Biden Brings Hope to Tour

Max and VP Joe Biden pose for a picture at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston
Max and VP Joe Biden pose for a picture at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston

Maxwell with former Vice President Joe Biden at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts

On December 4, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts. Biden has recently been touring the country to promote his new book, Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose (Flatiron Books, November 2017).

In 2015, Biden’s elder son, Beau, died of cancer at the age of 46. Biden was then serving as Vice President of the United States.

Beau asked his father to promise that he would be OK despite the impending loss. As Biden writes at the end of his book, he has been able to move forward by trying to make a positive difference in the world: “I want to help change the country and the world for the better. That duty does much more than give me purpose; it gives me something to hope for.”



In 2016, after Beau’s death, then-President Barack Obama announced a national "Moonshot" initiative to help eliminate cancer. He named Biden to lead the $1 billion initiative.

“Finding a cure for cancer has become a passion in my life,” Biden said during his visit to Boston. Biden also addressed such issues as President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the southern border of the United States to keep out illegal immigrants.

“It’s crazy” Biden said of the wall. “The people who come [to live in the U.S.] are filled with intensity, optimism, and courage.” The former vice president pointed out that Beau was treated by a Chinese-American physician.



During his book tour, Biden has also focused on ways to help the struggling middle class. He cited the loss of jobs and hope plaguing many communities. While acknowledging that there are many challenges, Biden said that he still believes in a brighter future. “We are the only country in the world—because of our make-up—where everything is possible,” he said.

When asked whether he plans to run for president in 2020, Biden said that he would make that decision when the times comes. “I just think about what’s happening now,” he said. “I still have more work to do.”

Before the event, I had a chance to meet Biden and ask him why politics should matter to kids. “You can’t hide behind a wall,” he said. “If the environment is bad, it’s bad. If people don’t have jobs, it doesn’t work.”

Biden then echoed a sentiment expressed by Plato, the ancient Greek philsosopher. “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors,” Biden said. “Unless you want to be governed by people worse than you, get involved.”

Photo courtesy of the author