MASON CITY, Iowa- Former Vice President Joe Biden had those gathered firmly in his grip at the North Iowa Events Center late Wednesday morning as he answered questions from the large and enthusiastic crowd. The questions were largely about politics and about what some in the audience believe is a diminished American presence in the world.
When the town hall ended, however, we spoke to Biden about his family. We asked him how much his late son Beau continues to inspire him. Biden was quick to point out that both of his sons, Hunter and Beau inspire him.
"I can remember when they were probably twelve and thirteen or eleven and twelve," Biden said thoughtfully. "Walking into a room where I was doing a function, and I'm looking up and thinking how I looked up to them. I've always looked up to my boys, I mean, they turned out, they're better men than I was."
When pressed, though, Biden did allow that he thinks often about Beau and hopes the late war veteran and Delaware Attorney General remains proud of him. He recalled a conversation he had with his son shortly before his death in 2015.
"He said, 'Dad I know no one loves me more than you love me.' He said, 'Dad, I'm going to be okay, but promise me you're going to be okay.' What he meant was he wanted me to not back away from everything I've worked for my whole life, not run for President necessarily. So, I made a promise to him that I would be okay, that I'd stay engaged."
Interestingly, the Iowa Caucuses take place on February 3rd, which would have been Beau Biden's 51st birthday.