The panel of political commentators with CNN on the ground in Phoenix, Arizona couldn’t help but notice that Vice President Joe Biden’s profound eulogy honoring the life of his friend Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) included subtle digs at President Donald Trump.
“I also thought Joe Biden’s eulogy was extraordinary because it seemed to me, it was on three levels,” said CNN special correspondent Jamie Gangel. “It was a eulogy to comfort his family and his friends, a eulogy to celebrate the man and his legacy, but I also think it had a third audience, that was Donald Trump. So many of the things that he talked about, about John McCain, respect, dignity, civility, bipartisanship, they are just that much more potent in this day and age.”
David Gergen noted most of the conversation will likely surround Biden’s speech because those in politics are wondering if he’ll run for president against Trump.
“In the beginning, he was — I have not appreciated how much he continues to suffer,” Gergen noted of the loss Biden has experienced. “He is engulfed in grief. He’s had so many losses in his life.”
Gergen said that Biden approached the beginning of his speech as somewhat of a father figure but then the tone shifted.
“Then in the middle, he came alive. There was a place he was speaking from deep conviction,” he continued. “You said, that’s the old Joe Biden, the energy, but the anger and almost the disgust. He didn’t want to express in those words, but you could tell about his feelings, what’s happening to the country. I thought that gave great power to his eulogy.”
Biden spoke of “an ancient, antiquated code where honor, courage, integrity, duty, were alive.” It’s an era some could say is slowly wasting away at the Twitter fingers of today’s president.
He spoke of McCain’s values underlying his politics, which enabled such bipartisanship throughout his legislative career.
“He’d part company with you, if you lacked the basic values of decency, respect, knowing this project is bigger than yourself,” Biden said. “John’s story is an American story. It’s not hyperbole. It’s the American story. Grounded in respect and decency. Basic fairness.”
Biden spoke profoundly about McCain’s dedication to fighting abuses of power, which is perhaps why he and Trump didn’t get along.
“The intolerance through the abuse of power,” Biden continued. “Many of you travel the world, look how the rest of the world looks at us. They look at us a little naive, so fair, so decent. We are the naive Americans. That’s who we are. That’s who John was. He could not stand the abuse of power. Wherever he saw it, in whatever form, in whatever country. He always loved basic values, fairness, honesty, dignity, respect, giving hate no safe harbor, leaving no one behind and understanding Americans were part of something much bigger than ourselves.”
Watch the commentary and Biden’s speech below: