Doctrine” — multinational cooperation to improve and enhance the lives of all the world’s citizens — but he understands this foundation will not be built overnight.

      If/when Joe Biden is President he will have learned from PBO the restraint required when you are the President of the United States.

      Anyone with eyes can see that Nerdy Wonka is right — @POTUS and @VP share Irish roots, Irish blood and they truly are brothers, kin.

      • 14 taiping1
        June 7, 2015 at 1:24 am

        Politico also has a big article on how aloof PBO is and how distant the relationship with Merkel. Portrays him as ineffective on foreign policy. Typical GOP trash.

        • June 7, 2015 at 1:08 pm

          Good Lord, this is ridiculous. If the Beltway thinks that being “effective” on foreign policy means that the USA can dictate and bully every other country, they’re delusional. Barack Obama is working within the frame of a 21th century multilateral world. And he is doing a pretty damn GOOD JOB in providing leadership, creating partnerships, advancing diplomacy, motivating other countries to take their responsibilities, and on and on.

          I’m getting so tired of their BS.

  7. June 6, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    It’s a testament to Joe Biden that he saw the unique leadership qualities in Barack Obama and never tried to overshadow or eclipse him. And President Obama recognized the innate goodness of Joe enough to trust him as his partner and dear friend. Their love and mutual respect is something we have never seen in the highest office in the land. It’s one for the history books, to be remembered and savored as an example of how great our country can be.

  8. 18 MightyPamela
    June 6, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    {{{{{ TOD }}}}} It’s a wrap for MP. I pray for us all, who strive for peace, for compassion, for simple kindness and for the understanding that all life forms have the same basic needs. God bless the President and his Family, and the Vice President and his family, and bless that they are One. Goodnight. Thank you.

  9. June 6, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Oh, all… We just weep for the loss of goodness that was so obviously in Beau Biden, and for the goodness that we witnessed today in these two men, in their families, in all whom they loved. For any man – or woman – to stand in front of millions and say, so obviously from the heart, “We’re here because we love you,” is a great gift to all of us. And for our PRESIDENT to say that, with all the dignity of his office and all he represents for an entire nation, is a gift of such profound grace that I can am overwhelmed. (Remember, too, Sheryl Sandberg’s beautiful posts following the loss of her beloved husband… She, too, speaks from love, and from goodness.)

    If we take anything from this day, other than our broken hearts – and we SHOULD – may we always remember to be equally heartbroken by the loss of goodness wherever we see it – any time someone, or some group of people, is viciously maligned or scorned for who they are; any time people are harmed by thoughtlessness, ignorance, fear, or greed; any time someone in need is ignored; any time we have a chance to exercise our OWN goodness, and fail to do so. We should perhaps weep for that more than anything… And may we never let those losses go unremarked and unaddressed, and may we do everything we can to keep goodness in the forefront of our lives, and follow it as our guiding star, as long as we are on this planet.

    • 22 sherijr
      June 7, 2015 at 12:11 am

      What a wise and beautiful statement gatodicima.

    • 23 CEB
      June 7, 2015 at 6:52 am

      Thank you for this. I am taking it to heart and bookmarking it so that I can review your comments when needed in my quest to be uniquely human in the best sense of what that means.

    • 24 Dudette
      June 7, 2015 at 9:39 am

      Thank you for THAT gift of profound grace {{{{{ gatodicima }}}}}

  10. June 6, 2015 at 11:28 pm

  11. June 6, 2015 at 11:29 pm

  12. June 6, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    Listen, with the right wing racists, death threats and daily disrespect by pundits and some Democrats living in southern states, it comforts my heart that the Bidens and Obamas are close. True many regular people like us at TODville love the president but our love cannot always penetrate the bubble because it’s filtered by lying bastards pollsters and unprofessional corporate whoring media types.

    I love me some Bidens and Obamas, they are good people. My admiration for them is marrow deep.

    Chips and Nerdy thanks for the wall to wall coverage on this and other “family” topics. We are all Bidens and Obamas by proxy. Hillary better be ready cause we cannot be bought , not cheaply anyway!

  13. 28 JER
    June 6, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    JUNE 7, 2015 4:25 AM EDT

    • 29 vcprezofan2
      June 6, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      Be merciful, JER, 😉
      We don’t all have an Obama-like stamina. [Thanks tho.]

    • June 7, 2015 at 6:56 am

      Thanks so much, JER. Somehow, PBO looks wonderfully rested and ready for some fun. I love the way he just jumps in with joy and enthusiasm wherever he is.

  14. 31 vcprezofan2
    June 6, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    G’Night you all; this has been a really ‘full’ day!

    Thank you, Ms Chips for the gathering place! Thanks also for the thorough reportage. Both much appreciated.

    Thank you, all you gatherers! Your presence made the mourning less intense.

  15. 32 arapaho415
    June 6, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    As an addendum to my response to amk, re: Nerdy Wonka’s tweet about @VP and @POTUS being family…

    I don’t know Neila Hunter and Jill Jacobs’ (Joe Biden’s wives) heritage, but for the sake of argument, if they weren’t/aren’t Irish, then Barack Obama is pretty much as Irish as Joe’s children.

  16. 33 0388jojothecat
    June 7, 2015 at 12:12 am

    The picture of PBO and embracing VPOTUS with his two grandchildren, you can see the tear stained cheek of little Natalie. My heart aches for the entire Biden family. Those kids will grow up without their dad but at least they have uncle Hunter and Papa Joe to guide them. I am sure that was a great comfort for Beau knowing although he won’t be there for them his dad, brother and sister will.

  17. 35 JER
    June 7, 2015 at 12:22 am

    The President arrives Germany. Click here ► ► http://www.cbsnews.com/liveFeed/widget.shtml

  18. 40 jacquelineoboomer
    June 7, 2015 at 12:43 am

  19. 41 JER
    June 7, 2015 at 12:54 am

  20. 42 HZ
    June 7, 2015 at 1:00 am

    Truly a beautiful bond our POTUS and VPOTUS have for life. Thanks Chips for this beautiful place for all of us. May goodness, loving peace rest with the Bidens and our President. May wisdom, grace, and compassion continue to guide these two beautiful souls. Beau, may your light forever shine for all to see. HZ

  21. 44 JER
    June 7, 2015 at 1:04 am

    LIVE NOW: President Obama arrives at G7 Summit in Germany – http://www.cbsnews.com/liveFeed/widget.shtml

  22. 45 globalcitizenlinda
    June 7, 2015 at 1:07 am

    I looked at and read PBO’s schedule at the G7 meeting and I got quite dizzy!

    asking for a friend: do the people who put this schedule together realize that a day has a limited number of hours and the PBO is a human being who must have his wits by him at all times (for the sake of global peace)?

    I have never seen a POTUS work so hard and give his all to EVERY problem and event

    • 46 jacquelineoboomer
      June 7, 2015 at 1:18 am

      My grandmother would have said he just “lives right.” His stamina is unbelievable!

    • 48 Obama Grandmama
      June 7, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      Was it Reagan or GW that took a nap every day? I know of no other President that has had such a packed schedule. I believe it is PBO’s own doing as he wants to accomplish as much as he can while in office. Just look at his previous records in the US and IL Senates. His authoring and coauthoring record number of bills was telling.

  23. 49 JER
    June 7, 2015 at 1:14 am

    Good Night Everybody.

  24. 51 jacquelineoboomer
    June 7, 2015 at 1:23 am

    Ha. Me, too. Goodnight, everybody!

  25. June 7, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Posted the following …

    … before departing TOD to prepare dinner.

    Decided to add it to this thread as my ‘good night’ to the TOD community.

    NW, you bring so much goodness to this TOD Family and I will be forever grateful to experience it. TY

    From Ted Kennedy’s casket to Beau Biden’s to the horrific day that our dear President Obama had initially had to address the Nation about the slaughter of children and their loving teachers and administrators at Sandy Hook (and I could have added countless other images), he has been an infinite source of LOVE and SOLACE to those suffering irreparable loss – the immediate grieving families, and ALL of the aware and caring global humanity.

    I decided the 4th image had to be with children – the child relatives of other children and elders killed at Sandy Hook – as an affirmation of President Obama’s irrepressible spirit and gift of HOPE.

    good night TOD Family

  26. 56 globalcitizenlinda
    June 7, 2015 at 1:49 am

    PETA question and Dilemma: will PBO have to call the horse , American Pharaoh?

    I suspect he will call the jockey and the horse’s owners

      June 7, 2015 at 5:41 am


  27. 58 amk for obama
    June 7, 2015 at 2:06 am

    ’nuff said.

  28. 60 amk for obama
    June 7, 2015 at 2:12 am

  29. 61 amk for obama
    June 7, 2015 at 2:12 am

    June 7, 2015 at 5:38 am


  31. June 9, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    I know they will remain close.

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