Biden Family Awaits Results in Chicago
By Perry Bacon Jr.
CHICAGO -- When Sen. Joe Biden's plane landed here, more than three dozen members of the vice presidential nominee's family hopped off and onto a bus for "Biden Family and Friends."
Politics has long been a family affair for the senator from Delaware, and the Bidens seem prepared for a celebration. Jean Biden, the senator's 91-year-old mother, has not appeared much on the campaign trail this year, but she flew to Chicago with her son today after voting.
One Biden is missing. Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden is about to be deployed to Iraq as part of the Delaware National Guard. Guard officials told him he could leave for Chicago to watch election returns with his dad, he but decided he would rather watch from Fort Bliss, Tex., with the other troops and so as to avoid appearing to get special treatment.
On the flight from Richmond, where Biden had visited a polling place, one of the younger Bidens chatted with reporters. Ten-year-old Biden granddaughter Finnegan, on her way to the restroom at the back of the plane, answered a question from one reporter and suddenly found herself in the middle of a mini-press conference.
After about 10 minutes of taking questions -- she said she was proud of her grandfather and excited about the election -- Biden's aides alerted him she was talking and the senator walked back to join the poised youngster.
He at first jokingly told her, "You're on your own." But then he put his arms around Finnegan and started telling stories about her, saying she was "the one who pushed the hardest for me to be vice president."
Explaining why she encouraged her grandfather to join the Democratic ticket, Finnegan said, "It would be really cool, and he and Barack Obama will make a difference."
Biden noted that Finnegan would like it if her grandfather lived at the Naval Observatory for a different reason: It's only about two miles from where Finnegan lives with her father, Hunter Biden, a Washington lawyer.
Should the Democratic ticket prevail, Biden predicted his close-knit family members would remain in frequent contact but hold more of the gatherings in Washington instead of Wilmington.
"I don't know if it will change a lot," he said.
He said his mother could move to Washington, but the family has not yet discussed it.
"Well she might," Biden said. "I don't know. I mean we really -- I really am superstitious. And we really have not talked about it. I mean everybody's thinking about it, but no one's, no one's talking about it."
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