Joe Biden

Biden Campaign Press Release - Joe Biden Speaks to Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar in New "Here's the Deal" Podcast Episode

April 20, 2020

Biden and Klobuchar Share Stories About Empathetic Leadership, Friendship, and Working Across the Aisle

Today, Biden for President released the fifth episode of Joe Biden's "Here's the Deal" podcast, featuring Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. Senator Klobuchar shared her family's experience as her husband overcame COVID-19 and the challenge many Americans face right now not being able to hold the hands or hug their loved ones as they battle the virus. Vice President Biden and Senator Klobuchar also discuss the need for empathetic leadership in the White House, their friendships with Senator John McCain and working across the aisle, and how they are connecting with family, friends, and ordinary Americans while staying at home.

Listen to the new episode HERE.

"Here's the Deal'' provides a voice of clarity during uncertain times with episodes featuring in-depth conversations about pressing issues with some of the nation's top experts and leaders — paired with the heart, compassion, and wisdom only Joe Biden can deliver. The podcast is also available on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Pandora, and TuneIn + Alexa.

Key Excerpts:

BIDEN: With the grace of God, the goodwill of the neighbors, we're going to get something done here. But I tell you what, there's a lot of people, and as you said, Amy, you experienced it. I can't imagine what it's like. I've been through some tough times, but at least with notable exceptions, I've been in a situation where I've been able to be there and hold the hand — and hold the hand. But when you're at a distance and you can't, we're hearing so many stories when we're doing these round tables, these town halls about people talking about how they, the doctors, or the nurses holding a phone up to their, their husband or wife, or their mother or the father who is an extremest and just saying goodbye. I mean, I just can't, I mean — my heart goes out to all those folks who are so many people suffered. But we're going to get through this.

KLOBUCHAR: That sense that you have, which has marked your whole life from your own losses, of empathy is something that we are missing right now in the White House. And I was thinking of this as I got up this morning and was looking forward to talking with you, what you did once. Someone you never even knew, one of my friends who, you'd been out in Minnesota her husband had helped with an event that you and I did together. And then her husband got suddenly very sick and you didn't even ever meet him. And he had three high school girls and he died.

And when I called you to thank you for coming to Minnesota, I told you the story and I said, maybe you want to write a note to his widow, she's a very good friend. And you said, "No, I'll call her, I'll call her." And I just think about this with all the people that we're losing right now. And what did you do, Joe Biden? You called her and it happened to be the first day when she was coming back from her job. She had gone back to work and she answered her cell phone. You said it was you and she started to cry and you said, "pull over, pull over." And then you gave her your personal number because you said you knew what it was like to lose a spouse. And I think that story to me is all about you, but it's also about what we need in this country right now. We need competence to run this in a big way and get that money out. But we also need a president that's able to lead and to, even if it's virtually, hold people's hands, and we're not seeing that right now in the right house.

LISTENER QUESTION: Senator Klobuchar, what was the hardest thing for you to manage on a personal level when you got to the Senate?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I mean there was balancing of your family. That was a harder thing for me. I actually — my family came out there with me cause I wanted to be part of my daughter's school and know her classmates. But I think the hardest thing for me personally was that I had gone from a job where I managed a bunch of people and I could get things done right away, and then suddenly I was working with a lot of other people. And I was not used to actually a lot of partisanship because I was in an office that while you got endorsed, I was proud to be a Democrat, it wasn't even on the ballot.

And so when I got to the Senate, I was in shock because Republican sat on one side and Democrats sat on the other side. And to me this just seems so strange because I was just used to working with people as people. And so one of the things that I started to do was just develop friendships with people across the aisle, and right now that's become harder and harder to do in the era of Donald Trump where he likes to pit people against each other. But I still forged ahead back then and I think it made me a better Senator because I actually got to be friends of people and I was able to pass bills. I remember one on drug shortages that I did and on agriculture and things like that.

But, and I know the Vice President can speak to this much more personally than I can, but one of those friendships that I forged was with John McCain because he invited me to go on a trip with him right after he lost the presidency. And I got to see personally someone who had been through something like that, and I saw his incredible resilience, and we would be in these meetings with all of these leaders from other countries and they would always look at him and he would speak and then they would look at the other Republican Senator there — it was Senator Graham. And then he would always say, "No, no, no, no. Senator Klobuchar is the lead Democrat on this trip, and she will go next."

And that personal moment where he basically gave me that gravitas to say, you know what, she's a leader too. She may be a woman and everyone else in this room is a man, but she is the leader on this trip from her political party. And for me it's professional, but it was also personal to be able to see that and to be able to have that role model. And so for me, friendships like that helped me get through what, for me, being from Minnesota, not having been in the Congress before, was kind of a jolting experience to get out there where people were playing politics with a lot of things. And it really helped me to be a better Senator.

BIDEN: Well, John, I knew John well and as you know, he had great respect for you and he really did. But that's also — John had a value set that was like yours, he had a value set. He was decent and honorable. We'd argue like hell, he and I. Hollered at each other, we traveled all over the world together. But, you know, but at the end of the day, we were, we were friends. He used to say, "You've never seen a problem you don't think you can solve!" And I say, "You never saw a warrior you didn't want to fight!"

Joseph R. Biden, Biden Campaign Press Release - Joe Biden Speaks to Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar in New "Here's the Deal" Podcast Episode Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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