Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., likes to tell crowds that he and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., are friends.
In a packed gymnasium at Maple Point Middle School in Langhorne, Pa., this afternoon, before a receptive crowd, Biden explained just how close they are.
"John McCain is my friend," said the loquacious Blue Hen. "I admire John McCain. I know of no man or woman I have ever met that has more personal courage than John McCain. We have been friends for over 33 years. We have traveled together. When John was Navy liaison he staffed me for three or four years everywhere I traveled in the world.
"Jill and John are good friends," Biden said, referring to his wife Dr. Jill Biden, who had just introduced him. "Matter of fact there’s a best-selling book written about us called The Nightingale's Song about John and some of his graduating class from Annapolis that references Jill and John in the book as good buddies.
"She doesn’t like the reference,'" Biden added, "but John, John’s a great guy. John was staffing me in Greece. I was meeting with the Prime Minister Papandreou and we were supposed to go to this fancy dinner and Jill said 'Do we have to go to this dinner?' And John said, 'No, no, no I know this great place for dinner.'
"And there was a place literally down on the docks, where Zorba lived I think, and so I had to go to the fancy thing and I come back down and I find it, and we’re wandering through these alleys on the dock -- you’re gonna get very angry at this Jill -- but I walk around the corner and there’s these cement tables like down at the shore you know, the cement base ,the cement table, and I walk in and Jill and John are standing up on the table drinking ouzo dancing with one another, and I’m thinking, 'I’ve never trusted John since then, Jillie.'
"But he’s a great guy," Biden said, "and if John called me today and said 'Joe -,' like when they went after John McCain, when Bush went after him in South Carolina with the scurrilous comments they made about his character, I called him and said, 'John, where do you want me? I’m an Al Gore man but where do you want me? I will show up anywhere in America to testify to the kind of man you are.' And he is a good man, he is a good man."
-- Jake Tapper and Matt Jaffe