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Biden: ‘Spread your legs. You’re going to be frisked’

Vice President Biden was on hand Thursday to pretend to swear in the new members of the Senate (this one is for photos; the real swearing-in happens on the Senate floor). It was an opportunity for a lot of Biden humor. 

When a photographer told the husband of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) to drop his hands to his sides, Biden added, “Spread your legs: You’re going to be frisked." He added, “You say that to somebody in North Dakota, they think it’s a frisk."

"They think you're in trouble, right?” he asked Heitkamp's husband, a doctor. He shrugged. Heitkamp herself seemed more amused, laughing through the entire photo session. “I'm a little too formal, I know," he told the incoming senator. 

When Biden picked up the crying daughter of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Biden smiled, telling her,  “That’s a Democrat, I know, but that’s O.K.” (She cries for Republicans too, Cruz's wife said). 

Biden appeared to be flirting with the mothers of several lawmakers:

But he was particularly impressed by the stomach muscles on one of South Carolina Senate appointee Tim Scott's relatives. “If you ever need any help on your pecs, let me know,” the vice president joked. 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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