Biden’s big Irish American family is becoming part of the scene now that he's at the White House, with his children, grandchildren providing the kind of grounding that has served him during a lifetime of public service. (April 27)
JOE BIDEN: In our family, the values we share, the character we strive for, the way we view the world, it all comes from home. It all comes from Delaware.
CHRIS COONS: Joe really reflects Delaware well. His views, his values, his priorities, his politics are very much rooted in what we call the Delaware way. Of course, he wants to be with his grandkids. He wants to be in the place that has supported, and sustained, and nurtured and for decades of public service.
It's a state where folks know each other. It's a state of neighbors, a place where people find a way to get along. And he has several grandchildren that live less than a mile from his home in Delaware. So I think it's a way for him to recharge and refresh, to reconnect with his family, to go to mass at St. Joseph's on the Brandywine, to spend some time working through the very hard decisions in the week ahead.
He's got a phone that his kids or grandkids, his immediate family, call. And any time that phone rings, he's up. And he's out of the meeting. That's happened with me in the room several times. He always wants to make sure that he's available. And he never says, hey, I'm in the middle of something important, can I call you back? He's just up and answering that call.
And that's the way he's been for decades. And that sort of presence, that sort of engagement, is an important part of how he stays connected to his family. But Joe and Jill are also folks who love being playful, who love being present. Sometimes, at the vice presidential residence, when he was vice president, he'd have his grandkids and their friends over. And they'd, you know, chase each other around the pool with Super Soakers or play family games on the lawn.
Joe and Jill have a sense of joy and of open heartedness that comes even more abundantly clear when they're in the presence of their grandchildren.
JONATHAN RUSS: I think the fact that he calls his son and grandchildren every evening, even after a busy day, this is not surprising at all. This is clearly who Joe Biden is. Here he is, president of the United States, arguably the most powerful person on Earth. And, yet, this is how important family is to him, that, at the end of a busy day, that he still takes the time to make that call and reach out to them.
And I'm sure that this is comforting to his own being as well.
CHRIS COONS: If we're honest with ourselves, all of our families have challenges, fissures, difficulties. All of us can see ourselves in the Biden family. They're a very real, very American, very human family, dedicated to service, but also intensely dedicated to each other.