Biden Visits With Kennedy’s Staff

Posted September 4, 2009 at 9:01pm

Vice President Joseph Biden visited the Senate this week to provide some encouraging words to the staff of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who died Aug. 25 of brain cancer.

On Wednesday, Biden stopped in at Kennedy’s office in the Russell Senate Office Building for a private meeting with the late Senator’s grieving staff.

“The vice president went by to see Sen. Kennedy’s staff in their Russell office to offer condolences and express thanks for all they’ve done. He really wanted to personally reach out to them to say if they needed anything, he was there,— Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander said.

During the 47 years Kennedy was in the Senate, his staff developed a reputation as being some of the best in the chamber. However, most of them are now faced with the prospect of having to find other jobs. Senate rules allow for staff to stay on for about two months after a Member’s death.

Repeated requests for comment from Kennedy’s office were not returned.

Biden counted himself among Kennedy’s close friends in the Senate, having served 36 years with the “liberal lion— before being elected vice president last November. Biden served side-by-side with Kennedy on the Judiciary Committee for years and probably would not have become chairman in 1987 if the more senior Kennedy had not chosen to head the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions panel instead.

At Kennedy’s memorial service in Boston on Aug. 28, Biden noted that Kennedy, “in an astonishingly and totally unexpected way, ended up playing an important part in every critical moment in my adult life.—