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Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and the Robin to his Batman, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., the six-term senator who has joined him on the Change-Train, sat down with their wives for an exclusive interview with People magazine last Saturday.
A photog asked the two men to squeeze together for a shot.
"We're kind of insecure," joked Obama.
"I carry my wife's pocketbook," said Biden. "I'm fine."
Obama said that he told Biden he'd been picked by calling his Senate office and having him tracked down. "He said he was at the dentist's office," Obama recalled. "I realized only later that he was being a doting husband, looking after Jill during a root canal."
And how did Biden tell the Biden brood?
"My granddaughter, Maisy, turned 8 and we were having a little birthday party for her," recalled Jill Biden, the presumptive second lady. "We had just finished blowing out the candles and were cutting the cake. And Joe said to everybody, 'Hey, I have something that I'd like to announce.' And he said, 'Barack called me and asked me to be vice president.' And everybody -- I get so emotional when I think about it -- and everybody clapped and started hugging."
"Maisy was totally unfazed," Biden said. "She said, 'Pop, can I have some more ice cream cake?'"
Michelle Obama told the magazine that she "stayed out of this process. But when he told me his choice, I said, 'That's the right choice.' I was like (snaps fingers) 'Good!' And the thing that was important for me is the reputation that Joe Biden has of being a good man, he's a good guy, he loves his family. I like the fact that he's on the train every day getting back home. Those are the kind of values that I respect. And uniformly, people have said the same thing about Jill.
"So, you want people you can hang out with, that you trust, that you sit down and have a good conversation with, in addition to the advice, guidance and wisdom he brings," Mrs. Obama continued. "I think about it as a wife who's got to hang out with this crew, right?"
The interview kind of reads like it could be one of those goofy-guy/awesome-wife sitcoms slated for ABC's fall lineup. (Is "According to Jim" still on the air?)Some excerpts:
PEOPLE: This is the first mate you've chosen since Michelle.
Barack Obama: That's a good point.Michelle Obama: Barack is looking for people who will challenge him, who will tell him no.
Barack: That's exactly what you need [in a vice president].
Michelle: That's why he married me. (Laughs.) So, I'd tell Sen. Biden, don't pull any punches. PEOPLE: Now, if Sen. Biden starts yelling at you about picking up your socks...Barack: Then we're in trouble. Don't do that, Joe.
Joe Biden: Don't worry...
PEOPLE: Sen. Biden, are you ready to hit the basketball court with him?
Joe: Hell, yeah, man.
Jill: He plays with the grandkids; we have a basketball hoop. He can train with Maisy.
Joe: I can't keep up with Maisy! The one thing I want my kids to remember about me is that I was an athlete. The hell with the rest of this stuff. PEOPLE: You were a college freshman when your new boss was born. Does that make you feel old?
Joe: I'm not old. There are still 44 senators older than me...
PEOPLE: Mrs. Biden, what should Sen. Obama know about your husband's habits?
Jill: He's pretty much a night owl, so they have that in common. He's on that Blackberry and his phones constantly. I won't let him drive the car because everything's ringing. I say, 'Pull over!' It's too dangerous. Or we go to the wrong places. (Laughs)...
PEOPLE: Have you had much time to get to know the Obamas?
Jill: Not really. It's always been at the debates, always sort of 'Hello, how are you? How many more of these do we have to do?' But Michelle and I spent some time together this morning and we're really looking forward to being together. (Hugs Mrs. Obama) If you think those guys have chemistry, I think we have chemistry.
Produced by David Axelrod.
Directed by Robert Gibbs.
Hair and Makeup: Tommy Vietor.