Monday, July 27, 2020

Biden is the candidate with character

This testimonial appeared in my in-box yesterday. To be sure it is a fundraiser for Joe Biden. But it makes the case for Biden as the candidate with character. I’ve reprinted it below verbatim.

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My name is Kevin.

For 20 years and 8 days, I served in the U.S. Marine Corps—as a helicopter mechanic, as a drill instructor, and as an intelligence officer, deploying three times—to the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Kuwait.

Since my retirement from the Corps, my most important title is “volunteer.” Today, I spend most of my time with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), working with children and other Gold Star family members grieving the loss of a loved one who served and died, regardless of the timing or circumstances.

Over the course of my career, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a handful of leaders with true character. Joe Biden is one of them. I want to tell you why.

The first time I met Joe Biden was at a TAPS event, with the children of deceased service members. It was a closed-media event—no news outlets of any kind, just the mentors and the kids they worked with. Suddenly, the back door opens, and in walks then-Vice President Joe Biden. He didn’t come in with fanfare, he didn’t get up on stage or stand behind a podium.

He made it very clear to us: “I’m here for the kids.” And he proceeded to speak with, take photos with, and shake the hands of every kid in that room. They were over the moon. I had never seen anything like it. And by the way, this was several years before Joe lost his own son, Major Beau Biden.

The second time I met Joe Biden was in April of 2010, on the South Lawn of the White House. I was part of a group of active-duty service members sending off our wounded brothers and sisters for the White House to Lighthouse Challenge — a 60-mile, three-day ride that starts on the South Lawn of the White House and ends in Annapolis, Maryland.

Then-Vice President Biden delivered remarks, joined all of us to see the warriors off, and then walked straight into the crowd of servicemembers—shaking hands, taking photos, listening to people’s stories.

And here’s the part I haven’t forgotten:

Joe was definitely running late for some meeting or another because his staff was getting increasingly persistent—“Sir, we really need to go.” Not in a way that was disrespectful. It was just clear that they needed to be on their way.

Finally, Joe turned to his aides and said:

“I’m going to stay here shaking hands until there’s nobody left to shake hands with, and taking photos with these people until they get every photo they want.”

That’s exactly what he did. And I promise you that the service men and women who were on the South Lawn that day haven’t forgotten it, either.

Character is about what you do when the cameras aren’t rolling.

Joe Biden is a man of character.

And in the age of Twitter and perfect sound bites—people who are most interested in themselves, shaping their own image—Joe Biden is a man who, after more than 40 years of public service, still wants to give. I honestly get chills when I think about his empathy for and dedication to everyone but himself.

At a time when everything feels disingenuous and hand-crafted for a certain audience, Joe Biden is genuine.

Now more than ever, we need to have leaders we truly believe in. I truly believe in Joe Biden. I hope you’ll join me in supporting his campaign …

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