Society

Obama Catches Biden By Surprise With Presidential Medal

| by Lauren Briggs

In his final days in the White House, President Barack Obama surprised Vice President Joe Biden by awarding him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction.

"For your faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and for your lifetime of service that will endure through the generations, I'd like to ask the military aide to join us on stage," Obama said in the ceremony, according to CNN. "For my final time as President, I am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom."

Biden, who was visibly overcome with emotion during the event, said that he had no idea that he was going to receive the award and simply thought that the was attending a toast to thank senior staff members.

"This honor is not only well beyond what I deserve, but it's a reflection of the extent and generosity of your spirit," Biden said upon receiving the medal, reports NPR. "I don't deserve this but I know it came from the President's heart."

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Before bestowing the award upon the vice president, Obama spoke at length about his admiration for the Bidens and said that the pair would be "forever binded as a family," even after their presidential term is over.

"This is the kind of family that built this country," Obama said. "That's why my family is honored to call ourselves honorary Bidens."

The pair have a well-documented close friendship that goes beyond the usual working rapport between presidents and their second-in-command.

"This also gives the Internet one last chance to talk about our 'bromance,'" Obama joked before bestowing the honor upon Biden.

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The president has frequently spoken fondly of the vice president as both prepare to leave office, with Obama calling Biden his "brother" during a Jan. 10 farewell address to the nation, according to The Huffington Post.

"Behind the scenes, Joe's candid, honest counsel has made me a better president and a better commander in chief," Obama said at the time. "From the Situation Room, to our weekly lunches, to our huddles after everybody else has cleared out of the room, he has been unafraid to give it to me straight, even if we disagree. In fact, especially when we disagree. And all of this makes him, I believe, the finest vice president we have ever seen."

Sources: CNN, NPR, The Huffington Post / Photo credit: Daniel Schwen/Wikimedia Commons

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