President Obama’s eulogy on Saturday for Vice President Joe Biden’s son will bring into public display the bond the two unlikely political allies have cemented over the last seven years.
At first glance, the two men would appear to have little in common.
They hail from different generations and opposite sides of the country – Obama growing up in Hawaii, and Biden in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Obama is famous for his cool, detached demeanor, while Biden — despite a personal history marked by repeated tragedy — is the picture of the jovial, back-slapping politician.
Obama has sometimes made Biden the butt of jokes, and there have been times when the vice president’s candor have clearly gotten under the president’s skin.
Yet current and former aides paint a picture of a relationship that has grown stronger by the year, and that has been deepened by the friendship between Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, as well as Obama’s children and Biden’s grandchildren.
“We made a deal early on, when either one of us are dissatisfied we just flat tell the other person. And so one — lunch once a week, you know, that’s when we talk,” Biden himself said in a 2013 interview with CNN.
“When he hasn’t liked something I’ve done, he just flat tells me…or I will say, ‘Hey, look, man, I don’t like the way this is going,’” Biden added.