Vice President Joe Biden made an appearance on CBS’s “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert Thursday night, in the new host’s first week taking over for David Letterman. Because of the topics of discussion, the interview was both funny and emotional.
The vice president offered the audience glimpses of his sense of humor, telling them “Be careful what you wish for” after they chanted his name in a presumed attempt to convince him to launch a 2016 run. Yet, he tempered his rhetoric when explaining what he believes are necessary questions any one needs to consider before announcing their presidential plans:
"I don't think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president and, number two, they can look at folks out there and say, 'I promise you, you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy, and my passion to do this.”
Biden admitted he didn’t quite have those answers yet.
One factor causing him to hesitate, he acknowledged, is the recent tragic loss of his son Beau. In one of the most moving moments of his conversation with Colbert, Biden shared the following story about an exchange he had with son before he lost him to brain cancer:
"He said, 'Dad, sit down, I want to talk to you,'" Biden recounted. "And he said, 'Dad, I know how much you love me. You've got to promise me something. Promise me you're going to be alright. He said no matter what happens dad, I'm going to be all right. Promise me.' This is the kid who — I don't know what it was about him. He had this enormous sense of empathy."
The vice president said emotional triggers have caused him to break down and cry during scheduled events and that such episodes can’t happen when he’s on the campaign trail.
I can’t imagine the agony Biden and his family are going through as they struggle to make this important decision. He has run for president twice before, but this time they have a tragedy to overcome. One thing any voter can agree on, such candidness from a high profile politician is most welcome and appreciated.
Watch the whole interview, broken into two parts, below.