Biden cancels campaign events, illness in family

October 5, 2008

joe-wife1.jpgWILMINGTON, Del. – With a sick relative and a son headed off to war, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden has grounded his campaign for a few days. 

Biden canceled a visit to Washington, D.C., on Saturday night and a trip to Virginia on Sunday because of what a spokesman called “a serious illness” in the family of his wife, Jill.

 “Hospice has advised the Bidens to remain close by, and we appreciate everyone’s respect for the family’s privacy,” the spokesman, David Wade, said in a statement.

Biden didn’t campaign on Friday, either. 

Instead, he spent the day after his big debate with Republican rival Sarah Palin in his home state of Delaware.

His only public appearance was at a departure ceremony in Dover for 112 members of the Army Delaware National Guard, including his son, Beau, who is being deployed to Iraq for about a year. 

In brief remarks, Biden bid the soldiers a safe farewell. He made no mention of his campaign. Aides said he spoke as a father and senator, not as a vice presidential nominee. 

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria (Biden hugs wife Jilll at the end of his debate with Palin)


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[…] Sen. Biden was scheduled to address the gay & lesbian community at the annual National HRC dinner yesterday, but canceled. […]

Posted by Sunday Morning Coffee Link Depot | Patriot Missive | Report as abusive

I do not see why he is letting his son go to a bush war.
Makes no sence. But Im sure it is just for politics they are reporting it. Reguards. When did i get so cinical?
E in silverlake ca

Posted by silverlake ca | Report as abusive

overt cynicism is necessary to combat the deafening stupidity so prevalent in this country. its diappointing really.

Posted by Vishal | Report as abusive

He committed Grushi level mistake.

Posted by Miron | Report as abusive

I hope they’ll get well / stay well.

Posted by Herb | Report as abusive

Well, here is the October surprise we were waiting for…Biden fakes a family illness so he can withdraw from the race and now HIllary can step in and save the campaign. Sean Hannity totally predicted this. Apparently the polling numbers must also be lies and they need her on the ticket to get back some of the female vote they are losing to Palin. You liberals are so predictable.

Posted by informed | Report as abusive

Informed – please go back to that nice, safe FOX news rock you were hiding under. I suppose he faked his son’s departure to Iraq and his first wife and daughter’s death as well. All for politics! By the way – the FOX people poll after the debate about who won: Biden 68, Palin 32. Ouch. If FOX can’t even manufacture a better number than the other networks, I see trouble ahead for your sweet Hannity dreams.

Posted by Jo | Report as abusive

Seems we have become a nation of no empathy. Why would ANYONR fake an illness? That is readily verifiable. We need to rise from the gutters and face a hard dose of reality. Like it or not it is the Republicans who have gotten us to this major trauma in the economy. We can sit by with apathy and repeat 4 more years of this apathy or we can rise above the mire and change directions.

Posted by Dean | Report as abusive

Its not about Joe Biden – its abut his son, Beau. From one who has been in a theater of war, let me say this: do not ever criticize or be cynical about someone who serves in the armed forces and is called to do their duty. Doesn’t matter at all who your parents are or what they do. Putting your life on the line, as Beau has, is the ultimate democratizer and leveler. Everyone is equal and the motive is only one – serve your country, hazarding the most precious thing of all: your life. Beau, may you and your brothers in arms all return safe and well.

Posted by Carl Ottersen | Report as abusive

“Informed” says:

“Well, here is the October surprise we were waiting for…Biden fakes a family illness so he can withdraw from the race and now HIllary can step in and save the campaign. Sean Hannity totally predicted this. Apparently the polling numbers must also be lies and they need her on the ticket to get back some of the female vote they are losing to Palin. You liberals are so predictable.”

No, informed… those would be REPUBLICAN tactics. The days of Rove, and swiftboat politics are OVER. Prepare yourself for the age of reason. Your crowd will be OUT, after this election. Good riddance.

Posted by Really informed | Report as abusive

I am sorry to hear about the illness in Joe Biden’s family. Concerning Biden’s son going to fight in the Bush War, how many Democrats voted for the war? It took more than just the GOP. It is America’s War, not just the Republican War.

It is time the Democrats stop pointing fingers and take responsibility for the state of the economy. Wasn’t it President Bill Clinton who pushed Fannie Mae to make loans to people who were not really qualified? How long have Democrats been a Majority in the House? Nothing gets by them that they don’t agree with! Time to stop passing the buck and take a role in this mess, too.

Posted by gary | Report as abusive

Hmm. Well, as this website seems to have eaten my previous comment, I’ll add this link to an example of the kind of person who supports McCain/Palin: le?AID=/20081004/NEWS07/81004035/&imw=Y

Posted by Edward Virtually | Report as abusive

Wow, “October surprise” – that really is sinking to a new low of paranoia. Please have some respect for the Biden family while they are dealing with a serious illness. If you were reading the polls, Obama doesn’t need any saving. It is the Republican party that is tanking.

Posted by Kathleen | Report as abusive

informed —

It’s a giant conspiracy. All the ”liberal” poling agencies, like FOX/Rasmussen, have Obama/Bided ahead by 7 to 10 points. Only 3 campaigns have made up that gap in the last month. But the conspiracy is crumbling and truth is coming our? According to, Obama/Biden has 329 electoral votes with NC being a toss up.

OOOOOh those Democrats are running scared.

Repugnicants are desperate. They will now associate Obama with other bad characters like the great uncle of his daughters playmates. His preacher, fellow board members, and neighbors all contribute to make Obama a risky character.

Yeah… That will work.

We are all scared to death. Do you know where I can purchase an aluminum cap online?

Posted by DougH | Report as abusive

“losing to Palin” – ok, now that’s hilarious. Perhaps SNL can use that one next week. No one’s losing to Palin. Barely surviving a debate on talking points does not equate to any fear by the Democrats that she’s taking the campaign away from them. In fact, I’m SURE they are delighted every time she opens her mouth. Open mouth = poll numbers go up for Obama. Open mouth = withdraw from Michigan (oh, but I forgot, Palin wants to “save the day” in Michigan -even without John). Open mouth = insult intelligent women everywhere. Open mouth = demonstrate clearly how McCain failed in one of the most important decisions of his campaign by selecting her as his running mate.

Posted by Kathleen | Report as abusive

Joe Biden……A class act and a man of the people

Posted by APOINTOFVIEW | Report as abusive


You might want to do some research. Apparently, Obamatrons, taking the info from a blogger on Obama’s campaign site, hacked all the online polls and voted more than once.

The bloggers name is Theodore Ziolkowski… him and get the facts.

Posted by sallymander | Report as abusive

Americans, wake up. This man, Biden, has served his country faithfully for more than three decades, is that the gratitude he deserves? Shame, really. The Republican ideological machines has succeeded in producing a nation without HEART and COMPASSION.

Posted by Dr. Jesse Kally-Williams | Report as abusive

I really don’t think temporarily withdrawing from the race is a political ploy. If it was it would have happened at a more crucial time, when the Obama campaign was in trouble (which they are not). Additionally, it is extremely sad to me that others would view this in a grossly cynical fashion. Biden is not faking or exacerbating his wife’s illness. He certainly isn’t sending his son off to war for political reasons.

Posted by Sean | Report as abusive

Well said, Jo. These Fox news sheep are bleating more and more.

Posted by Edifice Undeniable | Report as abusive

Good grief ,informed he’s only canceling for a few days. He’s not dropping out completly. Get a grip people.

Posted by sweet georgia brown | Report as abusive

(un)Informed: You are representing the epitome of cynicism, seeing as you are willing to believe that all of the evidence coming from multiple sources is contrived and not representative of a real trend. Best of luck in that approach with all that you do…I’m sure it will lead you to many great successes…at least in that make believe world in which you reside.

Posted by Don | Report as abusive

[…] National Guard, including his son, Beau, who is being deployed to Iraq for about a year. Tales from the Trail Blog Archive Biden cancels campaign events, illness in family | Blogs | Reuters… Eeerily similar to a thread Don posted some weeks ago about an illness taking Biden out of the […]

Posted by Biden cancels campaign events, illness in family – | Report as abusive

Dean – agree w/change just not to Socialism like Obama is talking about, and besides he isn’t walking the walk when he brings to the ticket a guy who has been in politics longer then I have been alive and is in deep w/slum lord Rezco and don’t even get me started w/Wright.
What happened to the party of Kenndy “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” now everybody is just looking for handouts.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

Love to see the Repubics get in another four years. That should wipe out the repubics completely and leave two. Demos and Independents who are for the people!

Posted by Wayne | Report as abusive

You have to explain very slowly to the peope that the $5000 tax credit by McCain comes off taxable gross income and not a credit towards taxes due.

Posted by Wayne | Report as abusive

I just want to say it will by OK, Joe. Don’t let it SHOCK you.

Thomas Eagleton

Posted by Thomas Eagleton | Report as abusive

It is disturbing to me that Beau Biden and Track Palin will be stationed in Iraq where their presence will draw danger to other members of their unit and the possibility of their capture potentially threatens the American vice president’s freedom of action.

See NYT Op-Ed piece, Presidential Children Don’t Belong in Battle By JOHN S. D. EISENHOWER
Published: September 27, 2008. n/28eisenhower.html?scp=1&sq=John%20eise nhower&st=cse

Posted by Bob Walton | Report as abusive

It is difficult to believe the amount of bilious vitriol that I have read in this blog. It must be all of that “compassionate conservatism” evinced by the conservative faithful who have written here.

My condolances to Senator Biden and his family, and best wishes for a speedy recovery to his sick family member.

Posted by John H | Report as abusive

To all of the Republican vultures out there… Sen. Biden’s mother-in-law passed away over the weekend. Some faked illness.

Posted by MA G. | Report as abusive

I respect Senator Biden and wish he and his wife well during a diffult period. I am not voting for McCain and I am not voting for Obama. The McCain/Palin ticket is the worst choice the Republicans could give America at this particular time. I am too unsure of Obama to give my vote to that ticket either. I am tired of the Israeli firster’s…and neither Joe or Sarah gave me any comfort in that regard. Sarah wants to put our Embassey in Jerusalem…oh there ya go Sarah, stirring up trouble over there before you even have power. Everyone knows that is a huge gaffe to do that. Just think of what Sarah could do for the economy! Dig everything up and hope we strike oil just like our neighbor, Afghanistan.

Posted by Frances | Report as abusive

AS you may know by now, Joe Biden’s mother-in-law just passed away. That hardly means he’s “quitting the campaign” or lying. He was very close to his mother-in-law, apparently, and of course to his wife it is a terrible loss. My condolences to the Biden family.

Posted by Dottie | Report as abusive