, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Now that #JoeBiden is running I thought I’d share my Biden story. Because I have one.

Thread:

After college, my first job was for an anti-nuke project run by Alan Cranston, a retired 4-term senator from CA who’d been Democratic whip & a presidential primary candidate in ‘84.
Alan, as he insisted on being called, died suddenly on Dec 31, 2000. Though he’d been out of office since ‘92, he was a giant of California politics, and his funeral was a bit of an event. I and my colleague, Zack, worked full-time to help the family organize it.
We tracked which of his senate colleagues planned to attend. In the end, only Joe Biden and John Kerry came. Not Dianne Feinstein or Barbara Boxer. Just two friends who respected Alan for supporting vets while opposing the Vietnam War. Alan and Biden had come in together in ‘68.
I remember the effort that Biden made to attend. He’d been on a Senate trip to Central Asia. But on the day of the funeral, he flew back, landed on the East Coast and jumped on the next flight to SFO—no break, no rest. By coincidence, his and Kerry’s flights landed within minutes
of each other. And I can’t remember why, but Zack and I went to pick them up, standing at the security exit holding signs reading “John” and “Joe”. I don’t remember which I had, and I don’t remember which one I sat next to in the back of Zack’s late-model forest-green Saturn on
the ride into the city. I remember they asked us about Alan, and the work we’d done for him. They were kind and generous and friendly. We were in our very early 20s.
Biden didn’t speak at the funeral. He didn’t show up to be seen. He came—direct from Central Asia—to sit and pray and pay his respects to Alan’s family, and offer his condolences. And after the funeral was over, he went right back to SFO and got on a plane to DC. Same day.
It struck me then, and still does today, as a mark of a certain kind of basic decency and personal regard that transcended the scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours functional relationships of the Senate. Because he had nothing to gain from coming, and nothing to lose by not, and
it must have been exhausting to have done it. I can’t even imagine the hours he spent in the air to pull it off.

Does this story mean he should get the Dem nomination?

No.

Does it mean he should be president?

No.

But it think it says something good about the man,
something he did in private, not for show or attention but just because he thought it was right and important. And that commitment to an interior, hidden duty can be rare—so I thought I’d share the glimpse of it that I saw in him that one day back in 2001.

/end
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