Joe Biden's recent interview with Stephen Colbert was all levity and laughter until Colbert brought up the hope that Biden would run for the presidency, and asked the Vice President if he was emotionally prepared for such a role, following the death of his eldest son, Beau Biden.
Biden, who had been bright and loquacious throughout the interview, suddenly struggled for words, before coming out with a heartrending answer:
"I don't think any man or woman should run for President unless, No. 1 they know exactly why they want to be President and No. 2, they can look out at the folks out there and say "I promise you you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy, and my passion to do this.""
"And I'd be lying if I said that I knew I was there. I'm being completely honest. Nobody has a right, in my view, to seek that office unless they're willing to give it 110% of who they are."
Biden recalled an incident that occured just a little over a month after his son's death. He had been in Denver delivering an address. While he was shaking hands with members of the audience, someone cried out:
"Major Beau Biden. Bronze Star, sir. Served with him in Iraq."
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Biden said he had maintained his composure until that point:
"And all of a sudden I lost it...You can't do that."
Biden reminisced about his son's tremendous modesty and empathy. While serving in Iraq, Beau had asked permission to take the name "Biden" off of his identification, because he didn't want anyone to treat him differently. He refused to tell anyone about or wear his Bronze Star.
"He abhorred people who had a sense of entitlement. And he went the other way."