Senate Democrats

Reid Statement on Joseph Biden

Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on the floor of the U.S. Senate in honor of Joseph Biden, who is resigning from the Senate today after 36 years of service to become the Vice President of the United States:

“When people talk about Vice-President elect Joe Biden, they talk about his courage, his family, his remarkable career in the United States Senate.  We know that he overcame personal trials that few would have the strength to conquer.  We in the Senate have known his wonderful family, and this summer our country was introduced to them as well.

“We know that he is now in his seventh term in the Senate, in which time he has served as Chairman of the Foreign Relations and Judiciary Committees, and that he is a champion for women’s rights, the environment and a strong military.

“When I think of Joe Biden, the first thing that comes to mind is a day just about a year ago when I was driving through Carson City, Nevada.  I pulled up to an intersection, and there was Joe Biden on the corner, pressing the flesh and talking to voters.  The people of Nevada have come to know and love Joe Biden for that very reason: he’s the kind of regular guy who shows up on a street corner to just talk to voters and listen.

“I will always remember with gratitude the kindness he showed me when I first arrived in the Senate in 1987.  I’ll be forever grateful that he was one of my very first colleagues to support my candidacy for Democratic whip.  In fact he called his secretary into our meeting and said – I take no more calls on this.  I’m for Harry.

“And Joe may not even remember this, but I will never forget the wonderful feeling when he stood in front of 80,000 people in Denver as the Vice Presidential nominee, he spotted me in the crowd and twice said hello.

“We are deeply proud of Joe Biden.  Our hearts will be filled with joy next Tuesday when he takes the oath of office as our Vice-President.  But I have to say that I think our feelings will be a little bit bittersweet.  America is getting a great Vice President, but the United States Senate is losing a true lion of the Senate.  Joe Biden, as he says, is a Senate guy.

“But it’s a trade we are happy to make.  I want Joe and his wife, our new Second Lady, Jill, to know how much they mean to us here in the Senate, how much he will be missed, but also how eagerly we await the opportunity to work with him in a new capacity to make our country better.”