Vice President Biden has been meeting with workers across the country this week, spreading the White House's economic gospel and inevitably adding fuel to the 2016 fire. On Wednesday, he visited New Hampshire and Maine. Before arriving, his staff asked one of his old friends where he should visit. “I think it's good to ask the people who live in the area where to go,” she told the local newspaper. “And besides, I have to get my Biden hug!”
One of the stops they decided on was the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine — best known to tourists for its endless array of outlet stores. Biden's remarks on ISIS — “If they think the American people will be intimidated they don’t know us very well" — received all the press, but the locals he spoke to, like most people who inevitably meet Biden when he's in charisma mode (which is always), will likely remember his jokes for far longer. It is hard to find a photo of Biden talking to people from the past few days that does not involve all parties laughing.
On Labor Day, Biden spoke at a parade in Detroit. They also visited someone's house. The photographers were greeted with a familiar tableau. Biden was hugging someone (Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones), and everyone else was laughing at something, that something being something Biden said. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is laughing so hard he is doing that dad laugh-clap maneuver.
Apparently, Biden said, "Does the brass quartet come with the house?" And, no, we don't get it either.
Biden later stopped at a coffee shop with Duggan. This time, he improvised, and close-talked with someone instead of hugging them. It still worked.