My friend B has met Joe Biden and he told us all about it on FaceBook today -
Right then. By popular demand! A tale entitled “The day I met Joe Biden (and how it doesn’t bode well for Britain)”.
" October 2008. In my job as Head of IT for (Name withheld) UK, I was visiting (Name withheld) US in Westport, Connecticut and then had to go to their offices in Washington DC. Though flights from NYC took an hour, with the connections at each end it actually worked out that taking a train would be about the same time and a lot less stress. So, after sharing a taxi from Westport to Stamford with a Norwegian who couldn’t convince the driver that gasoline cost six times as much where he came from, I settled into my 5 hour trip down through the North East, in a nice window seat with decent padding and good legroom.
New England in the Fall is stunning. So many different types of trees and colours I’d never seen in Old England. The train, originating in Boston, worked it’s way down into New York and under Manhattan, then onto Philadelphia and down through Delaware, Baltimore and finally to DC.
About an hour before the train was due to arrive in Washington, and after we’d stopped at Wilmington, my (previously quiet) carriage started to fill up at the far end and people started to get excited – you know, as Americans do.
The newspapers I had were full of stories about the live event on TV that night, where Joe Biden was in the Vice-Presidential debate with Sarah Palin. What I didn’t know then was that Joe’s nickname was “Amtrack Joe”, because he used to commute to work that way. And as the crowd of photographers and the grey-haired guy got closer, I realised that Amtrack Joe was coming my way.
The train wasn’t packed but he was greeting people as he passed them, some getting longer than others. The guy in the row in front of me was very excited and I watched at close quarters as he got his camera out (phone cams then were less common) and Joe happily posed for what we would now call a “selfie”.
Joe then turned and spoke to the person across from selfie guy and then turned back to me.
I’d been seated until then but I’m not rude so I went to get up and said “Hello, I’m English”. Joe, who by now was offering his hand outstretched and beaming his very expensive teeth in my direction, immediately withdrew his hand, spun 180 degrees and started glad handing the person across from me.
Now you might have thought that I’d be offended by that, but I wasn’t. Amtrack Joe is a seasoned politician and that day was on the hunt for votes. I didn’t have a vote. Therefore I was useless to him. However, since I knew a bit about him anyway, and the fact that he takes his Irish heritage very seriously (and of course, the English haven’t treated the Irish well), perhaps if I’d have said “I’m Scottish”, he might have shaken my hand. And most Americans haven’t got a clue about accents anyway because they ALWAYS think I’m Australian. I cannot help but think though that when Boris offers his hand, Joe will take much the same approach to him as he did with me.
So there you have it. The day I have been able to say since when I was snubbed by the Vice President of the United States. Now I can upgrade that to “Snubbed by the President Elect”. It was a fabulous train ride too, Portillo would love it. The only dampener was that when we got to DC, they held everyone on the train for 15 minutes while Joe’s security detail cleared the station. And when I got there, I hated the place I was staying and came home a day early."
Nonsense to the aggressiveness, I've seen more aggression on the my little pony message board......I mean I was told.