Former Senator Jean Carnahan (D) wrote on Twitter yesterday about her friend Joe Biden (D):
Jean Carnahan @Jean_Carnahan
I worked with @JoeBiden in the U.S. Senate. I’d like to share some thoughts about my time with him. 1/8
2:21 PM – 2 Apr 2019
I arrived in the U.S. Senate after losing my husband and son in a plane crash weeks earlier. As I stepped down from the platform, where I was sworn in by Vice President Gore, waiting at the landing was Joe Biden. 2/8
Joe had entered the Senate in 1973, weeks after experiencing the loss of his wife and daughter in a car crash. Joe didn’t know me, only my loss during the final days of the 2000 campaign for the Senate seat in Missouri. 3/8
Joe took both of my hands in his and looked me in the eye for a long while before he spoke. He said simply, “I know, I know.” For a brief moment we were two souls joined by a loss that changed our lives. After that, Joe would often pause to ask how I was getting along. 4/8
It was his empathy and encouragement more than that of any of my colleagues, that gave me strength to meet each day. And, yes, I sometimes, got a shoulder pat or even a head kiss. Joe has a deep desire to share in the lives of others—their grief, pain, and joy. 5/8
He reaches out through the human touch to connect and express those feelings. As Mother Teresa said, “People have forgotten what the human touch is, what it is to smile, for somebody to recognize them, somebody to wish them well.” 6/8
Joe has not forgotten this; it’s part of who he is. Like everything else about his big, Irish personality, he expresses those feelings with exuberance and sincerity. 7/8
It’s been said that healing from a loss is like having a pebble in your shoe. It’s always there, but you keep on walking. Joe, keep on walking. Our country needs a little humanity right now. 8/8
At the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial [Gateway Arch] in St. Louis on May 13, 2014:
Today at the White House:
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 12, 2017
Remarks by the President and the Vice President in Presentation of the Medal of Freedom to Vice President Joe Biden
State Dining Room
3:50 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Hey! All right, that’s enough. Don’t want to embarrass the guy. (Laughter.)
Welcome to the White House, everybody. As I have already delivered my farewell address, I will try to be relatively brief. But I just wanted to get some folks together to pay tribute to somebody who has not only been by my side for the duration of this amazing journey, but somebody who has devoted his entire professional life to service to this country, the best Vice President America has ever had, Mr. Joe Biden. (Applause.)
This also gives the Internet one last chance to talk about our bromance. (Laughter.) This has been quite a ride. It was eight and a half years ago that I chose Joe to be my Vice President. There has not been a single moment since that time that I’ve doubted the wisdom of that decision. He was the best possible choice, not just for me, but for the American people. This is an extraordinary man with an extraordinary career in public service. This is somebody the people of Delaware sent to the Senate as quickly as they possibly could. (Laughter.)
Elected at age 29, for more than a dozen years apiece he served as chair or ranking member of the Judiciary and Foreign Relation Committees. Domestically, he championed landmark legislation to make our communities safer, to protect our women from violence. Internationally, his wisdom and capacity to build relationships that shaped our nation’s response to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain, to counterterrorism, Iraq, Afghanistan.
And for the past eight years, he could not have been a more devoted or effective partner in the progress that we’ve made. He fought to make college more affordable and revitalize American manufacturing as the head of our Middle Class Task Force. He suited up for our Cancer Moonshot, giving hope to millions of Americans touched by this disease.
He led our efforts to combat gun violence, and he rooted out any possible misappropriations that might have occurred. And as a consequence, the Recovery Act worked as well as just about any largescale stimulus project has ever worked in this country. He visited college after college — and made friends with Lady Gaga (laughter) — for our “It’s On Us” campaign against campus sexual assault. And when the Pope visited, Joe was even kind enough to let me talk to His Holiness, as well. (Laughter.)
Behind the scenes, Joe’s candid, honest counsel has made me a better President and a better Commander-in-Chief. From the Situation Room to our weekly lunches, to our huddles after everybody else has cleared out of the room, he’s been unafraid to give it to me straight, even if we disagree — in fact, especially if we disagree.
And all of this makes him, I believe, the finest Vice President we have ever seen. And I also think he has been a lion of American history. The best part is he’s nowhere close to finished. In the years ahead, as a citizen, he will continue to build on that legacy, internationally and domestically. He’s got a voice of vision and reason and optimism, and a love for people. And we’re going to need that spirit and that vision as we continue to try to make our world safer and to make sure that everybody has got a fair shot in this country.
So, all told, that’s a pretty remarkable legacy. An amazing career in public service. It is, as Joe once said, a big deal. (Laughter and applause.) It is.
But we all know that, on its own, his work — this list of accomplishments, the amazing résumé — does not capture the full measure of Joe Biden. I have not mentioned Amtrak yet or aviators. (Laughter.) Literally. (Laughter.)
Folks don’t just feel like they know Joe the politician, they feel like they know the person — what makes him laugh, what he believes, what he cares about, and where he came from. Pretty much every time he speaks, he treats us to some wisdom from the nuns who taught him in grade school — (laughter) — or from an old Senate colleague.
But, of course, more frequently cited — Catherine and Joseph, Sr., his mom and dad: “No one’s better than you, but you’re better than nobody.” (Laughter.) “Bravery resides in every heart, and yours is fierce and clear.” “And when you get knocked down, Joey, get up — get up.” (Laughter.) “Get up.” (Applause.)
That’s where he got those broad shoulders. That’s where he got that Biden heart. And through his life, through trial after trial, he has never once forgotten the values and the moral fiber that made him who he is. That’s what steels his faith in God, and in America, and in his friends, and in all of us.
When Joe talks to autoworkers whose livelihoods he helped save, we hear the son of a man who once knew the pain of having to tell his kids that he had lost his job.
When Joe talks about hope and opportunity for our children, we hear the father who rode the rails home every night so that he could be there to tuck his kids into bed.
When Joe sticks up for the little guy, we hear the young boy who used to stand in front of the mirror, reciting Yeats or Emerson, studying the muscles in his face, determined to vanquish a debilitating stutter.
And when Joe talks to Gold Star families who have lost a hero, we hear a kindred spirit; another father of an American veteran; somebody whose faith has been tested, and who has been forced to wander through the darkness himself, and who knows who to lean on to find the light.
So that’s Joe Biden — a resilient, and loyal, and humble servant, and a patriot. But most of all, a family man. Starts with Jill, “Captain of the Vice Squad.” (Laughter.) Only the Second Lady in our history to keep her regular day job. (Applause.) Jill says, teaching isn’t what she does, it’s who she is. A few days after Joe and I were inaugurated in 2009, she was back in the classroom teaching. That’s why when our administration worked to strengthen community colleges, we looked to Jill to lead the way.
She’s also traveled the world to boost education and empowerment for women. And as a Blue Star mom, her work with Michelle to honor our military families will go down in history as one of the most lasting and powerful efforts of this administration.
Of course, like Joe, Jill’s work is only part of the story. She just seems to walk this Earth so lightly, spreads her joy so freely. And she reminds us that although we’re in a serious business, we don’t have to take ourselves too seriously. She’s quick with a laugh or a practical joke, disguising herself as a server at a party she once hosted — (laughter) –to liven the mood. She once hid in the overhead compartment of Air Force 2 to scare the senior staff. (Laughter.) Because why not? She seems to have a sixth sense of when to send a note of encouragement to a friend or a staffer, a simple thank you or a box of macaroons.
She is one of the best, most genuine people that I’ve met not just in politics, but in my entire life. She is grounded, and caring, and generous, and funny, and that’s why Joe is proud to introduce himself as “Jill Biden’s husband.” (Laughter.)
And to see them together is to see what real love looks like — through thick and thin, good times and bad. It’s an all-American love story. Jill once surprised Joe by painting hearts on his office windows for Valentine’s Day.
And then there are these Biden kids and grandkids. They’re everywhere. (Laughter.) They’re all good-looking. (Laughter.) Hunter and Ashley, who lived out that family creed of raising good families and looking out for the least of our brothers and sisters. Beau, who is watching over us with those broad shoulders and mighty heart himself — a man who left a beautiful legacy and inspired an entire nation. Naomi, and Finn, and Maisy, and Natalie, and little Hunter — grandchildren who are the light of Joe’s eyes, and gives him an excuse to bust out the squirt gun around the pool. (Laughter.) This is the kind of family that built this country.
That’s why my family is so proud to call ourselves honorary Bidens. (Laughter.) As Yeats put it — because I had to quote an Irish poet, and Seamus Heaney was taken — (laughter) — “Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.”
Away from the camera, Jill and Michelle have each other’s backs just as much as when they’re out championing our troops. Our girls are close, best friends at school, inviting each other for vacations and sleepovers. Even though our terms are nearly over, one of the greatest gifts of these past eight years is that we’re forever bonded as a family.
But, of course, I know that the Obamas are not the only ones who feel like they’re part of the Biden clan because Joe’s heart has radiated around this room. You see it in the enduring friendships he’s forged with folks of every stripe and background up on Capitol Hill. You see it in the way that his eyes light up when he finds somebody in a rope line from Scranton. (Laughter.) Or just the tiniest towns in Delaware. (Laughter.) You see it in the incredible loyalty of his staff, the team who knows that family always comes before work because Joe tells them so every day, the team that reflects their boss’s humble service. Here in this building where there have been no turf wars between our staffs because everybody here has understood that we were all on the same mission and shared the same values, there has just been cooperation and camaraderie. And that is rare. It’s a testament to Joe and the tone that he’s set.
And finally, you see Joe’s heart in the way he consoles families, dealing with cancer, backstage after an event; when he meets kids fighting through a stutter of their own, he gives them his private phone number and keeps in touch with them long after. To know Joe Biden is to know love without pretense, service without self-regard, and to live life fully.
As one of his long-time colleagues in the Senate, who happened to be a Republican, once said, “If you can’t admire Joe Biden as a person, you got a problem. He’s as good a man as God ever created.”
So, Joe, for your faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country, and for your lifetime of service that will endure through the generations, I’d like to ask the military aide to join us on stage.
For the final time as President, I am pleased to award our nation’s highest civilian honor — the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (Applause.)
And for the first and only time in my presidency, I will bestow this medal with an additional level of veneration, an honor my three most recent successors reserved for only three others: Pope John Paul II, President Ronald Reagan, and General Colin Powell.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction to my brother, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.
Will the aide please read the citation.
MILITARY AIDE: Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. In a career of public service spanning nearly half a century, Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., has left his mark on almost every part of our nation, fighting for a stronger middle class, a fairer judicial system and a smarter foreign policy; providing unyielding support for our troops; combatting crime and violence against women; leading our quest to cure cancer; and safeguarding the landmark American Recovery and Reinvestment Act from corruption.
With his charm, candor, unabashed optimism, and deep and abiding patriotism, Joe Biden has garnered the respect and esteem of colleagues of both parties, and the friendship of people across the nation and around the world. While summoning the strength, faith and grace to overcome great personal tragedy, this son of Scranton, Claymont, and Wilmington has become one of the most consequential Vice Presidents in American history, an accolade that nonetheless rests firmly behind his legacy as husband, father, and grandfather.
A grateful nation thanks Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. for his lifetime of service on behalf of the United States of America.
(The Medal of Freedom is presented.) (Applause.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mr. President. (Applause.) Please, please, thank you. Thank you. (Applause.) Please. Thank you.
Ricchetti, you’re fired. (Laughter.) For the press, Ricchetti is my chief of staff. (Laughter.)
I had no inkling. I thought we were coming over, Michelle, to — for you, Jill, and Barack and I and a couple of senior staff to toast one another and say what an incredible journey it’s been.
Mr. President, you got right the part about my leaning on Jill. But I’ve also leaned on you and a lot of people in this room. I look around the room, and I see great friends like Ted Kaufman, who has been — has so much wisdom. Guys like Mel Monzack. I look around here and I’m startled. I keep seeing people I don’t expect. Madam President, how are you? Mr. President, look at my new boss over there. (Laughter.)
But you know, I get a lot of credit I don’t deserve, to state the obvious and — because I’ve always had somebody to lean on. From back that time in 1972, when the accident happened, I leaned on — and I mean this in literal sense; Chris knows this — Dodd knows this, and Mel knows this, and Ted knows this — I leaned on my sons Beau and Hunter. And I continue to lean on Hunter who continues to in a bizarre kind of way raise me. I mean I’ve leaned on them.
And, Mr. President, you observed early on that when either one of my boys would walk in the room, they’d walk up and say, Dad, what can I get you? Dad, what do you need?
And then Jill came along, and she saved our lives. She — no man deserves one great love, let alone two. And — but everybody knows here, I am Jill’s husband. Everybody knows that I love her more than she loves me. (Laughter.) With good reason. (Laughter.) And she gave me the most precious gift, the love of my life, the life of my love, my daughter, Ashley.
And I continue to lean on the family. Mr. President, you kidded me once. You heard that the preparation for the two debates — vice presidential debates that I had — I only had two that Beau and Hunt would be the last people in the room. And Beau would say, look at me, Dad. Look at me. Remember, remember home base. Remember.
And the Secret Service can tell you, Mr. President, that Beau and Hunt and Ashley continue to have to corral me. We were at one of the national parks, and I was climbing up on top of a bridge to jump off the bridge with a bunch of young kids. And I hear my sons yelling, Dad, get down. Now! (Laughter.) And I just started laughing so hard I couldn’t stop. And I said, I was just going to do a flip — a full gainer off here.
He said, Dad, the Secret Service doesn’t want you up there. Dad. Look at me, Dad. (Laughter.)
So we’ve never figured out who the father is in this family. (Laughter.)
And, Mr. President, you know that with good reason there is no power in the vice presidency. Matter of fact I just did for Nancy Pelosi’s daughter a reading of the Constitution. You probably did one for her. And they had me read the provisions relating to the vice presidency in the Constitution. And there is no inherent power, nor should there be.
But, Mr. President, you have more than kept your commitment to me by saying that you wanted me to help govern. The President’s line often — other people don’t hear it that often, but when someone would say, can you get Joe to do such and such. He says, I don’t do his schedule. He doesn’t do mine.
Every single thing you’ve asked me to do, Mr. President, you have trusted me to do. And that is — that’s a remarkable thing. I don’t think according to — I see the President of Georgetown here, as well. I don’t think according to the presidential, vice presidential scholars that kind of relationship has existed. I mean, for real. It’s all you, Mr. President. It’s all you.
The reason why when you send me around the world, nothing gets — as my mom would say, gets missed between the cup and the lip, it’s because they know when I speak, I speak for you.
And it’s been easy, Mr. President, because we not only have the same political philosophy and ideology, I tell everybody — and I’ve told them from the beginning. And I’m not saying this to reciprocate. I’ve never known a President and few people I’ve ever met my whole life — I can count on less than one hand — who have had the integrity and the decency and the sense of other people’s needs like you do.
I know you were upset when I told the story about when Hunt and I were worried that Beau would have to — that he would, as a matter of honor, decide he had to step down as attorney general while he was fighting his battle because he had aphasia. He was losing his ability to speak, and he didn’t want to ever be in a position where to him everything was about duty and honor.
And I said, and he may resign. I don’t know I just have the feeling he may. And Hunt and I had talked about this. And I said, he doesn’t have any other income, but we’re all right because Hunt’s there, and I can sell the house.
We were having a private lunch like we do once a week. And this man got up, came over, grabbed me by the shoulders, looked me in the eye, and said, don’t you sell that house. You love that house.
I said, it’s no big deal, Mr. President. He said, I’ll give you the money. We’ll give you the money. Promise me, promise me you won’t sell that house.
I remember when Ashley, Mr. President, we were in the Oval, and Ashley was in an elevator, and the elevator plummeted to the — she was with a group of people — I forget which building in Philadelphia, and it plummeted to the ground. And immediately the Service was worried that she may have been badly hurt. And I got up to take the call, and you didn’t let up until you made sure your service followed through and made sure everything was all right.
But you know, Mr. President, we kid about both about marrying up. We both did, that kind of thing. But the truth of the matter is — I said this to Michelle last night. Michelle is the finest First Lady in my view that has ever served in the office. There’s been other great First Ladies, but I really genuinely mean it. (Applause.)
When I got to meet Michelle’s brother, and he told me about how you guys were raised, and I got to know and love your mom, if your mom — were your mom 15 years older, she could have been my mom. Literally, the way you were raised, the way we were raised, there wasn’t any difference. And I knew that this decision to join you, which was the greatest honor of my life, was the right decision on the night we had to go and accept the nomination, the formal — we’d be nominated at the convention. And Finnegan, who is now 18 years old, was then 10 years old. And she came to me, and she said, Pop, is it okay if the room that we’re in — Finnegan, Maisy, and Naomi — that we have the beds taken out. And I said, why? She said, maybe the Obama girls and your brothers’ children, maybe they would come down, all sleep together in sleeping bags. (Laughter.) And I give you my word as a Biden, I knew when I left to go to the convention, open that door, and saw them cuddled together, I knew this was the right decision. I knew it was the right decision. I really did. Because, Mr. President, the same values set — the same values set.
Folks, you know, I joke with my staff that I don’t know why they pay them anything, because they get to advise me. (Laughter.) Let me explain what I mean by that. As the President of the University of Delaware, where my heart resides, and my home campus of Delaware, as he can tell you, it’s — I get to give you advice. I get to be the last guy in the room and give you advice on the most difficult decisions anyone has to make in the whole world. But I get to walk out, and you make it all by yourself. All by yourself.
Harry Truman was right about the buck stopping at the desk. And I’ve never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never once doubted, on these life and death decisions, I never once doubted that your judgement was flawed — not once. Not once.
And we’ve disagreed, and we’ve argued, and we’ve raised our voices, one of which we made a deal we’d be completely open like brothers with one another. But, Mr. President, I watched you under intense fire. I will venture to say that no President in history has had as many novel crises land on his desk in all of history. The Civil War was worse, the World War Two was worse, but, Mr. President, almost every one of the crises you faced was a case of first instance — a case of first instance. And I watched that prodigious mind and that heart as big as your head — I’ve watched you. I’ve watched how you’ve acted.
When you see a woman or man under intense pressure, you get a measure — and you know that, Michelle, and your daughters know it, as well. This is a remarkable man. And I just hope that the asterisk in history that is attached to my name when they talk about this presidency is that I can say I was part of the journey of a remarkable man who did remarkable things for this country. (Applause.)
You know, I can’t let a comment go by without quoting an Irish poet. (Laughter.) Jill and I talk about why you were able to develop the way you developed and with the heart you have. Michelle and I have talked about it. I’ve confided in Michelle, I’ve gone to her for advice. We’ve talked about this man. You give me insight. And I think it’s because — Mr. President, you gave me credit for having understanding other people’s misery and suffering. Mr. President, there is not one single, solitary ounce of entitlement in you, or Michelle, or your beautiful daughters — and you girls are incredible, you really are. That’s not hyperbole, you really are. Not one ounce of entitlement.
And Seamus Heaney in one of his poems said — (laughter) — when you can find someone who says it better, use it. He said, you carried your own burden and very soon, your symptoms of creeping privilege disappeared. You carried your own burdens, and very soon, the creeping symptoms of privilege disappeared.
Mr. President, you have sometimes been like a lone wolf, but you carried yourself in a way that’s pretty remarkable. The history of the journey — your journey — is something people are going to write about a long time, and I’m not being solicitous when I say this. And you’re so fortunate, both of you, to have found each other because all that grounding, all that you have, made this guy totally whole. And it’s pretty amazing.
Mr. President, this honor is not only well beyond what I deserve, but it’s a reflection on the extent and generosity of your spirit. I don’t deserve this, but I know it came from the President’s heart. There is a Talmudic saying that says, what comes from the heart, enters the heart. Mr. President, you have creeped into our heart — you and your whole family, including Mom — and you occupy it. It’s an amazing thing that happened. I knew how smart you were. I knew how honorable you were. I knew how decent you were from the couple years we worked in the Senate, and I knew what you were capable of. But I never fully expected that you’d occupy the Bidens’ heart, from Hunter, to Ashley, my sister, all of us. All of us.
And Mr. President, I’m indebted to you. I’m indebted to your friendship, I’m indebted to your family, and as I’ll tell you — I’ll end on a humorous note. We’re having a lunch — lunches, and mostly it’s what’s ever in either one of our minds. We’ll talk about family an awful lot. And about six months in, President looks at me, he said, you know, Joe, you know what surprised me? How we’ve become such good friends. (Laughter.) And I said, surprised you? (Laughter.)
But that is candid Obama, and it’s real, and, Mr. President, you know as long as there’s a breath in me, I’ll be there for you, my whole family will be, and I know, I know it is reciprocal. And I want to thank you all so very, very, very much. All of you in here. (Applause.)
4:27 P.M. EST
Vice President Joe Biden in St. Louis – May 13, 2014.
Vice President Joe Biden was in St. Louis yesterday for an event promoting infrastructure at the riverfront construction project next to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (the Arch). From the White House:
…the Vice President will visit the CityArchRiver project at the St. Louis Gateway Arch to discuss the economy and highlight the progress of this future urban park site. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Senator Richard Durbin will also attend…
After touring the construction site.
(left to right) St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Vice President Biden.
The event was definitely held at a construction site.
Vice President Joe Biden: ….You know, there are now, uh, those in Congress and in other parts of this country who say we can’t, uh, afford to make these kind of investments, we can’t afford to be rebuilding our infrastructure. Uh, but I think that the vast majority of the American people agree that every generation of, of leadership in this country has understood that the infrastructure is the back upon which this great nation has been built. In 1806 the Congress, uh, when it didn’t have a whole lot of money [inaudible] and built the first national road, from Maryland to Illinois, because it had a vision. They had a vision of moving west….
….And we have to rebuild the infrastructure of this country. Uh, the fact of the matter is we’ve stalled, we’ve stalled. And, uh, you know, I give you one example – the World Economic Forum ranks America eighteenth in the world in overall quality of its roads. Did you ever you’d live to see the day that we were heading down toward twenty in terms of what we could do or who we were?….
….This is about jobs. This is about growth….
….The Arch is much more than a land mark, quite frankly, it’s a metaphor for America never resting, always looking to improve….
Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).
The rain comes down.
The Arch in the rain.
The Harkin Steak Fry 2013 – photos (September 15, 2013)
Yep, that’s about it (September 16, 2013)
‘Twas an epic roadtrip, that’s for sure (September 16, 2013)
The featured speakers for the 36th annual Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa, held this year at the Warren County Fairgrounds, were San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Vice President Joe Biden.
Vice President Joe Biden.
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.
T-shirts worn by a number of college Democrats.
We made the four and a half our drive through the rain to Indianola, Iowa for the 36th annual Harkin Steak Fry, held this year at the Warren County Fairgrounds. The featured speakers were San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Vice President Joe Biden. After a few early bouts of rain the sky held back for the rest of the event. There was well over a thousand people in attendance, not counting a significant contingent of national media.
Our friend from previous years, Nick Lucy.
Senator Tom Harkin, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, and Vice President Joe Biden.
Vice President Joe Biden greeting steak fry volunteers.
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.
Vice President Joe Biden.
Part of the crowd and the main media riser.
After his speech Vice President Biden spent well over a half hour greeting people on the rope line.
As you may have noticed, Missouri’s 8th district is about to have a special election. Jo Ann Emerson is following up being elected to her 9th term by resigning early and taking a new job. The date of her resignation is up in the air (turns out resigning in February might postpone a special election for way too long) and thus the date of the special election is up in the air, with the hope that the election will be held in April.
So with an impending election, the candidates are popping up. Wendall Bailey emerged from wherever he’s been to run for office on a “I will not seek re-election and allow for a hilarious primary” platform. Speaking of hilarious primaries, Sarah Steelman is also running!.
But there’s one man who stands above the rest. A man not afraid to tweet his mind (at least until he got some people to tell him to stop retweeting embarrassing things). That man is Missouri’s Lt. Governor, Peter Kinder and he is running reports Eli Yokley.
Peter Kinder held a few jobs before beginning his career in elective office in 1993. He was a campaign manager for Bill Emerson. He even worked in Washington DC. But years after coming home from DC, Peter Kinder was an editorial writer for the Southeast Missourian.
For the younger readers who may not remember newspapers or editorial pages. It’s where people would kind of blog. Only without links and within a set amount of space. Some of them even had editors too.
Since the search powers of Google’s newspaper archive are a bit limited (Sadly, Google has deemphasized their newspaper archive in recent years). I feel it would be informative to bring you a look into the Peter Kinder Southeast Missourian files.
It was 1988. Rust Communications had just bought the Southeast Missourian two years earlier* and the Southeast Missourian editorial page was diverse. The editorial page displayed a split between conservative and really conservative. A place where you could peacefully read Pat Buchanan, Joe Sobran, or George Will while grousing over the changes in the times.
(* – Rust Communications now owns 15 newspapers in the 8th Congressional District, with newspapers in Advance/Bloomfield, Cape Girardeau, Caruthersville, Chaffee, Dexter, Doniphan, Kennett, Malden/Campbell, Marble Hill, Poplar Bluff, Portageville, Puxico, Sikeston, Steele, and Thayer)
On right wing editorial pages, 1988 was a year with an extraordinary interest in Jesse Jackson, fading into the fall as they focused on Michael Dukakis’ ACLU army of darkness matching over the countryside. The Peter Kinder column covered those general topics. But he also hit on his notes of importance. Such as editorializing against 8th district Congressional candidate Wayne Cryts (a habit he kept alive for several years after the final Cryts campaign in 1988).
Referring to Cryts’ support by Congressman Lane Evans of Illinois, Kinder declared Evans to be “easily one of the two-dozen most ultra liberal members of Congress”, “as close as you can get in American politics to being an out-and-out socialist without declaring himself as such” and “a male version of Harriett Woods”.
After thwarting Michael Dukakis’ and Lane Evans’ plans to implement the socialist state, Peter the editorializer got to spread his wings and display all the right-wing bombast you could fit into an assigned portion of the Southeast Missourian from Sunday to Friday (never on Saturdays, the Southeast Missourian takes their Saturdays off). It was a time for Peter Kinder to go at all foes in his vicinity. Sure, he would devote a random paragraph to local events from time to time, but in the Kinder column, it was no holds barred.
So now, the very quotable Editorial Kinder (all emphasis’ added):
On Feminists (and anybody he’d categorize as such):
“All the dreadful gasbags who lead the militant Feminist movement were in DC on Sunday, leading 300,000 marchers down Constitution Avenue to try and frighten and intimidate the United States Supreme Court. There was Betty Friedan and Eleanor Smeal; the twin Glorias, Steinem and Allred; Phil Donahue and Jane Fonda, countless other movie stars, and of course the ever-truculent and depressingly masculine Molly (“I am outraged!) Yard, the current president of the National Organization for Women (NOW)”
On the rise in Gender-discrimination based abortions:
“There is growing evidence across the country that couples are increasingly choosing abortion when the gender of the fetus is determined to be female. That’s right: couples are choosing to abort entirely healthy girl babies in order to try again to conceive a male baby”
“Feminists bring a sad hardness to our lives“ (actual column title!)
“The billboard advertises a florist’s business and features a very fine looking pair of women’s legs covered at the top by a mini-skirt. The caption on the board next to the Town and Country Florist’s logo says, “We Have the Best Stems in Town!”
Such a delightfully effective manner of communicating is an unspeakable outrage for some people. It simply cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Sure enough, the Feminist Thought Police have strapped on their jackboots; that tramp-tramp-tramp you hear is their battalions marching in to express their fury. To the barricades!”
“The bad news is that they’re bringing into St. Louis this weekend the perfectly dreadful Molly Yard, national president of NOW. (Ms. Yard has of course distinguished herself as one of the leading Harpies of our time)”
“The Goddess of Militant Feminist Equality is a harridan, a sterile creature. She is an ugly, shrill and jealous deity, before which the spirit of our age commands us to bow down. She is as crabbed, as dreadfully serious and as narrow as the leveling spirit that animates her desire to control literally every institution in our society. Even ones that do no harm and which don’t need changing.”
“George Patton, meet Congresswoman Pat Schroeder. Stonewall Jackson, meet Bella Abzug. George Marshall, meet Molly Yard and her storm troopers at the National Organization for Women. It’s enough to drive a man to drink“
On Joe Biden, activities of:
Actual column title: Plantation beckons: Who is next for Joe Biden to lynch?
“The Liberal Plantation is headquartered in the Big House up on Capitol Hill. From there the plantation masters – Senators such as Massa Kennedy, Massa Biden and Massa Metzenbaum – control their subjects”
“The slavery that existed under force of law during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries was America’s shame, to be sure. Its legacy still hurts, and hurts badly. Still, that tragic legacy could hardly be more degrading than the state of dependency foisted on Black America during this country through the Liberal Plantation, by their Massas in the Big House up on the Hill”
“For Massas Biden, Kennedy, and Metzenbaum, [Clarence] Thomas is sufficiently uppity that he cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Because, you see, he could rip away the veil that hides the Plantation, the Massas, and all their overseers, thereby exposing their massive fraud for the scam that it is”
On visions of Clarence Thomas’ Judiciary Committee hearings (a year before his nomination):
“It would be sweet to see Senators Biden, Kennedy and Metzenbaum squirm as a self-confident black man turned the tables on their pious bombast, riveting the nation with an explanation of these senators’ betrayal of true civil rights.”
On the campaign to stop Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork:
“The Goebbels-like attack by liberals against Bork featured intentional distortions, shrill personal attacks, blatant intellectual dishonesty, witness intimidation, demagoguery, and lies”
On Judges, activities to engage them in:
After describing two amendments he supported to limit the powers of judges: “I say it’s time for a little public horsewhipping of a few judges. Mr. Justice Brennan for example.“
“I was raised in the Methodist church. Lengthy, hand-wringing thought-pieces in its church publications about massive membership decline have long been commonplace. But the next time somebody wants to convene a conference to discuss these massive losses (now approaching their fourth straight decade) of mainline Protestant denominations, I would send them instead to the encyclopedia. Look under “Protestant Churches, Mainline Denominations”, sub-heading, “Continuing Membership losses… Cause(s):… Smug Political, Social, and Economic Sermonizing Dressed Up As Christianity… (Liberals preferred, moderates tolerated, conservatives need never apply).“”
On Gay and Lesbian Awareness Day and related issues:
“No doubt there are more of your tax dollars at work here, folks. But after all, what are hardworking taxpayers for? What, indeed, if not: to have our money confiscated; our society trashed; our moral and ethical values trampled; our religions blasphemed; our sensible outrage sneered at; our families threatened and yes, our children and other innocents among us placed at deadly risk? And all it accompanied and enabled by compulsory, tax-paid subsidies, complete with cries of Nazi! and censorship! for anybody with the temerity to express disgust.”
On the Spread of AIDS (column on page 14 of page, displayed sideways):
“The euology [evology? ecology? – RBH] of this horrible affliction is one that continues to confound medical researchers the world over. But there can be no doubt that it was spread here by fantastically, almost unimaginably promiscuous male homosexuals”
On activities which take no skin off of Peter Kinder’s nose (same source):
“I repeat, no argument is advanced here for gay-bashing, My own attitude can be summarized:
If two guys and a chicken want to rent a room somewhere and have a go at each other, it’s no skin off my nose, and I suppose it’s none of the government’s business, as long as they’re consenting adults. (Recruitment and pedophilia are other, highly troubling issues). Whether in doing so our two guys display sufficient sensitivity to the rights of the chicken is another matter indeed. This must surely be the subject of the next Awareness Day, supervised by the Animal Rights people, Poultry Division. I’m sure there are student funds available.”
Reading the Southeast Missourian columns of Peter Kinder make the Tweets seem drab and predictable by comparison. But the years 1988 through 1991 were one heck of a time to be alive, especially on the editorial pages. Don’t let the militant feminists in Peter Kinder’s nightmares tell you any differently. It was a time to go after the boogeyman of the day, or in the case of writers like Kinder, a time to gradually get more and more disappointed with the first President Bush after his 1990 tax hike.
But Peter Kinder’s public life escaped the editorial pages when State Senator John Dennis chose not to seek re-election in 1992, Peter Kinder moved to run for the State Senate. He defeated former First Lady/former State Representative Betty Hearnes by a 55-45 margin, and the rest was history.
Now he’s eying a way to Washington DC. So let’s reflect on his thoughts on Washington DC from a simpler time (column titled: “D.C. A parasite that threatens your health“):
“Make no mistake, Washington is a lovely city, especially in the spring. It is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, full of interesting educational opportunities and stimulating adventures.
For me, however, it will always be Alien Territory”
Well, we’ll see which Republican gets a chance to invade that Alien Territory in a few months, won’t we?
….Martha Raddatz: I, I, I want to go back to the abortion question here. If the Romney Ryan ticket is elected should those who believe that abortion should remain legal be worried?
Paul Ryan (r): [sigh] We don’t think that unelected judges should make this decision, that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination.
Vice President Joe Biden (D): The court, the next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominees. That’s how close Roe v Wade is. Just ask yourself, with Robert Bork being the chief adviser on the court for, for Mr. Romney, who do you think he’s likely to appoint? Do you think he’s likely to appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court far right that would outlaw (inaudible), outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen.
I guarantee you, that will not happen. We picked two people. We pick people who are open-minded. They’ve been good justices. So keep an eye on the Supreme Court…
Paul Ryan (r): Was there a litmus test on them?
Vice President Joe Biden (D): There was no litmus test. We picked people who had an open mind; did not come with an agenda.
Martha Raddatz: I’m, I’m going to move on to this closing question because we are running out of time….
“…We don’t think that unelected judges should make this decision, that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination…”
Consensus? PPP in Missouri (August 2012):
….Q7 Which of the following statements comes closest to your position on abortion: it should be legal in all cases; it should generally be illegal with exception for rape, incest, or protection of the mother’s life; or should it be completely illegal?
Legal in all cases 33%
Illegal except for rape, incest, or the mother’s life 47%
Completely illegal 14%
Not sure 5%
I rest my case.
Charles P. Pierce on Paul Ryan:
…He was more lost in Afghanistan than the Russian army ever was…
We are not worthy. Go. read the whole thing.
…Joe Biden laughed at him? Of course, he did. The only other option was to hand him a participation ribbon and take him to Burger King for lunch.
You know what’s the difference between Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan?
I bow down before the master.