A tearful Joe Biden stood on stage when US President Barack Obama recalled the time when he chose him to be his Vice President. Amid Obama’s jokes and applause came a surprise that left Biden speechless. The President awarded the Vice President with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour, as a tribute to his White House partner of 8 years.
“For the final time as president, I am pleased to award our nation’s highest civilian honor, the presidential Medal of Freedom,” Obama said.
A visibly overwhelmed Biden said the award was more than he deserved. “Mr President, I’m indebted to you. I’m indebted to your friendship. I’m indebted to your family,” he said.
During an emotional ceremony to honour the 74-year-old at the White House, Obama described the former Delaware senator as “the best vice president America’s ever had”. He also called him a “lion of American history”.
Joking about their camaraderie, Obama said the tribute will give the Internet one last chance to joke about the “bromance” the two share. “This is an extraordinary man, with an extraordinary career in public service,” he said.
The president said that the people of Delaware sent Biden to the Senate as soon as they could, electing him at the age of 29. “It was eight and a half years ago that I chose Joe to be my vice president. There has not been a single moment since that time that I have doubted the wisdom of that decision. It was the best possible choice, not just for me but for the American people,” Obama said.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 12, 2017
Pres. Obama awarding Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom was incredibly classy. Doubt it'll be equaled over next few years.
— Dan Jurgens (@thedanjurgens) January 13, 2017
Don’t mind me I’ll just be sobbing while watching the Joe Biden Presidential Medal of Freedom video.
— Craig Silva (@craignb) January 13, 2017
.@JoeBiden getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom will go down as one of the most emotional moments of my life and I'm not even sorry.
— Faith (@fmac_25) January 13, 2017
Watch the full emotional ceremony here: