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."
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."
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."
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."