Oh, That Joe! (No. 41 in a Series) — Jill Biden’s Morning Run Gets Her Hubbie to Mass

By Julia Hoppock

Nov 1, 2008 2:06pm

When aspiring Second Lady Jill Biden introduced her husband Joe this morning in Evansville, Indiana, she apparently didn’t want to wear her white-and-black winter coat as she addressed the crowd on this sunny but chilly November morning.

“Let me take off my jacket,” she said.

The crowd oohed and aahed as she revealed a bright red dress.

“I didn’t realize it would cause that much of a stir!" she joked. Soon she introduced her husband.

“Hey folks, I’m Joe the Biden,” the Democratic vice-presidential nominee said when he took the stage. “Actually where I come from, I’m better known as Jill Biden’s husband, as you can see. As they say in southern Delaware, I married up. Waaaaay up.”

The senator’s spouse stays in shape by running almost every day, including this morning along the Ohio River here in this southwestern Indiana city.

The 65-year old senator? Call it more of a morning stroll.

“This is not part of the program and I hope I don’t embarrass her, but this morning – you have a beautiful city,” Biden said. “This morning while Jill was running along the river and I was walking and running along the river. Y’all think I’m kidding, don’t you? I’m not!”

“This woman did a marathon,” he pointed out.

“I used to be a heckuva athlete like Birch,” Biden said, referencing former Sen. Birch Bayh, D-Ind., father of current Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., whom Biden beat out for the vice-presidential nomination.

“Well, no one’s as good as Birch, but, and by the way he was a great athlete but Birch, I tell ya, it’s getting harder to keep up with her," Biden continued.

“But she’s running down along the river,” Biden continued, getting back to Jill’s jog today. “And there was a lovely woman that she ran by or with and said hello. And the lovely woman said, ‘I gotta get this run in because I’m gonna go hear Joe Biden’.”

“And she said. ‘Well, I know the guy’,” Biden said Jill responded.

“I don’t know whether she said ‘I’m not sure it’s worth it,’” he joked. “But anyway she didn’t say that. She said, ‘I know the guy’.”

In response, the “lovely woman” introduced herself to Jill.

“She said, ‘My name is Sister Jean Michelle’. She said I, uh, I hope I’m not embarrassing you, Sister, if you’re here. She said that, she said ‘I went to early mass, it’s a holy day of obligation, you know it’s All Saints Day’,” said the Irish-Catholic Biden.

“And Jill came home and said ‘Joe, you haven’t gone to mass yet’,” Biden recalled.

“So Sister Jean Michelle, I made 9 o’clock, I made 9 o’clock mass, I just want to thank you,” said the loquacious Blue Hen. “Because I promise you, y’all think I’m kidding, y’all think I’m kidding, I’ll call my mom who’s 91 who lives with me, I’ll call my mom sometime during the day and the first thing she’ll ask me is, ‘Joey, did you go to mass?’”

“So, so, so you saved me, Sister, you saved me, you saved me,” he said gratefully.

But then it was back to the program…

“Look folks, there’s a lot at stake,” Biden segued…

– Matt Jaffe and Jake Tapper

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