Heard on the Hill

Biden, a Lost Soul in Rome

(Win McNamee/Getty Images Pool File Photo)

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. clearly brought his A-game to Rome for Pope Francis’ inaugural Mass celebration.

The veep, who arrived in Rome on Sunday, has been yukking it up with dignitaries and presidents who have flown in from all over the world for the august event.

Right off the bat, Biden starts in with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, quipping, "I didn't realize you'd arrange for a new pope so quickly.”

Napolitano, no slouch in the wit department, responded, "They are quicker than Italian politics.”

But Biden had the last word per usual: "They're quicker than American politics," Biden said with a grin, according to the pool report.

Later, Biden told Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic that he’s got a lot on the line in coming to Rome.

"We invited the American cardinals to a reception," Biden said. "So, unless I'm prepared to join the Eastern Orthodox Church, as a Roman Catholic I'd better show up or I'll lose my soul."

Biden also apparently cracked up Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, but pool reporter Olivier Knox of Yahoo News didn’t catch exactly what was said in that exchange.

Unfortunately, Biden is not scheduled for a one-on-one with the pontiff himself. We can’t help but wonder what hilarity would ensue.