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Joe Biden and Barack Obama at the “photo-op”, Harkin Steak Fry, Indianola Iowa, September 16, 2007.

Almost a year ago I scored my first press credential to cover the Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa for Show Me Progress. Looking back through those stories and photos recently I was reminded of a brief encounter between Barack Obama and Joe Biden as their photo-ops overlapped:

Road Trip! – The Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa – What? No mud?

…I made my way back to the public grounds. I see Joe Biden. There are three people around him. I take a few photos.

I spot a swirling crowd. It’s Obama – he’s surrounded by a swarm of media and supporters. I join in and and start taking pictures. The mass of humanity makes its way to the photo op-area. After Obama walks into the fenced area those of us with press passes follow.

Obama is engaged in a lengthy conversation with a grill volunteer. He listens intently.

Joe Biden makes his way into the photo-op area. He and Obama are simultaneously greeting the people in the area. They see each other and shake hands…


Joe Biden poses for photos on the grounds at the Harkin Steak Fry, September 16, 2007.

Unlike Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwrads, Joe Biden could stroll around the grounds at without being swarmed by media and attendees. Obama did walk the grounds, but there was a sea of people around him. I did not see Hillary Clinton nor John Edwards out in the general crowd. They would have been mobbed.

I hadn’t noticed this at the time, but looking through the photos yesterday I see the name tag. It reads: “Hunter Biden”.

Joseph R. Biden Jr.

For Senator, Another Comeback

By Eli Saslow and Amy Goldstein

Washington Post Staff Writers

Sunday, August 24, 2008; Page A01

…Biden traveled to Washington to start interviewing potential staff members while Neilia prepared for a celebratory Christmas at home. One afternoon, while Biden was setting up his office, a friend called and told him to rush back to Delaware. Neilia and the children had been in a car accident while shopping for a Christmas tree, the friend said. Biden arrived in Wilmington two hours later to learn that Neilia and their baby daughter, Naomi, were dead. Their sons, Beau and Hunter, were severely injured.

Devastated, Biden decided he would not take his Senate seat. The Senate majority leader at the time, Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.), called Biden incessantly at the Wilmington hospital, begging him to change his mind. Biden finally relented and said he’d try the job for six months. He took his oath of office from his sons’ hospital room…

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Iowa Senator Tom Harkin (D) and Joe Biden.