“At first, I didn’t see Joe; then I spotted him waving at me from far down the platform,” Rudman later recorded in his memoirs, Combat: Twelve Years in the U.S. Senate. “Joe had agonized over his vote for [Supreme Court Justice David Souter], and I knew how thrilled he must be. We started running through the crowd toward each other, and when we met, we embraced, laughing and crying.” An ecstatic Biden wept tears of joy, telling Rudman over and over: “You were right about him [Souter]! … You were right!”
The two men were so jubilant, so giddy-practically dancing-that Rudman said onlookers thought they were crazy: “[B]ut we just kept laughing and yelling and hugging each other because sometimes, there are happy endings.”
Not since Napoleon met Tsar Alexander on a raft in the middle of the Niemen River had there been such an historic meeting. Or, perhaps since Lee and Grant shared a little writing table at Appomattox.
And the epochal event that inspired that famous embrace during the Rudman-Biden Wilmington Summit? Souter had just voted to keep abortion-on-demand legal. Biden and Rudman could weep for joy. The rest of us could just weep.
Maybe since they’re already $5.7 million over budget at the Wilmington station, they could spring for a few thousand to put up a plaque to commemorate the meeting of Rudman and Biden on that platform in 1992.
So, President Obama is right: “Nobody messes with Joe,” at least not while he’s messing with us.