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Old 09-26-2008, 11:10 AM   #1
tony hipchest
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Default Joe Biden cries at campaign stop in PA

politics aside, how sad and how real.

and how great are the rooneys?


An emotional Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. was uncharacteristically at a loss for words yesterday as an introduction from Steelers owner Dan Rooney stirred memories of a bright interlude in a painful time.

On a campaign stop at Greensburg Salem High School, the presence of the Steelers owner reminded the vice presidential candidate of the tragic Dec. 17, 1972, car accident that killed his first wife and daughter and seriously injured two young sons. Mr. Biden had just been elected to the Senate.

Mr. Biden paused, wiped his eyes and, at one point turned away from the crowd for a long moment. Talking of his long vigil at his sons' bedsides, he said he left the boys at some point to go out and buy a Christmas tree for their hospital room. When he returned they each had an autographed football.

"My one little boy was in traction, the other little boy had a serious fractured skull, and they were happy. ..." After pausing, and wiping his eye, he continued.

"I said, 'Guys, where'd you get the balls?' "

They said, 'Daddy, Rocky Bleier brought it for me.'

"Mr. Rooney's Dad, without any fanfare, without an announcement, without anything but this incredible decency. ..." He paused again, and as the crowd applauded, said, "I really apologize. I shouldn't have tried to do this. ... It's a hell of a family."

Ed Kiely, the late Arthur J. Rooney's longtime aide, said he was not surprised that Mr. Rooney had sent the balls to the Biden boys. "He did that an awful lot, even with somebody he didn't even know," Mr. Kiely said yesterday.

The poignant anecdote about the footballs -- a story Mr. Biden has recounted at least once before in the campaign -- stirred applause from the crowd of more than 500 sitting on folding chairs in the high school gym.

Inevitably, it made an anticlimax of the more prosaic campaign pitch that followed.
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Joe Biden cries at campaign stop in PA

Regardless of politics, no one will every be able to smear the Rooney name.

Unfortunately, politics do get involved and it will ruin a great story like this one.

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Old 09-26-2008, 04:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Joe Biden cries at campaign stop in PA

I watched the clip on the news last night and it was heartwrenching to see the pain Senator Biden is still experiencing over the loss of his wife and daughter so many years ago. Joe isn't my favorite person, but he is a human being who suffered one of the most gutwrenching tragedies a person can suffer as a husband and a father and I truly feel for him.

Kudos to the Rooneys and to Rocky Bleier for bringing a smile to the faces of two little boys who didn't have much to smile about at the time, but thankfully survived.

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