Vice President Joe Biden has a reputation for not taking himself too seriously; he has embraced the "meme-ness" of his time in office, pokes fun at himself, and seems to be a generally gracious guy. At the same time, he knows when to cut through the funny business and stand up for what's right. I'm going to miss the forthright, funny, and eloquent vice president (not to mention President Obama bestie), so I thought I would share the best Joe Biden quotes, to remind us all what it was like to have a genuinely good human being in the Oval Office.
Before he was the vice president of the United States, of course, Biden was a senator from Delaware, where he served for 36 years. He started out his career as a public defender who championed the rights of the poor and learned early on to say exactly what was on his mind, every time. Luckily for us, Biden never lost that forthright ability to stand up for what was right, which has made him one of the most quotable politicians the American people have seen in years. And let's face it; any man who can hold his own beside the charismatic Barrack Obama is pretty darn impressive.
Without further ado, here are just a handful of his best moments from over the past eight years:
On Being Vice President
In 2014, Biden told a group at the Harvard School of Politics,
Isn't it a bitch? This vice president thing?
He went on to clarify “That was a joke, that was a joke. Best decision I ever made. I’m joking. That was a joke.” But I bet sometimes, being vice president is kind of a bitch.
On The Supreme Court Vacancy
When Obama nominated federal appellate court Judge Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left when SCOTUS Judge Antonin Scalia died, Senate Republicans refused to meet with Garland. Biden's response was simple, and resounding:
Do your job.
Unfortunately, the Republicans didn't listen; Garland's nomination expired on Tuesday as the 115th Congress began session.
On Passing Obamacare
We all remember that passing the Affordable Care Act through the Senate was a massive undertaking for President Obama. As Obama was set to announce the legislation had passed, his friend Biden had probably the most apt quote to whisper in his ear:
This is a big f---ing deal.
Because it was.
On Donald Trump's Passion For Dictators
Back when the world still thought a Donald Trump presidency was a punchline, Vice President Biden offered us a little warning. Speaking at a rally for Hillary Clinton in Scranton, Pennsylvania over the summer, Biden noted Trump's troubling affinity for dangerous world leaders:
He's even showered praise on Saddam Hussein, one of the vilest dictators of the 20th century, a man who repeatedly backed terrorist attacks against Israel because he was supposedly, the reason he admires him is because he's a "killer of terrorists" -- that's why he likes Saddam. He would have loved Stalin. He would have loved Stalin.
During his speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Biden famously said:
Failure at some point in your life is inevitable, but giving up is unforgivable.
On Trump, Period
During an interview on PBS, Biden had this sage advice to give President-elect Donald Trump:
Grow up, Donald. Time to be an adult. You're president, you got to do something.
Bless, Joe Biden. Bless.
On Sexual Assault
Vice President Biden has been campaigning against sexual violence for decades; Back in 1994 he helped to create the Violence Against Women Act and in June 2016, Biden gave a rousing speech at the White House Women's Summit, saying exactly what needs to be said about sexual violence against women:
We will have succeeded when not a single woman who is violated ever, ever asks herself the question, "What did I do?" We will have succeeded when not one man who raises a hand or takes a violent action against a woman is able to say with any credibility in his own mind, "Well she deserved it."
On Ice Cream (Yes, Ice Cream)
Because he really loves ice cream. He told a crowd at Jeni's Ice Cream in Columbus, Ohio last May,
My name is Joe Biden, and I love ice cream. You all think I'm kidding — I'm not. I eat more ice cream than three other people you'd like to be with, all at once.
On President Obama
Biden has said so many wonderful things about his surprise friendship with President Obama over the years (the two didn't really know each other before entering the Oval Office, but their friendship has become Internet Epic since then). This quote, for me, says it all:
Happy 55th, Barack! A brother to me, a best friend forever.
Of course, the friendship bracelets he made for the two of them are just as amazing, so.
On The Presidential Medal Of Freedom
President Obama surprised his friend and running mate by awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday. A clearly emotional Biden accepted, and said:
This honor is not only well beyond what I deserve but it is a reflection of the extent and generosity of your spirit. I don’t deserve this but I know it came from the president’s heart.
As we prepare to say farewell to the Obama Administration, it's with a heavy heart. Who won't miss Vice President Joe Biden, with his wit and intelligence and general good nature?
I need an ice cream.