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Vice President Joe Biden at his annual summer barbecue. Photo by: Politico

At the Joe Biden beach bash a Vice President at his best

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Vice President Joe Biden at his annual summer barbecue. Photo by: Politico

Washington DC:  Vice President Joe Biden is chasing a bunch of kids with a water gun, no wait, they have started chasing him and the 71-year-old vice president is still fleet of foot.

Now he’s telling the kids to turn the guns on the adults and they oblige and we all get drenched.

If you want to know why those around Joe Biden love the VP so much then attend his annual summer barbecue at his residence in the grounds of the Naval Observatory in Washington  and you will soon find out.

Dozens of kids, staffers and adults were present for what is billed as the Biden Beach Barbecue. Biden has a bigger extended family than a hutch full of rabbits and you quickly see why after just a few visits with the man.

He has that Irish America thing, the joke, the smile, the quick way with words. Yet behind the bonhomie lurks an incredibly difficult journey, losing his first wife and little daughter six years after they were married, suffering an aneurysm, failing in his presidential efforts.

If Joe Biden has a theme song it is probably “I’m Still Standing” and there he was at his glorious best entertaining his hosts but mostly the kids on Saturday afternoon.

We talked about Ireland and his upcoming much postponed trip, which he now says, will hopefully happen in August. He is the great grandson of a blind fiddler from Louth who came to America and he also has Mayo roots through the Finnegans and Blewitts, Roches and Scanlons. Ireland is close to his heart.

But it is the kids he wants to impress this day.

I can hardly imagine former Vice President Dick Cheney taking kindly to being sprayed, not his predecessor Al Gore who would probably lecture the kids on water conservation.

Biden is not one to insist on his dignity however, Just back from an exhausting trip to South America he jumped into the kid’s game like everyone’s favorite uncle.

He is remarkably fit and well for his age, a man seemingly at peace with himself but likely still with a burning ambition to go for the brass ring one more time.

That would be the White House, a journey he has attempted twice and may well try a third time.

There is a woman called Hillary Clinton you may have heard of who is standing in his way, but if she were ever to decide not to run Biden would shoot to the top of the charts on the Democratic side.

If America ever elected him they would a fundamentally decent man, weathered but never beaten down by life, with a quick wit and super mind who would serve this country well. Don’t buy the media hype about Joe’s alleged intellectual shortcomings-- there is no one sharper when it comes to politics and consensus building.

Sure, at 71,  there is the age thing but Hillary is just a few years younger. Hillary went on the prom date as Secretary of State with Obama after the latter's election in 2008 and some say that he wants to support her next time around.

But don’t underestimate the man standing at the president’s shoulder in every crisis who has served them well indeed and who read what ultimately happened in Iraq better than anyone else.

Don’t rule out the VP from Delaware by way of Pennsylvania by way of Ireland would be my advice. 

He’d certainly get the kid’s vote for starters.

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