On that day when he stood for hours at the foot of the altar inside St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington greeting each of the hundreds who had come to pay tribute to his son, Beau Biden, the vice president of the United States had to wonder if the pain and heartache would ever stop. Nearly six years later Joe Biden, like so many others, deals daily with the forever fresh memory of loss simply by going to work, doing his job.
“My God, the suffering that guy has endured,” his friend, former Senator Bob Kerrey was saying yesterday. “He has suffered immensely and that’s given him a rare ability to truly understand the lives of so many he’s now going to lead.
“In a very real way he’s maybe our most American president since Harry Truman. He is uniquely American. He’s not a celebrity. He’s not some Ivy League hot-shot. He’s Joe,” Kerrey continued. “He’s Joe Biden. He used to finish up a day’s business in the Senate by grabbing his lunch bucket, well not a lunch bucket but he’d grab his briefcase, walk down to Union Station, get on the train and go home. Nearly every day. That’s a huge part of who he is. A working guy headed home at the end of the day.”