Very few things in Washington, D.C., inspire hope or joy, least of all the proceedings of our esteemed United States Congress. Yet there is one politician who never fails to brighten our days whenever he opens his mouth. On Tuesday, as he swore in senators on the first day of the 114th Congress, Vice President Joe Biden did not disappoint.
Biden: "Good to see you guys. I tell you. Good to see you. Welcome to the Senate. Welcome to the Senate."— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) January 6, 2015
Biden’s touchy-feely, close-talking, intimate moments with new and returning senators and their family members are among political reporters’ favorite moments from the start of a new congressional term. Congress itself may be hopelessly broken, but in his capacity as ex-officio President of the Senate, the vice president took it upon himself to bring some mirth to the hallowed upper chamber.
Before the swearing-in ceremony even began, Biden was on fire.
Biden struts down Senate subway hallway.— Ali Watkins (@AliWatkins) January 6, 2015
Aide hands Biden phone.
Biden picks up phone.
"Hey baby," he says.
As @GrahamBlog walks into the Old Senate Chamber and approaces @VP, Biden jokes: "I'm not doing the next one. I'm not doing the next one."— David Chalian (@DavidChalian) January 6, 2015
Once he arrived, he seemed to want to bring everyone in on the action.
Biden to press: “Any of you guys want to get sworn in?”— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2015
“We’re here to ask questions, sorry,” reporter retorts
Then, it was time to get started. For better or worse, Biden’s charm seems to know no limits. He’ll target senators’ children…
Two years ago, Biden — font of romantic wisdom — told the same granddaughter, "No serious guys until you're 30!"— Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) January 6, 2015
Joe "Handsy" Biden pic.twitter.com/mDZ51eWmks— Chris Moody (@moody) January 6, 2015
Biden holding a kid pic.twitter.com/O0KeKPa5Uy— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) January 6, 2015
Biden to Durbin's grandson, whose birthday is today: "You've got some killer eyes. The girls are in trouble." #Bidening— Jessica Taylor (@JessicaTaylor) January 6, 2015
January 6, 2015
VP Biden, to an attractive young granddaughter of Sen. Hatch: "I hope you have a fence around your house!"— Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) January 6, 2015
Biden to Pat Roberts's (R-KS) daughter: "Thank God you look like your mother"— Jessica Taylor (@JessicaTaylor) January 6, 2015
“I like kids better than people” — Biden— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2015
"I just swore in your grandson." – Biden talking to Sen. Cory Gardner's grandmother on the phone. Gardner: "Grandma, that really happened."— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) January 6, 2015
Biden to Sen. Susan Collins's (R-ME) husband: "As they say in Southern Delaware, boy you married up."— Jessica Taylor (@JessicaTaylor) January 6, 2015
…anyone he considered attractive…
Biden to L. Graham, as Biden pulls attractive woman in for a picture: "I tell you what, man, I may me Irish but I'm not stupid."— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) January 6, 2015
…and, of course, his longtime former colleagues.
Biden: “Dick! How are you pal.” Durbin: Thanks for swearing us in. Biden chuckles: “It’s easy for us to swear at you”— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) January 6, 2015
Biden just now to the 2nd group of Senators he is swearing-in: "Do any of you want to change your mind."— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) January 6, 2015
He took selfies.
He posed with dogs.
Shaheen brought the family dog for her swearing in pic.twitter.com/HYBENJkTCb— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2015
If today’s ceremony emphasized anything, it’s that political reporters love nothing more than the Biden mythos.
can we appoint Joe Biden permanent That One Uncle of the United States for ceremonial purposes?— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) January 6, 2015
This is all you need to know about how Joe Biden's swearing in ceremonies are going, in one GIF. pic.twitter.com/GEynE3HF61— Chris Moody (@moody) January 6, 2015
Disneyland should have a ride next to the Hall of Presidents where animatronic Joe Biden just swears people into office all day.— Chris Moody (@moody) January 6, 2015
Photo via Senator Stabenow/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)