August 20th, 2008
08:47 AM ET

What's Joe Biden doing in a war zone airport?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/20/art.vert.bidengeorgia.jpg width=292 height=320]

Cal Perry
International Correspondent

After a week of no sleep in Tbilisi Georgia, covering the war with Russia, I was finally checking in for my flight to Munich on Monday. All I could think about was getting on the plane, and getting some very necessary sleep.

While waiting for my flight to board, I sat in the business lounge enjoying a relaxing drink. Finally, an opportunity to simply listen to my iPod and clear my head. All of a sudden I look up – and walking towards me is Joseph Biden (D) from Delaware.

Are you freaking kidding me, I thought?

I wandered over, introduced myself – said, “Senator, my name is Cal Perry, I’m a reporter from CNN and just wanted to say hello.” He immediately smiled and asked me to sit with him while we waited for the flight.

The conversation immediately turned to Iraq – a place I spent four years covering for CNN. He peppered me with questions – How are things going there do you think? Who are the most important and reliable politicians, in your opinion? Do you think Abdul Aziz Hakim is the man who wields the most power?

He told me about his trips to Iraq – saying how amazed he was at the bravery of US troops. How young they are – and how they have to make life and death decisions on a daily basis. We spoke at length about Combat Hospitals in Iraq – somewhere I’ve spent a great deal of time. You could see it in his eyes – a veteran himself, he cares so deeply for the young men and women stationed overseas.

After giving him my opinion – I of course asked him the obvious question: do you think you’ll be named as the running mate for Barack Obama? His answer “that question is the reason I’m not doing interviews while in Georgia.”

As I boarded my plane with Senator Biden I could not help think: did I just meet the next Vice President of the United States. If so, what a cool flight to Munich.

Filed under: Cal Perry • Global 360° • TV
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Susan


    It is my belief that Senator Joseph Biden ( in the VP role ) would very much overshadow a President Obama. His personality alone, along with his vaste resume and once again we have a VP that is running the country from the rear seat.


    August 20, 2008 at 9:18 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    Small world isn't it? Joe Biden is a good guy – of the men discussed for VP he would be the best pick I think. His foreign affairs experience would add a lot to the ticket.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 20, 2008 at 9:02 pm |
  3. Jan from Wood Dale IL

    Sorry, but this post sounds like it's coming from a "star" struck fan, than from a "seasoned" CNN correspondent. If you and Biden spent time discussing Iraq, and possibly Georgia, why didn't you include his views regarding the current situations in both countries? It would have made the fact that you had a one on one meeting with Biden much more interesting and informative.

    August 20, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  4. liz-nyc

    Grrrrrrreat Hurray to you for meeting the senator and maybe future VP.
    Your point is??????????? NOW GO GET SOME KELOG'S

    August 20, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  5. Pat

    I hope if it's not Hillary that Joe Biden is Obama's VP pick. He would be the best and would bring as many votes for Obama as Hillary would. He is known politically as a straight shooter with honesty ,intelligence, political and foreign relations experience, a sincere compassion for Veterans, very knowledgeable in the military arena and a guy who tells it as it no matter how bad it is. I respect Joe Biden and I think with him as Obama's VP it would be a sure win for the Democrats and an Administration that would make America proud again. If he crosses over to the Repubnicants team it will be a very great loss for the Dems and a terrible waste of his great political talents and capabilities. Go for the Blue Joe, Go for Joe Obama.

    August 20, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  6. lampe

    Obama, is going to go down in history alright. As the first Black Man, to almost win the White House, even when everybody, from The DNC down, lied and cheated to help him steal it. McCain\Clinton 08, nothing else matters.

    August 20, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  7. JC- Los Angeles

    The Obama campaign sent Biden overseas because Michelle Obama has finally decided upon her husband's VP and it won't be Biden.

    Michelle, is the born leader in the family while her husband is the natural face man, will frame her husband's term around his opposition to the Iraq war.

    Michelle knows her husband will go down in history as the President who was against the war and the President who ended the war; anything else accomplished or not will pale in comparison.

    Michelle will select Wesley Clark.

    August 20, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  8. Mickey

    Joe Biden is not your stereotypical Washington politician. The man, the politician and the actions which you encountered with the senator defies the constant rhetoric that he does not, or could not represent the DNC/Obama "change platform" just because he has been a part of Washington for so many years.

    He would be a great President, and if selected as Obama's VP, he will fulfill the duties just as aggressively and pragmatically as he does in his capacity as Senator and Chairman of the Foreign Relations Cmte and Judiciary Cmte – and maintain keeping these United States safe, secure, and prosperous looking out for ALL of America.

    August 20, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  9. Angela Frazier, Memphis TN

    Obama needs someone like Biden who won't be afraid to tear McLame and his cronies a new one!

    August 20, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  10. MizLiz

    I've been following Joe Biden for years, cheering him on when he makes a great speech, sympathizing when he puts his foot in his mouth. But always - he is sincere, knowlegable, and the most totally UN-phony politician I can name. He will make a superb Vice President; the only other position I can envision for him would be Secretary of State.

    August 20, 2008 at 12:46 pm |
  11. Vilmarie

    Hi Cal.

    Happy Wednesday! It appears that you were at the right place at the right time. Way to go. Hope you caught some zzz's afterwards.


    August 20, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  12. Julie San Diego, CA


    Thanks for working so hard to bring the news from Georgia, Iraq, and other remote areas. Your good work is greatly appreciated.

    Biden has always been at the top of my list for Vice President, for ANY candidate. He's got what it takes: brains, passion, a knowledge of the system, love for his country, the ability to work with everyone.

    Most importantly, he's the only potential VP candidate I've seen that could run the show, but doesn't need to be the star of it. That leads to a balanced individual who can back up the President, and take over for him/her if necessary, but isn't always fighting the urge to dominate the situation.

    He's always been my pick. Let's see what Barack and Michelle think.

    August 20, 2008 at 12:28 pm |
  13. Evan of San Jose

    I think Biden would not be a strong pick. He is from Deleware, a state that Obama should win without Biden. He would likely be considered too old to succeed Obama in 8 year.

    Tim Kaine would be an excellent choice. As governor of Virginia, Kaine brings executive experience. Obama is about one point behind in Virginia, & it appears Obama must win Virginia or Colorado in order to be elected. As someone from outside Washington, Kaine would help emphacize the Change theme. Plus Kaine has been an enthusiastic supporter of Obama since the early days of Obama's campaign last year.

    August 20, 2008 at 12:05 pm |
  14. Bill

    Nice story! But it does sound a little hokey.

    August 20, 2008 at 11:52 am |
  15. Buckly

    I liked Biden, but I'm pulling for Evan Bayh. Bayh is from Indiana (as am I), which is a conservative state. The people there love him and I think his presence on the ticket would be a lock for Obama to win Indiana.

    August 20, 2008 at 11:31 am |
  16. Charlotte D


    If Biden is Obama's pick, then I sure hope you just met the next VP. I have always liked Biden since seeing him on the Daily Show. I know that is not a good reason, but he held his own with Jon Stewart and there are worse reasons for supporting someone. He joked that he got caught in a fib about being a descendant of coal miners. He thought, I must have uncles who were miners. Nope, they graduated from Carnegie Mellon and were engineers. Who knew?

    I never see anyone famous when I fly.

    Charlotte D, Stockton

    August 20, 2008 at 11:14 am |
  17. Jenny Rome Georgia

    My first guess would be campagining for the vp slot!!

    August 20, 2008 at 10:50 am |
  18. Bill

    He's probably trying to look like John McCain, and a little younger.

    August 20, 2008 at 10:36 am |
  19. Sandy, Arkansas

    Obama's pick for Vice President has received a lot of attention and speculation. I still believe that the Democrats need to win the White House this fall and that the only sure way to do that is with Hillary Clinton as the VP pick. The old philosophy of unite and defeat. Many Hillary supporters will not unite behind Obama without her being on the ticket. As David Gergen said on CNN last night...Hillary is prepared to be president if anything should happen that a Vice President needed to ascend to the Presidency. I like Joe Biden well enough and he does bring foreign policy experience to the ticket that Obama just does not possess. We do need the "Dream Ticket" to achieve the dream and I hope that Barack Obama does not just think about the "Dreams of My Father," but does what is good for the American public and he, himself, and chooses Hillary. I do not think he will...Michelle probably wouldn't let him (remember the Rick Warren interview – she is the first person he would turn to for adice.)

    August 20, 2008 at 10:21 am |
  20. Bill

    Nice story! But it sounds a little hokey.

    August 20, 2008 at 10:10 am |
  21. Cindy

    HMMM...Maybe he is trying to get out and look all VPish and worldly for when he is announced as Obama's VP choice.


    August 20, 2008 at 10:08 am |
  22. kemo sowe

    what a cool trip, to travel with a VP.Obama is lucky to have him inboard, it will be a good march to have this two toughter as they promise to end the wars, Mccain need to go and enjoye his retirement we don't want a dementia president, we need change and Mccain is taking over from Bush .

    August 20, 2008 at 10:01 am |
  23. Sandra, Wadley Ga

    Good morning Cal. I imagine this was one of the few times you hoped your wait would be a long one. A chance meeting with Senator Biden; how fortunate for you. Have a great day and hope you rest well.

    August 20, 2008 at 9:47 am |
  24. Heather,Ca,US

    Joe Biden has been in Washington for a long time.He is also one thing most politician's aren't honest.He understands how the world works.He is a good person.

    August 20, 2008 at 9:47 am |
  25. Nicole

    I really didn't like Biden @ first for VP but lately my mind has been changing and I think he would be a good pick for Obama!

    August 20, 2008 at 9:18 am |