How FDR Helped Biden Marry

Vice President Joe Biden  and his wife Jill.

Photograph by Daniel Mihailescu/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill.

Vice President Joe Biden, recipient of the Freedom Medal from the Roosevelt Institute in honor of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, says FDR — albeit somewhat indirectly — helped him land his wife, Jill.

“I owe Franklin Delano Roosevelt a great personal debt of gratitude,” Biden said at last night’s award ceremony at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington.

“Because it is true I did ask Jill multiple times — actually five — before she said yes,” he explained. “It wasn’t until after the fourth time I asked her, we went down to meet her grandmom, her favorite grandmom. And as I was walking by the back kitchen door, out comes grandma in her apron.”

The grandmother told Biden she was a Democrat, an FDR devotee, having been a part of his Work Progress Administration.

“I knew from that moment on I was going to marry Jill,” the diehard Democrat said. “So thank God. Thank God her grandmother was not a Republican. I’d have been dead.”

The Institute honored three other individuals whose careers have exemplified Roosevelt’s values: Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Connecticut Democrat, Rep. George Miller, California Democrat, and retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat.

Biden told the audience: “Barack and I have one objective: By the time, we leave to vastly increase the number of people who have confidence enough to say to their kids, `Honey, it’s going to be okay.’ That’s what we need. That’s my view of what Franklin Roosevelt was about.”

Today the  vice resident was in Nashville,  where he addressed the National Governors Association.

“You’re the best hope we have. You treat each other with respect, and know how to cooperate,” he told the governors. “We’re looking to you.”

Biden waxed optimistic about America’s economic outlook, and status on the world stage.

“Nobody is in a better position to be the leading economy of the 21st century,” he said. “Everybody talks about China. They don’t have enough water. They have a divided population.”

`They have to grow at above 10 percent a year to keep this bargain they have with the emerging middle class,” he explained, adding that no one has spent more time with Chinese President Xi Jinping than he has. “You will not find a single world leader in any country who wouldn’t trade place with the president of the United States.”

His own office comes with some perks, the veep noted today.

“I used to be worried about traffic congestion in America,” Biden said. “Not any more. I don’t know what the hell happened.”


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