Sunday, November 25, 2007

Biden's Heartache

I've never had much use for Democratic presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden. I simply can't get past his plagiarism.

Nevertheless, I found this article by the Des Moines Register's Abby Simons very moving:

But ask him about that day in December 1972, a week before Christmas, six weeks after he was elected to the U.S. Senate at age 29. Ask him about when a drunk driver slammed into a car his family was riding in, killing his wife, Neilia, and 13-month-old, Naomi, and leaving sons Beau and Hunter hospitalized for months.

Then he does something very un-Biden-esque. He clams up.

"I just don't ... it's hard to talk about. It's just hard ..." Biden trails off, pauses for several seconds, and clears his throat. His wife, Jill, looks on patiently.

"Whenever you talk about it, you relive it. It doesn't matter whether it was a day ago, a month ago or, in my case now, 34 years ago."

[. . .]

He's a senator who has more than once been called a braggart, yet now speaks in passing - if at all - of the wreck that could have put his life in shambles. Nor does he speak of the brain aneurysms that nearly killed him weeks after he dropped out of the 1988 presidential race following accusations that he used plagiarized portions of a campaign speech. The dropout was a blessing in disguise, said Biden's wife, Jill, whom he married in 1977. Reaching the top may have killed him, as the aneurysm occurred the day before the New Hampshire primary.

[. . .]

"If this doesn't work, look at what we have," Jill Biden said. "We have a great marriage, we have wonderful kids and grandchildren, we have our health. It's not like 'Oh God, this is going to affect us, we have a really positive attitude about new directions, new things to do. The whole family obviously thinks Joe should be our next president. But if it doesn't work, we're happy."
Read the whole thing.

No comments: