Similar to the fictional Forrest Gump, Joe Biden has lived an extraordinary life of being in the right place at the right time
Narrator: The scene is New Year’s Eve in the AMTRAK train waiting area at Washington DC’s beautiful and historic Union Station. In the nearly empty space sits a man with a long coat and a briefcase patiently searching for his box of candies to tide him over for the two-hour train ride back to his home in Delaware.
After a few minutes, a woman sits down a couple rows away from the stranger. Glancing up and leaning over his shoulder to speak to her, the man begins rambling aimlessly. “Hello, I’m Joe, Joe Biden Gump.” Glancing down at the semi-empty box in his lap, Biden Gump continued, “My mama always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates -- you never know what you’re gonna get.’” The woman looked around and noticed that there were only two other people in the huge space and pondered why this particular idiot chose to talk to her instead of simply leaving her to the tranquil silence and her smart phone apps.
“I’m riding this train up to Delaware for the last time,” Biden Gump continued innocently. “I just got elected president by this thing called the Electoral College and now they want me to move out of my house and into this big executive mansion down the way there (pointing in the direction of Pennsylvania Avenue). It’s in this whole ‘nother state. So that’s why I’m tryin’ to catch the train home so I can reminisce about my life one last time. Want a chocolate?”
The woman shook her head no. She wouldn’t normally accept food -- or anything else -- from an unknown person, least of all this balding old fart who looked and talked like an escapee from a dementia care facility. She weighed getting her device out to call 9-1-1, but the fool looked a little crazy and you never know what he’d do if challenged by reality.
Paralyzed by a combination of fear and loathing, she decided to just let him ramble -- and ramble he did. “I’ve been in this city for almost a half century now,” Biden Gump elaborated. “I’ve seen lots of things and done lots of things. I bet if I closed my eyes real tight, I could remember ‘em all. Like the time some good-looking black man offered me a real fine job -- vice president of the United States.”
‘Go along with him’, the woman thought. She nodded in agreement, pretending to listen to the old kook jabber on like a monkey in a tree. Biden Gump then told how he got a great position with fantastic benefits -- all the ice cream he could eat! -- and a cool place to sleep when he wasn’t back home in Delaware.
“I remember the day Barack Obama proposed to me,” Joe Biden Gump recalled. “It was a Mon-day morning, a bright red sun in the sky and we were just hangin’ round with our liberal chums at Democrat headquarters wondering who was gonna be the Democrat candidate that year. Not really doin’ nothin’ important. Then, like out of nowhere, my hero asked me a question.”
Gump verbally illustrated a sparsely furnished room in the summer of 2008. Democrats had just endured an incredibly ugly and nasty primary fight between the young and charismatic first-term Illinois senator and the party establishment’s dream candidate, the guile-filled wife of former president Bill Clinton. During the campaign, tempers flared, egos were damaged, reputations were smashed. But finally, Barack Obama emerged the seasoned-by-fire winner.
Naturally, the (allegedly) Hawaii-born former Choom Gang leader wondered about the next phase. Frustrated by the lack of progress in narrowing his veep search, Obama said irritably to those in attendance, “Since I can’t get my wife to be my VP homey -- she’s from the same state, after all -- I don’t mind whoever it’s gonna be. So, the next person who walks in through that door will be my running mate. It could be the janitor or Vlad Putin or Kim Jong-il for all I care, I have to announce someone to the media and time’s running short. Any objections?”
Before anyone could speak, a visibly perturbed Hillary Clinton cracked the door open, peered in through the narrow gap, saw Obama, swore well recognized curse words that sounded like “duck-poo” and slammed it shut again. The force from the blast rattled the windows, causing everyone within earshot to wonder whether they were under attack by Republicans bent on disrupting their deliberations, just as Nixon had done at Watergate all those years ago. Obama’s aides looked at him, eyebrows raised, wondering if he’d actually carry through on his just uttered “next person” vow.
“Uh-uh, no way, people,” the Illinois senator said defensively, anticipating the questions and quizzical stares. “You recall I said that the next person who physically walks in the room will be the one, not a semi-drunk rhymes-with-rich who everyone despises. She only opened the dang door a smidgen, didn’t she? Then she told me to go have relations with myself. Ever since I said in a debate that Hillary was ‘likable enough’ she’s been giving me the evil stare. Me ‘n Bill get along swimmingly, you know -- dude to dude -- but there’s no way in you-know-where that I’m gonna run with that hag.”
Obama’s aides seemed unimpressed by the candidate’s backtracking and petty nuanced retraction of his claim that the next one turning the door handle would be the Democrat vice president candidate. Could it be that other things he’s promised to do would be similarly withdrawn down the road? What if, for example, someday he says something like “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” and then it turns out to be a load of bird crap?
At that moment Joe Biden Gump threw open the door and stepped just inside the jamb. He’d been engaged in a light and airy conversation with someone from the cleaning staff out in the hall and failed to take notice of which door knob was which. He thought he was entering the dual-gender lavatory, but rather than stalls and sparkling porcelain he saw a bunch of guys in shirts and ties sitting ‘round a conference table glaring at him.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Joe sheepishly mumbled, starting to blush. Having to go pretty badly, he’d already un-zipped his fly and was readying himself for a leap at the first available urinal. “Wrong room.”
“No, no, no, no, no, Joe. Don’t go,” Obama replied enthusiastically. “We were just talkin’ about who I should choose for a running mate, and naturally your name came up. How does the prospect of being righthand-man to the first black president sound to you? After all, if you don’t vote for a Democrat, you ain’t black. Congratulations. How do you feel?”
“I gotta pee,” Joe replied, not knowing what else to say. The 65-year-old then hurried out the door and sprinted with his privates hopelessly exposed to the men’s room at the end of the passage. What Obama had just offered him sank into his dull brain during his bladder release and upon concluding the duty, he burst back through the conference room door (without bothering to wash his hands first, of course). “Well, Barry O, if the proposition still stands, I’d love to run with you and be your VP! I mean, you’re the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man.”
Obama frowned. ‘Can I nix this guy too?’ he deliberated to himself. ‘I mean, he’s really dumb. But I already got rid of Hillary on a technicality, and I don’t think these party honks are gonna give me another pass on a promise I’ve made. Joe Biden Gump isn’t a bad choice, after all. He’s white and kinda old and people see him as moderate and all those bitter clingers in Pennsylvania and the rust belt, well, I need their votes. John McCain is a war hero. I’m a community organizer who’s a big fan of Bill Ayres and Jeremiah Wright. Biden Gump… has to be it.’
Extending his hand to shake his new running mate’s Obama said, “Yeah, Joe. You’re the perfect man for the job. Just don’t do or say anything imprudent out on the campaign trail, like ‘J-O-B-S’ is a three-letter word or something like that. In fact, don’t say anything at all. Someday you might find that the best way to conduct a winning campaign is to hide away from view and let the media peck the sh-t out of the Republican candidate. It’s a surefire strategy -- especially for someone who’s kinda stupid, like you.”
“Stupid is as stupid does, Barack. But I’ll do it!” Joe Biden Gump exclaimed, his fist thrust in the air.
“And that’s how I got to be vice president,” the simpleton returned to the present in Union Station. “Miracles do happen, don’t they? I really only had to use the restroom, and instead, a few months later, I was standing in front of the capitol building with my hand on a Bible that Dr. Jill held up real nice-like, reciting some oath Justice John Paul Stevens read to me. Every time I lied from that point on, I heard a clap of thunder from overhead, but never saw nothin’.
“I had a wonderful time in the White House. It really wasn’t that hard. All you had to do was keep your desk real neat and answer every question from the Commander in Chief with ‘Ya vol, mine comrade!’
“But it was awfully confusing times, too,” Biden Gump went on. “There were these bearded and unwashed people who took over whole city squares and called themselves ‘Occupy Wall Street’ or something like that. Then there was these big gatherings at night in places like Baltimore, Milwaukee and Ferguson, Missouri. I saw reports on the TV that said the people were ‘mostly peaceful’ but they threw bricks through windows and burned stuff a lot. They chanted slogans like ‘Black Lives Matter’ and some cops were shot in Dallas, but most of the time me ‘n Barack just laughed about things and watched basketball games on TV and drove around in big black limousines and read speeches off of teleprompters. Obama told me to hang out in China and this place called U-kraine. I flew on a big plane called Air Force Two to get there.
“They said there was lots of pressure, but to me it was just fun. I told the foreigners to fire people or they wouldn’t get money or something -- and they just did it!
“I don’t know why the time went by so fast. Maybe it was because I was always busy reading my son Hunter his favorite book, which was strange, because it was called something like, ‘How Curious George the chimp learned to speak Ukrainian and made $80,000 a month to feed his cocaine habit.’”
“In his spare time Hunter had made deals with people and invested his money in some kind of bush bun -- or was it a hedge fund? Anyway, he said we didn’t have to worry ‘bout money no more and I said, 'That’s good. One less thing.'”
The woman kept nodding as Biden Gump droned on with no apparent ending in sight, conscious by now that the train was way past schedule -- this is AMTRAK, after all -- but not knowing whether it would be faster to just walk there and thus avoid any more nonsensical fictions from this clueless jackass in a long coat who thinks he’s going to be president in a few weeks. “I’m going to go get a stiff drink from one of the bars in there. It was nice talking with you.”
Biden Gump didn’t even seem to notice the woman as she hurried away, primarily because a well-dressed man that he thought looked like Sen. Richard Blumenthal sat down in her place. “I like to swap tall tales too,” Blumenthal confirmed. “But whenever I park myself next to someone in an airport or bus terminal, they usually just get up and leave when they recognize me. So I was wandering around town tonight and saw Union Station. Do you want to hear about how I went to Vietnam and was a war hero?”
“Heck yeah, that’d be great! No malarkey!” Biden Gump replied happily.
So, Blumenthal started chatting. “Well, I don’t want to bore you with the details. Just let it be known that I told a lot of people that I actually served in Vietnam when I just served during the war. I got five deferments to make sure I wouldn’t have to fly over there. Those gooks were just too dangerous for an educated filthy-rich elitist like me, ya know? Being a politician is less risky -- and you can say anything you want all the time if you’re a Democrat from a safe blue state!”
Blumenthal paused for a moment, staring at the dirt under his fingernails. “Yeah. At least I didn’t plagiarize anything. I heard about this candidate in 1987 who was forced to leave the presidential race because he’d stolen some British guy’s life story. What a dolt! I made up my own exaggerations. I could copyright the thing if I wanted to go to the trouble.”
Biden Gump ignored the insult. He preferred talking about himself anyway. Just as he was set to launch into a hyperbolized lie about “Corn Pop” the gang banger and all the kids who liked to rub his hairy legs back in his youth, a realization jarred him back to the present. Blumenthal was a little too close for comfort and wasn’t wearing a mask, so Biden Gump removed one from his briefcase and handed it to the Connecticut-bound fellow traveler. “The Secret Service -- and Kamala Harris -- is gonna mess themselves if they see me talking to anyone without a face covering,” he said matter-of-factly.
“Whatever, Joe. These things don’t do a damn thing for you,” Blumenthal grumbled as he slipped the mask’s loops over his ears. “In fact, you’ve gotta order a nationwide mandate when you become president to punish the deplorables. Will ya do it?”
Biden Gump didn’t want to be seen as a contrarian, so he nodded in the affirmative. “That reminds me of how I won an election,” the president-elect reflected. “Here I was in Iowa, snow on the ground and ice on the roads. A bunch of men in suits kept telling me to go to these little places and talk about things like women’s reproductive rights and climate change and transgender rights, and how we value truth over facts, and then they’d pack me into another bus and we’d go somewhere else. I would just say the same things over and over again. I would end every talk with ‘And that’s all I have to say about that.’
“Then there was something called a caucus and some worried looking people told me afterwards I’d come in fourth place and my political running days was over. I didn’t have a reason to go on, but I just felt like running. As long as I’d gone that far, I could turn right around and go a little farther, right?”
Blumenthal wondered where this was leading. Who cares? You fooled everyone and won the nomination, thanks mostly to African-American voters in South Carolina. Then we Democrats tucked you away like a prisoner in a witness protection program for the next half a year. All the fraud and “irregularities” and paid staff in individual states hiding hundreds of thousands of ballots under tables and stuff. Biden Gump was an idiot, it’s true, but all he needed to say after the country shut down was that Donald Trump was at fault for the coronavirus pandemic and hundreds of thousands of people died because of him. And that the Republicans wanted to kill the post office just like they didn’t give a turd about all the unfortunate souls who’d kicked off with COVID-19.
Right then the two men heard what sounded like high heels on concrete traveling toward them at a sprinter’s pace. Notoriously cranky vice president-elect Kamala Harris sized up Blumenthal’s greasy mug and gestured for him to exit at a high rate of speed, employing her middle finger as a pointer. “What the he-l are you doing here, Dick? I’m in charge now. Here (referring to Biden Gump) he is, out in the cold and just blabbering on to anyone who sits in his vicinity. That’s what he did at all our campaign stops, too. He's got the intellect of a rabbit.
“I’m going to take him back to my place and we’ve got to talk,” Kamala said urgently.
The Democrat ticket then exited through a backdoor and jumped into an unmarked Range Rover, already idling for a quick escape. Upon entering Harris’s Georgetown bungalow, Biden Gump noticed a smiling and waving life-sized cardboard cutout of Willie Brown to one side of the parlor room, the kind often employed to snap photos with at carnivals or circuses.
In the center of the space, a middle aged man of about 50 years-old was seated on the floor viewing what looked to be a homemade video of a man reclining in a bathtub smoking a crack pipe on an 80-inch big screen-TV. A basket of mostly crumbled Cheetos was on one side of him and on the other was a stack of documents that resembled official contracts, but with Chinese characters. The man was in a stupefied state and didn’t immediately recognize Biden Gump.
“This is your daddy, Hunter” Kamala said condescendingly. “He’s going to take care of you after we’re sworn-in, so you don’t have to hide out any longer. So gather your stuff here and you’ll be living in a new place starting tonight. You’re a good boy. Your dad always tells me ‘he’s so smart, Kamala’ -- the smartest person he knows! Take up painting or something. We’ll be proud! Don’t worry, it’ll all work out.”
Beckoning Biden Gump, Kamala instructed in a low whisper, “Take him home to Delaware with you. For our sake, lock him in your basement or something. The media and the FBI will be looking for him, but just tell them when they show up that you’ve got your sleeping quarters downstairs and nobody’s allowed in except the Big O and Michelle when they visit. Keep me up to date. Okay, Joe? If you get in trouble, you just run. Do you hear me?”
Like an obedient mental patient, Biden Gump did as he was ordered by the woman over two decades his junior. He took Hunter back to the AMTRAK station and waited another couple hours for a train to arrive, once again delayed by bureaucratic overruns and lazy but handsomely compensated public employee union laborers. The daddy and boy then went back to Delaware and were greeted with a sneer and a smirk by Dr. Jill, who wondered why they were so late for supper.
The two then passed the days by fishing, playing ping-pong and reading a lot. It turns out that Hunter had made another copy of his laptop hard drive and there were tens of thousands of emails, thousands of pictures and dozens of videos on the thing to go through prior to inauguration day. One night they arranged for a secret charter flight to their hideout in South America if the cops -- or Tony Bobulinski -- ever got too close to either of them.
As he promised, Biden Gump would write Kamala a handwritten letter every day and tell her what he was doing and ask her what she was doing and sign every one of them “Joe Biden Gump”. All in all, it was a pleasant existence -- the tale of an idiot who did well simply by being at the right place at the right time and doing everything he was told to do by those with half a brain more than he possessed.
The president-elect’s cautionary tale and example subsequently served as a roadmap for Democrats to try and elect more liberals to Congress and state legislatures.
The moral of Joe Biden Gump’s story? Sometimes your life changes just by taking the wrong door on the way to the potty. From that point forward, the party continued to elect morons, losers and liars, and the nation lived less-than happily ever after.
Happy New Year!