Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Obama and Cabinet at Jean Biden Funeral

WILMINGTON, Delaware — US President Barack Obama led a high-powered cabinet delegation Tuesday to the funeral of Vice President Joe Biden’s beloved mother, who died last week at age 92.


Catherine Eugenia ‘Jean’ Finnegan Biden passed away at the family home in the small eastern state of Delaware on Friday, surrounded by her family.

Joining Obama on the short flight on Air Force One from Andrews Air Force base were First Lady Michelle Obama, and 14 members of the cabinet, plus House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Also reflecting Biden’s years in Washington, and the grounding role in his political life played by his mother, the funeral guest list also included former president Bill Clinton, and a string of lawmakers, the White House said.

After she died last week, Biden said his mother’s strength was “immeasurable.”

“At 92, she was the center of our family and taught all of her children that family is to be treasured, loyalty is paramount and faith will guide you through the tough times,” Biden noted.

“She believed in us, and because of that, we believed in ourselves.”

The vice president frequently sprinkles his speeches with wisdom and wit he attributes to his mother and late father, who died in 2002, often focusing on lessons he learned as a young boy.

“When I got knocked down by guys bigger than me, she sent me back out and demanded that I bloody their nose so I could walk down that street the next day,” former senator Biden said in his Democratic National Convention speech in 2008.

“My mother’s creed is the American creed: No one is better than you. You are everyone’s equal, and everyone is equal to you.”

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved

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