Politics

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Remember When Joe Biden Adorably Swore A Toddler Into The Senate?

Sen. Chris Murphy's 1-year-old proudly held his little hand up during his father's ceremony.

Sometimes the news of the day reminds us of the news of yesterday. At least, that’s how news of Joe Biden’s projected election as president inspired Sen. Chris Murphy to dig up a sweet moment he’d once shared with the president-elect. To mark the former vice president's victory, Murphy unearthed a video of Biden swearing a toddler into the Senate.

“If you need a laugh today, here’s the time President-elect Biden accidentally swore in a toddler to the United States Senate,” Murphy tweeted Monday alongside a video of his 2013 swearing-in ceremony.

Of course, Biden didn’t actually swear a toddler into the U.S. Senate. Rather, Murphy's swearing-in ceremony was re-enacted for photographers as part of a long Senate tradition (that stems from rules prohibiting photographs in the Senate Chamber) while the Connecticut senator held his youngest son. Taking a cue from dad, the young boy held up his hand while then-Vice President Joe Biden read the oath of office for the U.S. Senate.

In a video of the sweet moment, Murphy can be seen introducing Biden to his two sons just prior to his ceremonial swearing-in. In his arms, he carried his then-1-year-old son Rider, while his wife Cathy Holahan Murphy was holding the hand of their eldest son, Owen.

“Hey handsome, how you doing?” Biden can be heard asking Owen. “Good to see you. How old are you? Fourteen?”

“No, four!” Owen responded.

"Four! Oh, I knew there was a four in there somewhere," Biden responded.

A tweet from Sen. Chris Murphy features a video of then-Vice President Joe Biden swearing the senator into the U.S. Senate in 2013.

As the group files into position for the swearing-in, Murphy can be heard inquiring if he can continue holding Rider, who, understandably, looks a little bewildered about what’s happening.

“You don’t have to put your hand on it, just raise your right hand,” Biden tells Murphy when a Bible is brought in for the Connecticut senator to take his oath of office on. Because of Rider, Murphy only has one free hand. Luckily it's his right one, the only one he really needs to take his oath of office.

But before Biden can begin to deliver the oath, Rider quickly raised and lowered his hand. “Put your hand up too, that’s OK,” Biden told the toddler, who raised his hand for a second time as the then-vice president delivers the oath. “Look at him raise his hand,” Biden exclaimed after Murphy was sworn in. “What a great picture that’s going to be. You’re going to save that picture.”

It was indeed a great photo. In fact, 1-year-old Rider dominated headlines in 2013 with many news outlets declaring he’d stolen the show from his father and other U.S. senators.

Murphy later told Time the photo was one of his family’s favorites and that he was grateful to Biden for allowing the toddler to be a part of the moment. “I don’t think Vice President Biden expected to also swear in my son Rider that day,” Time reported Murphy said while reflecting on the moment in 2019. “Being able to share that moment with my wife and kids meant the world to me — and it gave us one of our favorite family photos.”