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Joe Biden, D-Amtrak

By Perry Bacon, Jr.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Have you heard Joe Biden takes the Amtrak train home every night from Washington, D.C., to Wilmington?

If not, you will soon -- over and over again. With his long experience on foreign policy issues, Biden helps fill one of the holes in Barack Obama's resume. But Obama has cast his candidacy as about changing Washington, and Biden has been in the Senate for decades.

Enter the train.

"He's not a creature of Washington," declared Linda Douglass, an Obama spokesman, in advance of the pair's Springfield speeches. It was a talking point she and spokesman Robert Gibbs repeatedly reiterated on talk shows this morning as they touted Biden. "He's goes home on the train, eats dinner with his family, he's the epitome of a regular guy," she said.

A few hours later, on stage, Obama called Biden a "rare mix," who "for decades ... has brought change to Washington, but Washington hasn't changed him."

"He never moved to Washington," Obama told a crowd of several thousand here, in one of several references to the train. "Instead, night after night, week after week, year after year, he returned home to Wilmington on a lonely Amtrak train."

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 23, 2008; 5:43 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Joe Biden  
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If Ronald Reagan did not like Joe Biden, I am suprised. I am a Reagan an and I think if Ronald Reagan knew Biden today, when Biden's son( The Attorney General of Delaware) is about to defend Republicans, Democrats and ALL OF THE OTHERS in this war on terror, Senator Biden deserves our support. He has a proven history. President Reagan knows as well as anyone, that Senator Biden will protect and defend this country, as he has his own family. Let's look at history in the making and see the balances of our time.

Posted by: WILL GRIFFITH | August 27, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

As someone who got home to the west coast from Manhattan after 9/11 I can assure you, Amtrak is not just an important part of our transportation network. It is an important part of our national security.

Shutting down the US air system has happened. I was there. There were no flights for a week, as you remember.

Posted by: Brian | August 26, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"Yes Mimi. Obama is an empty suit, yet you're the nobody sitting at a computer bashing him. We can clearly see who is the more successful person"

Mimi isn't running for President. The empty suit is. But keep bashing Mimi. It makes all you Obama supporters appear as you are: very brain-washed cult members.

Posted by: Tom | August 25, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"He is not impressed with the POW and phony hero crap."

Lol. Being tortured and surviving enemy gunfire with a broken arm and nearly drowning in the wreckage is phony crap.

Joe Biden got very toughened up by riding the train. Whatta guy.

"Two smart, top of the class guys "

Biden plagiarized during his first year of law school. He also graduated near the bottom of his law school class and didn't do that well in undergraduate.

Thanks for the lies though.

Posted by: Jon | August 25, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Amtrak provides a good service, and it is crowded at certain hours on certain trains. But it is subsidized by the government and has been for years. Biden and his fellow commuters do pay the market rate. They are traveling on a taxpayer subsidy.

Posted by: Amtrak fan | August 25, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The cheapest AMTRAK fares between DC and Wilmington still cost $84/day + tax, and the ACELA roundtrip can reach $250/day + tax. It might be quaint that he trains each day, but isn't anyone wondering why he doesn't rent an furnished efficiency in DC and save the taxpayer dollars rather than spend tax dollars on what could reasonably be considered a luxury mode of travel?

Posted by: An Old Soldier | August 25, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"If not, you will soon -- over and over again"

Aren't Washington Post reporters supposed to at least fake objectivity and professionalism?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 25, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Just seeing these two men on stage together infused me with hope for the USA. Contrast this image with the two now in power and you have a clear picture of ability, sincerity, charisma, courage versus crudity, greed, selfishness, stupidity and disdain for American citizens and the world community.

Posted by: Ivan | August 24, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Doug H-

It's common knowledge Biden had an unremarkable undergrad career and finished near the bottom of his law school class. He's just made a habit of lying about his credentials (and getting caught). The guy's got a credibility problem. You do too, by comparing Bush's service record to McCain.

Posted by: speaksintongues | August 24, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Philip J. Berg, Esq is a "truther." He believes the US government was either actively involved in, or allowed the attacks of 9/11 to occur. Calling him well respected is quite a stretch. Conspiracy theorist is a better word.

Posted by: Bluescale | August 24, 2008 3:52 AM | Report abuse


The case was not dismissed and Obama will receive a subpoena to appear in court.

If you went to the link in my post, you would see this isn't a frivolous lawsuit.

This lawyer has credentials and is well respected in Philadelphia.

Strange, that the US State Dept Passport Office computer is breached by a man affiliated with Obama's campaign looking into Obama's file.

Time will tell.

Posted by: Janet8 | August 24, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

"I like Biden way better than Obama.
Biden is a man of substance, Obama is an empty suit. I don't know how much Biden can help a self serving, arrogant man like Obama, but I know he will give it his all."

Yes Mimi. Obama is an empty suit, yet you're the nobody sitting at a computer bashing him. We can clearly see who is the more successful person.

Posted by: Jon | August 24, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Oh, its so stupid! Biden does not have an Washington address, so he is not an Washington insider? Does Obama have one in DC? Maybe he lives in VA or MD, as most senators do, and all of them are not Washington insiders? LOL...

Obama political operators do got their brains damaged by worshiping daily of their cult leader.

Posted by: God Father | August 24, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Ah, hope springs eternal! Once again the gullible American public will be sold a bill of goods by the mass media wherein candidates from the Corporate parties (twiddle-de-dum and twiddle-de-dee) will espouse their lofty sentiments for change and a new direction.

Until the public achieves some enlightenment regarding these candidates, rejects them all, and strives forward in electing third party progressive candidates, we will continue to have more of the same.

Posted by: Jerry Fritts | August 24, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

McCain tells CBS that Biden is a “formidable” but “wise” choice for the Democratic ticket.

Happy to hear McCain endorses Senator Obama's 'wise' decision making. Lol. Repubs are going to lose - and lose really really bad!

Posted by: woody | August 24, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Lonely AMTRAK train? Ha! Anybody who's tried to find a seat on a North bount train between 3 and 8 PM wishes it were a little lonlier! Anyway - good choice and I'm ready for a brawl.. we need to win the election and here's hope he puts some fire in the campaign!

Posted by: Ramsey | August 24, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Janet8: Does the term meretricious law suit ring a bell?

ANY body can sue ANYONE for ANY Reason. Prevailing is a bit more complicated.

Posted by: | August 23, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

As Senator from Amtrack, Biden doesn't win any states he didn't already have, but since he IS so accustomed to commuting via rail, might that bring moderates to the Democratic Ticket in those states, like Ohio, where we need and muchly (don't like that word, find a better) wish we had light rail commuting state wide.

Now if HIS campaign theme song were Take the a Train. or Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Posted by: | August 23, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm posting the following because the public has the right to know what's going on:

In Philadelphia, PA, on Friday, Aug 22, 2008, Philip J. Berg, Esq., filed a lawsuit against Barack Obama, seeking a restraining order, from continuing his candidacy for the US Presidency, until he can prove he is a natural American citizen.

I read the lawsuit. It states that an investigation revealed that when Obama visited Pakistan in 1981, at age 20, Obama used an Indonesian passport. Also, that the Birth Certificate on Obama's website is a forgery. Three independent document forensic experts have performed extensive tests. The birth certificate on Obama's website is that of his sister's.

The lawsuit can be viewed at:

Philip J. Berg, Esq., is a Philadelphia lawyer, former Deputy Attorney General of PA, former candidate for Governor and US Senate in the Democratic primaries, former County Chair for the Democratic Party, and a former member of the Democratic State Committee.

The judge must think there is sufficient evidence presented by the Plaintiff, because the judge took the case Friday. It was NOT dismissed.

I haven't seen or heard mention of this lawsuit in the MSM, either in print, TV or an MSM website. I googled and no MSM newspaper is carrying it, not even the Philly ones. It's in the blogsphere and it was posted in a CBS Sports community blog. I received an email of its press release. What gives?

And another thing, remember earlier this year when the US State Dept Passport Office computer system was breached and someone got into Obama's file. The culprit was affiliated with Obama's campaign. Do you remember that?

Only time will tell.

Posted by: Janet8 | August 23, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

I hope that when the Biden family moves the Chaneys out of the official Vice President's mansion, that AMTRAK, Secret Service and the military will develop Railroad II (like Air Force II) for Biden's trip back to the home in Wilmington.

Posted by: DC John | August 23, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

A general once asked Robert E Lee his opinion of one of his subordinates, who's low opinion of Lee was well known. Lee gave a rather glowing list of that general's abilities. The General asked Lee how he could give such a review. Lee answered, "You asked me my opinion of him, not his opinion of me." What matters here really is Obama's opinion of Biden, far more than Biden's opinion of Obama.

My wife did ask me if I thought Biden would continue to live in Deleware if he becomes Vice President.

Somebody please ask Joe how HE feels about that.

Posted by: | August 23, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I hope the press doublechecks the Amtrak commuting to make sure it's not an urban myth. Is this an overstatement? How many times a week does he realy do this --especially given the Senate's Tues-Thurs schedule? Biden's prone to overstatement. Mainstream media-trust but verify!!

Posted by: James | August 23, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Nothing in this country will change until we, the citizens, make it change. The buck stops here, with you and with me. A candidate like Obama can provide the inspiration but the real work lies with us. We are the ones responsible for this mess. Where the hell have we been these last thirty years?

As we all know, we cannot solve a problem we do not acknowledge. I am more afraid of the narrow thinking, the growing ignorance and hideous quality of education in this country than I am of any terrorist threat.

Joe Biden is a good choice for VP. Let's quit whining and get to work.

PS: When was the last time you communicated with your Representative or Senator or President about an important issue? Remember, these people work for us.

Posted by: Suzanne Gentling | August 23, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

By picking Senator Biden as his VP, Obama has demonstrated, once again, he is ready to lead!

Posted by: Woody | August 23, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

By the time Reagan wrote that we're lucky if he knew his own name. RR is not the authoritative voice on anything, particularly not demagoguery.

Posted by: Ed | August 23, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama isn't about change. I'm from Chicago and he helped keep the old cook county stroger machine going despite the fact that everyone was against it. Talk about nepotism and getting favors? He helped John Stroger's son get his job and then he hiked sales taxes on all ofus- even the "little guy". He's not about change-please. And Biden is just out to get power and pad his resume for his own run down the road. This is all very depressing!!!

Posted by: gocubs | August 23, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Ronald Reagan in his diary June 15, 1987 refered to Sen. Joe Biden as;
"pure demagogue"


a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power

Sounds like the the Obama / Biden ticket is a two for one sale.

Posted by: rtfanning | August 23, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Ronald Reagan in his diary June 15, 1987 refered to Sen. Joe Biden as;
"pure demagogue"


a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power

Sounds like the the Obama / Biden ticket is a two for one sale.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I like Joe.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

He uses Amtrak..and eats dinner with his family.
What an elitist!

Posted by: hayden1 | August 23, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Two intelligent people on the ticket; whadda concept!
Obama not a high achiever? He was president of the Harvard Law Review. Why did the American electorate get so suspicious of education, achievement, and intelligence? Yeah, I don't want the guy who earned gold to lead our team, I want the guy who practically couldn't make the team but I'd like to have a beer with. When did we sign up for that load of junk?
I appreciate that Obama wants a running mate whose ideas, perspective, and insight will help the country, not just a yes-man who will be silent in meetings. Remember that story about GWB locking Colin Powell out of a cabinet meeting early on? Speaks volumes about our current president's appreciation of candor and differing viewpoints. Obama is not afraid of calling on others, like Biden, to help him explore what the best solutions are. That's model governance.

Posted by: positive force | August 23, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Mccain is not going to like dealing with Biden. He will rip what is left of Mccains little arms off and beat the hell out of him with them. He is not impressed with the POW and phony hero crap.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Senator Biden doesn't drive to DC from his home in D.E. because of the car accident that claimed the lives of his wife and child. This, I can hear about repeatedly. It shows character.
He's a good man. Analyze his positions and his ideology, but leave the man alone via-a-vis his transportation choice. I mean - really.

Posted by: Ali | August 23, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, to put it in Senator Biden’s words, “that clean and articulate African-American made a good choice ” even though in Biden’s opinion he is not ready to be a leader!

Posted by: Anti-liberal | August 23, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I am always amazed by the so-called "intelligent " people who are on Obama's case because he hasn't become some renowned Statesman overnight.Look at the last four Prez's and tell me who was a renowned Statesman.Clinton certainly was the best. It is just a bunch of nattering picked up by the next natterer and none of them know jack-crap! Obama is smart,obviously a quick study,and more than an "empty suit", whatever the hell that means. At least he is not an 'empty head' like the idiot currently sitting in the WH. This country can only go up when Dubya leaves and would be better off with an "empty suit". It won't be much better if we put Dufus #2 in the chair.

Posted by: leonard | August 23, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Well, the MSM and other talking heads will start with the plagiarism thing again. Like we haven't heard of it before and they are SO INTELLIGENT.
Biden is an excellent choice. He has a lot of common sense and is a strong person. I wanted him for Prez in the first go-around. I also liked Dodd. These two guys have more brains than everyone else in Congress and including Newt the Galoot!

Posted by: leonard | August 23, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Biden's Amtrak days are now a thing of the past. Transportation will now be care of the good ole US of A. You've earned it Joe.

Posted by: Deep Blue | August 23, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

The notion that Obama is a 'high achiever' is a hoot.

Precisely WHAT of substance has he achieved in his brief rarefied existence? For dispatching the odious Ma and Pa Clinton (albeit with an assist from Oprah and the MoveOn moonbats), he deserves a nation's eternal gratitude. But what else of value has he done? He's an effete twit and an empty suit.

Posted by: zjr78xva | August 23, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I am a huge fan of Biden, was hoping he would run for President in 2004, and am so pleased that he will become our next Vice President. He is about as honest as you can get in Washington, dedicated to serving his country and has truly shown that he is all about working across the aisle with his fellow Republicans. Now that is truly a "Change" compared to our current mode of operation in Washington.

Posted by: Joaquin | August 23, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Go Biden, Obama. What a refreshing change. Let McCain eat cake at one of his many homes. The country needs a change.

Posted by: Scott F. | August 23, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

The AMTRAK train is the way to go when it comes to commuting between DC and New York (and points in between). The train is anything but lonely.

The seats are extremely comfortable and roomy. There are electric plugs so that you can plug in your laptop and work in comfort while the scenery passes by you. The dining cars are located nearby and the conductors are friendly and extremely helpful.

Everything that the airlines have scrapped or scrimped on is alive and well on the AMTRAK train. The Acela is awesome.

If you can't agree with Joe Biden on politics, you have to follow his lead in terms of commuting. The AMTRAK is definitely the civilized way to travel in luxury and comfort whole being able to get work done.

When I arrive at home (or at work) I am refreshed, rested and definitely not harried from being shuffled and rifled by airport security or flight delays not to mention that the train stations are much better located than the airports.

Posted by: nb3c | August 23, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I like it that Biden is very articulate.

Posted by: dijoe | August 23, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I too like Biden. I think he expressed excellent judgement in the primary debates when he stated that Barack Obama was not ready to be president. I also like how he said he was not interested in being vice president and that if it was offered to him he would refuse it.

Between Obama and Biden's flip flops we'll have the state of the union address every other day just so we can keep up with their changing stances

Posted by: Clugs | August 23, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I am obviously not a high achiever with my crappy grammar.

Posted by: DougH | August 23, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it ironic how earlier post says "Republican snobs are going to start all sorts of smears..." and then he start with McCain has a mental problem...

Posted by: dr | August 23, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Biden is impressive. He is very compatible with Obama's compaign. Two smart, top of the class guys versus another son of privilege who graduate at bottom 1/2 of 1 percent of his graduating class. Yet he went to flight school to fly jets because he was the son of an Admiral. Does that sound familiar. Bush all over again. Bottom of the class in high school yet he gets excepted at Yale where he as a lackluster student. Yet he gets excepted at Harvard grad school where he delivers another lack luster performance. He stinks as President as McCain would too. Let's elect some high achievers for a change.

Posted by: DougH | August 23, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Biden is sharp as a tack with a good sense of humor and genuine as well. I cant wait to see him go up against Romney in the debates. Romney is about as plastic and humorless as they come.

Excellent pick!

Posted by: Cal | August 23, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I like Biden way better than Obama.
Biden is a man of substance, Obama is an empty suit. I don't know how much Biden can help a self serving, arrogant man like Obama, but I know he will give it his all.

Posted by: mimi | August 23, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden is a great pick. He will help
return this country back into the hands of the people. He is not perfect but is the best choice of all. Now the Republican snobs are going to start all sorts of smears on him so get ready.
McCain has a mental problem.

Posted by: Westexacan | August 23, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BOBSTER | August 23, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

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