Former Vice President Joe Biden is at the office of his Virginia home and draws framed pictures of his children from the bookshelves.
“This is my Beau”, he says when he catches a picture of his late son, Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015 at the age of 46 years. Der er andre billeder af Beau: med sin bror, Hunter; “Da Beau var jeg irak i et år i 2008, mens vi kørte”; and da he and his brother were teenagers with an 80-year-old Biden (brown hair, one more vintage shine in the eye).
The room is a sign of a full life: There are photographs on mantels and around the floor as well as a nice entertaining political cartoon. Der er endda en G.I. Joe Biden bobblehead, indskriften læsning, “Rid dig ikke med Joe.” “Ja,” bekræfter Biden med drengelig glæde: “Jeg har også bobbleheads!”
I meet Biden for the first time in his kitchen – he makes us both coffee from an espresso machine. Han er højere end du ville forvente (ca. 6 fod), mere slank og mere imponerende end hans Rockwellian “Onkel Joe” karikatur ville foreslå. Han er samtidig intim og statsmandlig, the rest from 44 years of public service is impossible to leave at the front door. (En ting der punkterer billedet, men: en teenevane at sige, “For ægte!”)
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Biden og kone Jill’s satellitbolig siden han forlod kontoret i januar, er langt nok væk fra D.C. for breathing, but close enough for them to reengage personally. Og reengagement er, hvor vi starter. Jeg hans memoir Lov mig, langt: Et år med håb, modgang og formål, Hvilken Comes out on November 14, Biden tells his life from 2014 to 2015. (He describes it as “from Beau’s diagnosis until I announced that I did not drive to president.”)
I have treated Biden’s son’s disease (which requires regular undercover visits at Beau at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center), while he was against a military crisis in Ukraine, meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and agreeing with the fact that Hillary Clinton would be his party nominated for president.
The book, sometimes often-often, often heartbreaking, describes the very human push-pull. “I want to put so many bad thoughts out of my heart,” says Biden. “The way I’ve treated my Beau is gone, thinking of him as the leader he was and the loving son he was smiling and strong.”
This filter also triggered mines for traumatic in order to remember clearly. Under the work with the book, Biden will talk to Beau in his last months, which did not come exactly as he had thought. Hunter var nødt til at minde synden langt om ved Beau var besat af “et rør, der gik ned i halsen i maven”. Biden breaks up and talks about it. “I just did not want to see him … I found my heart to play tricks on me. You do not want to see it. But I realized that time goes in both ways.”
And time brings another important question: After deciding not to run against Clinton for the democratic nomination last year, will Biden announce a campaign for president in 2020? “Se,” siger han langsomt. “I learned a long time ago, for the first three and a half years is two lives in presidential politics. And, secondly, healing my family. I’m sure other families have had this experience, but the loss of Beau was a devastating slagge. “
He takes a second picture of the two boys as children, taken shortly after Bida’s first wife, Neilia, and their baby daughter, Naomi, died in a car crash in 1972. “This is after [Neilia] died in the house we lived in, in Delaware. Beau and Hunter are one year and one day apart, and they had each other back in a way that is really unusual. Hunting was kind of Beau ribs. “
Beau fan tabte familien rudless. “Ca. fem måneder efter Beau passerede mit min barnebarn Naomi – there’s my love’s love, named after my late daughter – had a problem. She came to talk with me and said,” Pop, you know when Uncle Beau was here he would look at me and he would say, “honey, it will be okay”? “Det havde altid været min rolle i familien, og jeg indså, at Beau havde taget det på for sin generation. Then next day my daughter Ashley said the exact same words. Hun sagde: “Langt jeg savner Beauy så meget. Da han sagde:” It’s going to be ok, Ash, “I knew that would be.” “
Så jeg slutningen af 2017, at være OK er prioriteringer. “All healing. We can see how we all are, how we all feel.” In the book reveals, at his family (Beau in particular) had pushed him to run for nomination in 2016 before Beau’s disease would consume them. “De troede det ville give os mening, bringe os sammen.”
Biden is obviously aware that he has something to offer to the presidency. “I think, at this moment, American history fits into my strongholds and the forces I have. I am, I think most people would say, knowing about American foreign policy. I’m pretty good at diplomacy internationally and bring people together , cuts through and settles things. And I think of what people are looking for the most, and I hopes Jeg har det, er ægthed. I have good relations with my Republican colleagues. They trust me and I trust them. Vi kan arbejde ting igennem.
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“And,” he continues, “I think the crucial issue of our time preserves the middle class. You know when I came to Washington, they called me Middle Class Joe, and it was not supposed to be a compliment. middle class is the cause of our social and political stability. “
Han udånder. “Anyway, I’m familiar with the problems, and I think I could bring some talent there. So it’s not that I do not think I’m equipped to do the job. We just want to see.”
Biden har holdt Beau og Hunters billede hele tiden og endelig satte det ned. “Beau giver os noget at drømme om, håber på. Vi forsøger alle at gøre de ting, han ville have gjort. Nu, om det passer til at løbe [for præsident], om min helbred passer ind i min løb … Min helbred, tak Gud, er i god form. “With that, he smiles and gives a high blow to the training table.
Sorg has shone Bid’s life in a way that seems unmanageable to some. Han var kun 30 da han mistede Neilia og Naomi, så 13 måneder gammel. So with Beau’s death, he has survived not only a wife, but to his children. What he somehow managed to distill sadness and empathy even more because of it, achieving something of a tropper-in-chief quality.
Hvordan? “This is hard, but let me go back … I learned really soon after I lost my wife and daughter that I could be a lot of comfort for people who went through pain. After that, I would go to nogens vågne eller begravelse, and even family members who did not know me would run up, throw their arms around me and start crying like they have known me for years and years. “Of course, Biden also met people who would say Til Ham: “Jeg ved hvordan du føler.” Han sukker. “Du ved, det betyder det godt, men efter et stykke tid er det som:” You have no idea how hell I feel! “Det er utaknemmeligt af dig, men det er en tendens.”
What Biden has achieved – if there is anything to achieve – was an emotional stoicism. “Du finder dig selv at sige,” Nu står de stadig. How are they doing? “” Han fortæller råd fra en medkompetant: “Every day on your calendar, you should add a number, 1 to 10. You feel as bad as the moment you got the news, and 10 is the best day of your life. You have not somebody 10’er. Men tag it down every day, and after four months you have to look at it all. You find downsides are so far down, but they come farther and farther apart, and that’s when you know that du kan måske klare det. “
We are looking for low-level territory: How many have Biden given and received during its 75 years? “Åh Gud!” Hør han. “Jill fortæller mig undertiden at jeg er for nærig og forkert med mænd og kvinder. But i had a mother never walked within me without touching me. And she used to say,” Joey, if there is Something good you see about somebody, tell them. If there is a young woman or young man who has beautiful eyes, tell them that they have beautiful eyes! “So I think, I can bring some peace to other people.”
I bogen also writes Biden also about his 2008 decision, which was encouraged by Jill-til to accept Barack Obama’s offer to be his vice-runner-up comrade. (Da Biden fortalte hende: “I have never had a chef. How should I handle this?” She replied: “Come on, Joe. Wake up.”) He characterizes the position as a “really strange job.” What did he learn? “For ikke at utilsigtet forhindre præsidenten,” siger han. “The most sharp example that I did, was my coming for homosexual marriage [on Mød pressen i 2012]. I had to learn even when I agreed with him, I had to make sure I did not know what it was first. It took a long time to get used to not talking to the press about what I knew or thought would happen. “Bud åbenly blev ofte meget offentligt, mest berygtede, da præsident Obama underskrev den økonomiske omsorgslov i 2010, Biden was heard in his ear:” This is a big f-ing “Af hans” gaffes “griner Biden som en mand, der kender hans velsignelser og forbandelser.” Nobody ever doubt I mean what I say and say what I mean. For ægte! “
Obama og Bidens venskab er både politisk og internettet. When the man is being asked about the moment that defined the two as friends instead of colleagues, Biden replies, “Barack has always been very interested in my family and asked me,” Why did you do that? “” Hvordan gjorde du det? “Skete det?” Fordi her er en mand, der havde en temmelig frakoblet opdragelse. Min familie syntes på intrigere skinke. “Obama and Biden families grew so close that the Biden grandchildren and Obama’s daughters had a sleeper in the same hotel room at the 2008 Democratic Convention.
Obama blev også dybt investeret i Beau’s behandling. “Da Beau had what we thought was a stroke one year before it was diagnosed as cancer, Barack came down at a time and said,” Joe, is Beau OK? Joe, er han okay? ” Obama also offered financial assistance after Biden had considered selling his house to pay for treatment. “Barack var følelsesladet. Han sagde:” Joe, gør det ikke, gør det ikke! Du elsker det hus. Do not you I give you the money. ‘”
Han citerer Obama, der fortæller venner og medarbejdere: “Joe and I make up for each other’s weaknesses.” In fact, he represents many more of me than I do his. I’m a little more passive and obsequious than he is. Som han ville sige, “Mål til gange, skære en gang.” Mine er, “Se godt ud, og hvis du skal handle, handle!” “
Ved udgangen af deres andet syde var de to stjernede i en meget offentligt ombygget bromance. According to Biden, one of Obama’s favorite BFF jokes “when he made me a friendship bracelet.” Han chuckles. “I think the reason for the work is because no one has ever doubted the authenticity of the relationship. And by the way, we have also cried in fighting, but that’s what brothers do, that’s what friends do. They do not leave insults or evil go without supervision. “
Hvad angår Bids foretrukne virale øjeblik? “The video where he is on the sofa in the Oval Office, and there are 25 pairs of Ray-Bans. I put them on and say,” How does it look? “And he says,” Joe, they’re all the same! “And I would like to say, “I would like to be a witty gift – only to find that he was sent Ray-Bans all the time “Men, I like these!” Says about a shiny gold pair with clear lenses. “Great for reading!”)
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Post-White House, der er mindre læsningstid for Biden end man ville tro. Han er i øjeblikket professor ved University of Pennsylvania, som har udpeget et center for udenrigspolitik efter ham, og han er blevet bedt om at arbejde indenrigspolitik med et hold på Delaware University. Han og Jill forbliver “dybt involveret” i National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Moonshot og har etableret Biden Cancer Initiative. “I’m also involved in serious efforts dealing with the threat of Putin in Europe and European unity,” he explains. “And I’ve been traveling, working on policies … so I have a full record.”
Den største tilpasning af alle: Metabolisering af Trump administrationens prioritet for at vende alt Obama-Biden opnået. “Det er ikke, vi er som en nation,” siger Biden blunt. “This is not America, I know. When I saw what happened in Charlottesville, President Trump challenged everything I believe in the real existence of this country. I think it’s a blow to the soul of the nation.
“Min fars sætning var:” Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity, Joey, period. Period, “fortsætter Biden.” That’s why I have tried not to be critical of Trump and give him a year to get started. Mænd min troede virkelig, og det gør jeg også, at tavshed er medfølelse. Og for at være, når præsidenten gav hjælp til disse stemmer i vores samfund, der altid er blevet snakket ned … Anyone who believes that this will pass without a match is mistaken. There is no permanentity for civil rights. Der er ingen permanent demokrati. Du skal kæmpe for dem. “
Biden continues with details in US checks and balances before returning to the administration. “Se på, hvad disse fyre laver. De angriber pressen først. It’s the most dangerous stupid thing in the world. Then they will try to delegate courts. This is no coincidence – this is a strengthening of power. And it is done under people’s sheepskind They do not tell the people I come from. They do not give an enemy about the guy who has a secondary education and breaks his ass or the woman who is a waitress. Come on man! They’re not telling you. “
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To hear Biden’s tale as this has a visceral effect, just share motivational and distressing. Så det hjælper umådeligt, når han kalder sig optimist. “I think I know the American people.” We are better placed than any nation in the world. “We have the most productive workforce in the world.” We have the largest research universities in the world. “We have everything for us. We’ll just get up!”
So Biden will continue to preach decentness, honor his late son, and in good time yet, considering the presidency. “Min far havde et udtryk for virkelig,” husker han. “A lucky person stands up in the morning, puts both feet on the floor, knows what to do and thinks it still matters.” “
For more stories like this, download the December edition of Med stil, Available on newsstands and digital download on 10 November.
Fashion redaktør: George Cortina. Grooming af Juanita Dillard.