Mrs. Biden’s Diary (Jan. 21, 2009)

Dear Diary:

Today was the first day Joe didn’t make one of his famous “second banana” jokes. It wasn’t that they were getting old, mind you. Jean says if you allow Joe’s conversations to ever get old, you’re in for a long day.

Jean and I waited nervously for Joe to get home from his first day as the vice president-elect. He was late, which was unusual for him. But as soon as he walked through the door, beaming and kissing us both, we knew he had had a good day.

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“They made us write out our own job descriptions!” Joe exclaimed (and which immediately explained why he was so late). “Funny thing. I started at the beginning, but Rahm made me stop writing before I got to Millard Fillmore’s role in the Zachary Taylor Administration.”

It’s been great though to see how things are already starting to get back to normal. Campaigning with someone like Barack can be like being a roadie on a Bruce Springsteen tour. Joe said he learned a lot about campaigning from Barack, especially about answering questions. “He just, boom, answers the question,” Joe said. “It’s quite a knack he has.”

Jean and I shot each other a quick glance, remembering the time an aide asked Joe for the time. By the time Joe wrapped up the history of clock-making during the Middle Ages—he had long since explained how a watch worked by then—we had missed the next three campaign stops.

And except for the time Michelle asked me, “Does he have an off-button?” Joe has gotten along great with the Obamas. He reported today that, “Barack asked me to brief him on the Balkans, and before I could even get up to Tamerlane and the Battle of Ankara, he interrupted me and said he couldn’t wait to start sending me abroad as often as physically possible. I think I made quite an impression, don’t you?”

Jean and I shot each other another glance, but decided to nod approvingly. I made a note to mention to Michelle, when I had the chance, to tell Barack that when Joe gets on one of his rolls, just think about the beach like we do. The important thing is to listen in long enough so you can keep the story straight if you have to repeat it.

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Well, we’re just about unpacked from the big move to Washington. Joe says he’s sad, in a way, that he won’t be making that long train trip every night back to Delaware as often as before. He got a nice note from some of the conductors on the train, though, saying how they already miss Joe, and how hard it’s going to be to get back collecting tickets again, instead of sitting and listening to Joe talk about steam engines and featherbedding contracts.

Well, goodnight, dear diary.

P.S.—Joe told me he already had a name picked out for the second dog we’re getting. I won’t say anything about it publicly, though. I don’t want to get shushed again.


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