President Obama awarded outgoing Vice President Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday afternoon.
Calling the former longtime
Delawaresenator "the best vice president America's ever had" and a "lion of American history," Obama gave his White House partner the surprise award in an emotional ceremony, initially billed as a farewell.
After extolling the job that Biden has done, Obama ended it with the unexpected news that he was giving the vice president the nation's highest civilian honor, with distinction — a designation most recently given to President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Gen. Colin Powell.
So what exactly has Vice-President Biden done to deserve this honor and win accolades as the "best vice president America's ever had"?
Obama has frequently said that picking Biden, his former primary rival, as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made. Before accepting the nomination, Biden had spent more than three decades in the Senate, amassing a large portfolio and body of work, including stints as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The president said, laughing, that the people of
sent Biden to the Senate as soon as they could, electing him to the Senate at the age of 29 (he turned the constitutionally required age of 30 before he was sworn in). Delaware
So his claim to fame is that he has been a politician his entire life. That is his service. I guess that is something but is he really deserving of the very highest honor we can give to a civilian, given that he has been the Vice-President of the United States? Isn't that honor enough? What exactly did he accomplish as Vice-President besides mugging for the camera and pawing women? His most notable achievement was nodding in agreement. That is fine, it is sort of what a VP is supposed to do but is that and 30 years of bad legislation in the Senate since he was barely old enough to be in the Senate deserving of an award? Obama can give whatever award he wants since he is still President for another week. I guess it makes sense to give Biden the highest honor in the land for a civilian since Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize for just getting elected (and has been bombing the crap out of the rest of the world ever since. "Peace" Prize indeed.)
A lion of history. Seriously.