The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Joe Biden

Biden's Son Off to Iraq

By Shailagh Murray
As Sen. Barack Obama closes in on his running mate pick, one prospect with clear momentum is Sen. Joseph Biden Jr.

Even difficult news for the Delaware Democrat personally has added a compelling twist to his case. On Oct. 3, Biden's son, Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III, will be deployed to Iraq.

"I don't want him going," Biden told an Iowa state fair crowd a year ago, when, as a presidential candidate himself, he learned that his son's unit would be deployed at some point in 2008. "But I don't want my grandsons or granddaughters going back in 15 years. So how we leave makes a big difference."

Beau is the Delaware attorney general and a captain in the Army National Guard. He is the oldest of Biden's two sons with his first wife, Neilia. She was killed in a car accident, along with the couple's 1-year-old daughter Naomi, shortly after Biden was elected to his first Senate term.

Beau and his brother Hunter, both toddlers, were seriously injured in the crash and Biden was sworn in at their hospital bedside. Every night through six Senate terms, he has commuted home to Wilmington, Del., on Amtrak.

Beau's deployment raises an interesting question: What will become of Biden's Senate seat if he gets the veep nods and Obama wins the election? Delaware political observers (yes, they do exist) have long presumed that Beau hoped to succeed his father.

The senator, who is seeking a seventh term this year, may remain on the November Senate ballot, according to state election law. If Biden wins both races, he can take the Senate oath and then resign. The Democratic governor, Ruth Ann Minner, would then appoint a replacement who would serve until the next general election in 2010.

The law is unclear, however, as to whether Beau Biden could be named while serving in Iraq.

Posted at 5:47 PM ET on Aug 20, 2008  | Category:  Joe Biden
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I am so excited that Joe Biden is on the Obama/Biden ticket. It will be difficult for Republicans to attack Biden's remarkable contributions to this country.

Blessings to Beau and his family while he is deployed. I will be praying that he returns safely, and that this foolish mistake of agression by the USA comes to an end.

Mission Accomplished May 1, 2003.

Posted by: lowerhay | August 24, 2008 1:04 PM

Beau Biden is not serving in the National Guard for money. The Biden family has not been poor for along time. Joe Biden has invested in more ways than one, he has been the best father ever and financially I am sure he has been wise. I am a life long republican, and I like Joe Biden. I lived in Delaware for years and believe me Joe Biden is well thought of.

Posted by: NCMom | August 23, 2008 11:27 PM

If you don't want your children to go to war then do not join the National Guard so you get free money from the government.
All of these people had a free ride and check for so long. Bingo war comes and you get your letter and off you go.
It is like playing the tables in Las Vegas,some you win and some you lose.
By the way his son is a lobbyist on the hill. How can he be trusted?

Posted by: Deborah Berger | August 23, 2008 8:18 PM

just a comment about the nickname beau, not that i was a big fan but did anyone call beau duke from the dukes of hazzard unamerican or thought about it sounding funny. just a thought

Posted by: gretchen | August 23, 2008 6:07 PM

Long time follower of Joe Biden, always a class act. My son will be serving in Iraq with Beau, may the entire brigade be safe.

Posted by: Louise G | August 23, 2008 4:32 PM

I have tears in my eyes when i read of how a toddler who could have been killed in a car crash is now going to deploy to Iraq for his country.


Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2008 2:16 PM

For those who think JAG are not in any danger, your wrong. Most are in the green zone which is attacked constantly. They are also in danger. Any American in Iraq are not safe. Good Luck Beau and come back in one piece.

Posted by: Barbwire | August 23, 2008 7:42 AM

I wonder how many sons of Mitt Romney will be going to Iraq? Oh yeah NONE!

"I'm sick and tired of old men starting wars that young men die in." Senator George McGovern I would add to that, I'm sick and tired of men starting wars they are not ready to send their own children to fight in.

Posted by: Ben | August 22, 2008 2:23 PM

Beau Biden is a wonderful public servant just like his father sen biden,.. god speed and come home safely and quickly Beau... Biden would have made an amazing president but the high profile race of hillary and barrack sucked the oxygen out his sails...his help as vp would be invaluable and help win this race,,,,,
obama-Biden '08

Posted by: susan | August 21, 2008 11:19 PM

Beau: If you haven't served in an infantry unit in a time of war, SHUT UP.

Take your politics and stick em where the rest of us actively serving soldiers don't have to hear your blind, political, acidic attacks on our fellow soldiers.

Regardless of his capacity, his MOS, his job- the man is going to a war zone. He is standing beside the rest of us.

Where are YOU standing?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 7:22 PM

Beau - if you have not serve your country in any capacity, you best to shut your mouth because you are too chiken to get your "a" out there and fight for your country.

You are like Limbaugh, Hannity and all those fat low lifers who were too chicken to fight for your country. All you do is criticize and no action.

Good luck in Iraq Mr. Biden Junior and come home safe.

Navy wife.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 4:47 PM

Yeah thebob, let's count the number of Republicans who have EVER served - whatever their age - very few. They leave it to others while the stay at home and invest in the war machinery "creating jobs" so they say!
Have you also noticed that the really wealthy don't actually "create" jobs, it's the small and middle class businesses that are expanding and bringing the unemployment rates down?
Very interesting!

Posted by: Rosie | August 21, 2008 4:19 PM


Two in Iraq, and one just back from Afghanistan. Next canard?

Posted by: JakeD | August 21, 2008 4:16 PM

To clarify the comment about Duncan Hunter's son, Duncan III. The son was in Iraq, but is currently running for his father's vacant house seat (52nd Congressional District) in San Diego County. He is running on the same platform as his Dad. Lots of military funding, immigration. His opponent, Mike Lumpkin, a Democrat, is a family man from Jamul, former Navy Seal Commander, Joint Special Operations Task Force - Arabian Peninsula for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This district is a Republican District, so I fear that Duncan III will be elected, a lot on name recognition and not on experience.

Posted by: Sandy | August 21, 2008 4:06 PM

Hey Jeffp I'm a korea vet and my sons an Army Major recently back from Iraq he is a Black Pilot as we say in the Infantry retreat hell Back space I agree with Jake D

Posted by: Harry O'Connell | August 21, 2008 3:42 PM

Senator Biden and Beau are both class acts. I hope Senator Obama picks Senator Biden for VP and that Beau comes home safe.

Posted by: jenny | August 21, 2008 12:52 PM

To "Beau" who apparently doesnt respect CPT Biden's service because he is a JAG. EVERYONE must go through the same training and EVERYONE is in danger while in Iraq. JAGS have to leave the forward operating base to provide legal assistance, to work on claims, and to provide operational law help. Respect our service and respect our sacrifice as we leave our families and jobs for a year.

Posted by: KSJAG | August 21, 2008 11:19 AM

Obama should pick Biden as his running mate...and then the party should flip the ticket at the convention.

Joe is a class act.

Posted by: Rich | August 21, 2008 10:52 AM

I'm amazed at some of the rhetoric that is impugning the service of men in uniform. This is the respect we should expect for the right for those who serve in whatever capacity?

Posted by: MTCLAX | August 21, 2008 10:52 AM

I love how they fail to mention that Biden III is a JAG lawyer who will be nowhere near any danger. He will be in the rear with the gear writing wills for soldiers who are really in harm's way. What typical Biden propaganda. Make it look like the wannabe Senator son of a Senator is some patriotic combat soldier. It's all PR.

Posted by: Beau | August 21, 2008 10:37 AM

Jake D, since you are so gung ho, how many of your kids, or other relatives, are in the military now? How many in Iraq (the wasted war) or Afghanistan?

And, before you attack, I am a viet vet, from Brooklyn, so don't even try that.

Posted by: jeffp | August 21, 2008 9:54 AM

Say it ain't so...Beau
Sorry to see you go...come back soon and help your dad turn this country around

Posted by: Aussiebones | August 21, 2008 3:52 AM

Ducan Hunter has a son in Iraq and McCain has one in Iraq and another one just about to go. Lindsey Graham was just serving in Iraq cause he is in the reserves. I know there are quite a few Republicans with children in Iraq. And I know some Dems too.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 8:44 PM

If Biden is the VP, just imagine the GOP attacks:
"The Democratic ticket includes one man with a funny name, and another man who gave his son a French nickname! C'mon, we're in America. Let's pick real Americans with real American names."
I hope he's safe, and returns to Delaware to continue serving his state and country.

Posted by: Chris | August 20, 2008 8:26 PM

Joe, Come back in one piece- and stay strong.

Posted by: Corruption Anon | August 20, 2008 7:47 PM

We met with Beau Biden one morning when he was campaigning in Iowa for his dad. He is a very impressive man, and a son any father would be proud of.

Godspeed, Beau.

Posted by: Donna Hughes | August 20, 2008 7:46 PM

I'm sorry that his son is caught up in this injust war by the Republicans (The american terrorist party).

How much more blood do the Republicans need on their hands?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 7:30 PM


"Perfect"? Even I think that Biden is more qualified to be President than The One ...

Posted by: JakeD | August 20, 2008 6:25 PM

What a perfect storyline for Obama's Vep, eh?

Good luck to his son - that's for sure.

Posted by: matt | August 20, 2008 6:21 PM

McCain's youngest son, Jimmy, enlisted in the Marine Corps and was serving in Iraq last year. Another son, John S. McCain IV, is currently at the Naval Academy.

Posted by: JakeD | August 20, 2008 6:11 PM

God Bless, Biden's son.

Posted by: JakeD | August 20, 2008 6:05 PM

How many Republican Senators have sons serving in Iraq? I can think of at least two Democratic Senators. Be safe Beau.

Posted by: thebob.bob | August 20, 2008 6:05 PM

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