ABC News' Matthew Jaffe reports: On Election Eve, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., came to the back of his plane for the first time in weeks to field questions from reporters.
On Election Day, he did it again. But with a new wrinkle.
A slew of Biden family members, 36 to be exact, accompanied the Democratic vice-presidential nominee to Chicago today on his flight from Richmond. And one of them, his 10-year-old granddaughter Finnegan, eventually strayed to the back of the plane where reporters sit.
So the man known as “Pop” had to come track her down, leading to an impromptu press conference.
On the day when he might be elected the nation’s next vice president, Biden said he has Finnegan to thank for talking him into accepting the running mate offer from Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
"She's the one who pushed the hardest for me to be vice president, didn't you?" Biden asked his eldest granddaughter.
“Well, first, it'd be really cool,” said Finnegan, daughter of Biden’s son Hunter. “And he and Barack Obama will make a difference."
Biden, who noted he has not talked to Obama yet today, said he would be watching returns closely this evening.
"The polls are going to close and by 9 o’clock Eastern time you will have Virginia, well into, you know, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, by that time,” he said. “You know, and you’re going to get a pretty -- you’re going to know whether you’re going to be up, you know, a long night or if it’s going to be a short night."
But despite the Democrats’ lead in the polls, the superstitious Blue Hen did not want to make any predictions.
"I think it's just so, so presumptuous as a candidate, you know, to let yourself think that you know what the voters are gonna do,” he said. “I know it sounds silly, but I really mean it."
If the Democratic ticket wins, Biden’s wife Jill promised her husband that he could get a dog, but today Biden refused to even talk about what kind of dog he might get.
“We’re not there yet,” he warned. “The deal’s not closed yet in terms of this one issue.”
If Biden does win, he would move from Wilmington to the Naval Observatory in Washington, the vice president’s residence, but other than that, the Delaware lawmaker said he didn’t think his life would change all that much.
“If we were to win, I don't know that it would change a lot,” he said. “In the sense that, just being a different locus, I guess."
Instead of the senator traveling back to Wilmington every day on Amtrak, he would be living down in the nation’s capital. And some of his family members would now be making the trek south to Washington, D.C.
“I guess it’d just be flipped, you know, Beau and Hallie and my grandchildren and my mother would be coming the other way," he said. "So I don’t think, I don’t really – in terms of the family, I don’t think it would – in a sense, it may be a little easier if we were to win.”
One Biden family member who will not be joining the clan in Chicago tonight is Biden’s aforementioned son Beau, the Delaware attorney general who is currently training in Texas ahead of a year-long deployment to Iraq. Biden noted that Beau was offered the chance to fly to Chicago to watch the election results with the family, but turned it down.
"This kid is a different brand of kid,” Biden said. “His, you know, he said he's gonna watch it with the rest of the troops."
At one point on the flight, another of the senator’s grandkids, Beau’s 4-year-old daughter Natalie, also came down the aisle to see what was going on.
“Well, I’m gonna leave you guys to this press conference,” concluded the senator eventually, leaving his two grandkids to face the media throng as he headed back towards the front of the plane.
In the past two months on the trail, Biden has often quoted Finnegan in his stump speeches. After outlining something his Republican rival Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has said or done, Biden – as Finnegan would say – exclaims, “Hello?!Whoa?!”
And it might not be long before Finnegan is on the stump herself quoting her grandfather. Asked what she wants to be when she grows up, Finnegan replied, “President.”