Both Biden and Obama were out yesterday for speaking engagement to commemorate Memorial Day. Biden spoke at Arlington National Cemetery in place of Obama (much to the relief of the residents I expect.)
Biden actually made a pretty good speech as the column below describes. Obama on the other hand, hid under an umbrella in a hanger at an appearance at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Illinois when a thunderstorm appeared just as he was about to speak. He called his speech off and went home. Hmmm, just what does that say?
Biden understands that he must be political on Memorial Day and he’s knowledgeable enough to know he must not make a fool of himself on one of the most important and politically sensitive days of the year. Obama, on the other hand…
From the Charleston Daily Mail…
Monday May 31, 2010
The Associated PressAn honor guard member stands during the trooping of the colors before Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Arlington National Cemetery.
ELWOOD, Ill. – Vice President Joe Biden hailed America’s fighting men and women Monday as the “spine of this nation,” while President Barack Obama’s Land of Lincoln tribute got washed out by a severe thunderstorm and high winds.
Biden made the more traditional appearance at Arlington National Cemetery on Obama’s behalf, saying the country has “a sacred obligation” to make sure its servicemen and women are the best equipped and best-supported troops in the world.
“As a nation, we pause to remember them,” Biden said. “They gave their lives fulfilling their oath to this nation and to us.”
Obama had readied a similar message of gratitude for his appearance at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Illinois, and actually had taken the podium to give the address when the skies opened up with a quintessentially midwestern late-spring downpour – thunder, lightning and high winds.
Under the cover of a large umbrella, he told thousands gathered before him that while “a little rain never hurt anybody,” nobody wanted “anybody struck by lightning.” He asked people to return to their cars for their safety, and he retreated briefly to an administration building on the cemetery’s grounds. Obama a few minutes later boarded a pair of buses to greet military families that came for the event.
Within the hour, reporters who accompanied Obama to the cemetery in Elwood, Ill., were told the speech had been called off. The White House had released copies of Obama’s prepared remarks in advance of his talk, but they were pulled back when the event had to be canceled.
Before the storm hit, and in advance of his appearance at the podium, Obama had visited a section of headstones where two Marines awaited him. After laying a wreath, he bowed his head in a moment of silence, his hands tightly clasped. Then a lone bugler played Taps.
At Arlington, Biden carried out the traditional wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns under a brilliant sunshine.
The complete article can be found at the website.