My Joe Biden Story

Lots of people have been sharing their Joe Biden stories today, so I thought I’d share my own real quick.

It was 2007. I was just out of high school and helping then-Senator Obama’s Presidential run (I was an intern or something, I can never remember.) Joe Biden came to Omaha to sell his book during the campaign. It was a small gathering at a local bookstore. Probably 20–30 people there all together. I got to meet him and Jill Biden. He told an awesome story about his mother making cufflinks for him out of nuts and bolts (it’s in his book, if you’re looking for some good reading.)

I walked up to him, and he asked me my name, my story — we talked for about 5–10 minutes before he had to move on. It was really awesome. He signed a copy of his book for me to a “Fellow Scranton Man.” (My parents are from Scranton.) Joe Biden was probably the first really important person I ever met. He told me to keep working hard, and I’d get my chance to make it in politics. He was right. I figured I’d never see him again in person.

Then, a few weeks later at the Tom Harkin Steak Fry in Iowa, I was leaving with a bus full of people from the county party, and Joe Biden came over to say hello to our crowd. Again, pretty cool — but when he gets to me he gets all excited and says “Hey! Mike from Omaha, right!?” I was stunned, and always so touched that someone like Joe Biden remembered my name (and yes, I wasn’t wearing a name tag!) He put his arm around me, asked how I was, asked if I was voting for him (I wasn’t, but I really wanted to!) It was also the same day I got a hug from Hillary Clinton, which is another good story I like to tell when I’m bragging about how cool my life can be every now and again.

It was one of those defining moments for me that I’ll write about in my memoirs someday (which will only be read by my wife, probably.) The fact that someone like Joe Biden remember my mine and a little bit about who I was in the midst of a Presidential campaign really left an impression on me, and I think it was one of those things that helped drive me to keep working in politics when things didn’t go my way (which was almost always all the time for a little while there.)

So thank you Joe Biden. For your service to this country, to President Obama, and for remembering an 18-year-old kid from Omaha back in 2007. God bless.

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