Without a doubt, if I’d ever had the opportunity to meet Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Beau, who died this weekend from brain cancer, we likely wouldn’t have agreed on anything politically.
That doesn’t mean I don’t respect him and wish his family my deepest condolences.
In fact, the more I learn about Beau Biden, the more I wish there were more Beau Bidens in politics on both sides of the aisle.
Leaving aside the obvious policy differences, Beau Biden in life did something few people in politics ever do. Instead of choosing the easy road, he sought the path he thought was honorable and right. While he easily could have had much handed to him, instead he tried his best to earn in his own right whatever he accomplished.
Granted, once your last name is Biden, even if you’re not related to the long serving United States Senator and current Vice President, chances are you’ll have some sort of serious advantage in the state of Delaware.
Still, Beau Biden did his best never to simply cash in on that relationship but instead to seek position and office on his own merit. Consider the fact that he turned down the opportunity to run to fill his father’s Senate seat. It easily could have been his but he chose instead to finish a case he’d started, the prosecution of a pediatrician who proved to be one of the worst child abusers in Delaware’s history. He also wanted ultimately to win the public’s votes on his own merit and accomplishments. Serving two terms as the state’s Attorney General, he was planning a 2016 run for governor. It was expected he’d easily win that position but not simply because he was Joe Biden’s son. He had a record of his own on which to run.
Beau Biden also stepped up and went to war. Very few citizens of our country can say that today. He served in Iraq and earned a Bronze Star. He didn’t attempt to hide behind privilege and avoid service. Republican or Democrat, you have to respect that.
So while I may not have agreed with Beau Biden’s politics, I do respect him as an individual, and I’m genuinely saddened for his family that he’s gone.
In politics and in life, we should wish for more people like Beau Biden.