joe-biden

WATCH: Joe Biden cries after Barack Obama awards him Presidential Medal of Freedom

Emmy Griffiths

It didn't take long, after Joe Biden was declared the new President of United States by news channels on Saturday, for his dear friend Barack Obama to pay him tribute. "I could not be prouder to congratulate our next President, Joe Biden, and our next First Lady, Jill Biden," he wrote via Instagram. "We’re fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way. Because when he walks into the White House in January, he’ll face a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming President ever has."

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And the depth of the duo's friendship was clear in 2017 during an incredible moment when Biden was stunned and shed a few tears as Barack Obama awarded him with the highest civilian honour in the United States – the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Surprising his Vice President, the President called Joe "an extraordinary man, with an extraordinary career in public service" and "the best Vice President America has ever had" before presenting him with the medal. Joe revealed he had "no inkling" that he would be given the honour, and turned his back to the crowd following the announcement, pulling a tissue from his back pocket as he composed himself.

The 74-year-old was visibly tearful as Barack placed the medal around his neck and the pair then shared an embrace before Joe gave a speech. "This honour is not only well beyond what I deserve, but it's a reflection of the extent and generosity of your spirit," Joe told Barack. "I don't deserve this. But I know it came from the President's heart. There is a Talmudic saying that says what comes from the heart enters the heart. Mr President, you have crept into our heart, you and your whole family. This is a remarkable man, and I just hope the asterisk in history that will be attached to my name — when they talk about this president, that I can say I was part of, part of the journey of a remarkable man who did remarkable things for his country."

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Barack and Joe embraced after Joe was presented with the medal

The President and Vice President are very close friends. Obama joked: "This gives the internet one last chance to talk about our bromance." At the time, the pair were coming to the end of two-terms working together in the White House, and Barack addressed the nation for the last time as President shortly before. Thanking his wife Michelle Obama for her support over his presidency, he said: "Michelle - for the past 25 years, you've been not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend. You took on a role you didn't ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humour. You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. You've made me proud. You've made the country proud." 

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The pair are good friends 

He then spoke about his two children, Malia and Sasha, saying: "Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion. You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I've done in my life, I'm most proud to be your dad."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I’m beyond thrilled that my friend Joe Biden and our first Black and Indian-American woman Vice President, Kamala Harris, are headed to restore some dignity, competence, and heart at the White House. Our country sorely needs it. Thank you to all of you who poured every ounce of your hope and determination into this democracy over these past four years, registering voters, getting them to the polls, keeping folks informed. More votes were cast in this election than ever before. It’s because of you. And after we celebrate — and we should all take a moment to exhale after everything we’ve been through — let’s remember that this is just a beginning. It’s a first step. Voting in one election isn’t a magic wand, and neither is winning one. Let’s remember that tens of millions of people voted for the status quo, even when it meant supporting lies, hate, chaos, and division. We’ve got a lot of work to do to reach out to these folks in the years ahead and connect with them on what unites us. But we’ve also got to recognize that the path to progress will always be uphill. We’ll always have to scrape and crawl up toward that mountaintop. And two years from now, four years from now, there will once again be no margin for error. We see now the reality that we can’t take even the tiniest part of our democracy for granted. Every single vote must count — and every single one of us must vote. And as a country, we should be making it easier, not harder to cast a ballot. So it’s up to us to stay engaged and informed, to keep speaking out and marching on. We’ve got to vote in even greater numbers in the upcoming Senate runoffs in Georgia — and every state and local election going forward. We’ve got to promise each other that our focus in this election won’t be an anomaly, but the rule. That’s how we can not only feel this way right now, but in the months and years ahead. It’s the only way we’ll build a nation worthy of our children. My warmest congratulations again to Joe and Jill, Kamala and Doug — and each of you who stepped up when your country needed you.

A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

Michelle Obama also took to Instagram on Saturday to congratulate Biden on his win. "I’m beyond thrilled that my friend Joe Biden and our first Black and Indian-American woman Vice President, Kamala Harris, are headed to restore some dignity, competence, and heart at the White House," she wrote. "Our country sorely needs it."

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