60 Minutes led off the show last night with a segment devoted to Vice President Biden and “Dr. Jill Biden” (video below, transcript here). The interview was conducted by CBS News White House correspondent Norah O’Donnell. O’Donnell kept the interview within the parameters of human interest related to Biden’s announcement last week that he would not challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. Biden came across as a real human being still dealing with family issues related to the death of his son Beau.
What about Beau’s dying wish that he run for president? Maureen Dowd devoted an entire column to it in the New York Times. Edward-Isaac Dovere reported in a Politico exclusive that Biden himself leaked word of his son’s dying wish to Dowd.
Alluding to Dowd’s column, O’Donnell asked Biden: “There was a lot you had to weigh in this run for president. I know you talked to your son, Beau, about running for president. What did he want you to do?” In his answer, Biden went out of his way to hang Dowd out to dry. Why would he do that, and why wouldn’t O’Donnell follow up? This is what Biden had to say:
Well, first thing I’d like to do, and you’re being very polite the way you’re asking me the question because some people have written that, you know, Beau on his death bed said, “Dad, you’ve got to run,” and, there was this sort of Hollywood moment that, you know, nothing like that ever, ever happened. Beau from the time he was in his 30s — or actually his late 20s — was my, he and Hunter were one of my two most reliable advisers. And, Beau all along thought that I should run and I could win. But there was not what was sort of made out as kind of this Hollywood-esque thing that at the last minute Beau grabbed my hand and said, “Dad, you’ve got to run, like, win one for the Gipper.” It wasn’t anything like that.
Over to you, Maureen.