Former Vice-President Joe Biden delivered a moving and often humorous eulogy at the funeral of John McCain, who died of the same form of brain cancer that took Biden’s son Beau.
“My name’s Joe Biden. I’m a Democrat”, Biden said, joking about his political affiliation. “And I loved John McCain.”
Biden shared a few warm anecdotes about his relationship with the veteran senator, including a trip to Greece where McCain and Jill Biden wound up “dancing on top of a cement table drinking Ouzo.”
But it wasn’t long before Biden grew serious, taking digs at both an unnamed President Trump and the toxic political culture in Washington D.C.
Noting that many acted as if “John came from a different age, lived by an ancient antiquated code where honor, courage, character integrity, duty — were obvious because that’s how John lived his life. The truth is John’s code was ageless, is ageless.”
“It wasn’t about politics” for McCain, Biden said. “He could disagree on substance, but it was the underlying values that animated everything John did, everything he was. You could come to a different conclusion, but where he’d part company with you is if you lacked the basic values of decency, respect.”
McCain’s story was “the American story, grounded in respect and decency. Basic fairness. The intolerance for the abuse of power.” Biden said. As if making a direct comparison to President Trump, Biden repeated that McCain “could not stand the abuse of power. Wherever he saw it, in whatever form, in whatever country.”
Biden also called out the tribalism of American politics and the current lack of civility in Washington. In the 1990s, Biden said, “it was always appropriate to challenge another senator’s judgment, but never appropriate to challenge their motive.”
“If I say you’re doing this because you are being paid off, if I say you’re doing this because you are not a good Christian, if I say you’re doing this because you are this, that, or the other thing, it’s impossible to reach consensus,” the former VP said, as he remembered both his friend and a different time in the nation’s history.
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