President Obama has made no effort to hide his affection for Vice President Joe Biden, and included a touching tribute to the vice president in his farewell speech on Tuesday. But the president truly outdid himself on Thursday, when he surprised Biden in public by presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It was one of the most touching moments of Obama's presidency — a ceremony joyous enough to melt even the stoniest of hearts. There were some pretty emotional reactions to Biden's Medal of Freedom ceremony on Thursday, and that's not a surprise — it was almost too heartwarming to handle.
"The best vice president America's ever had: Mr. Joe Biden," Obama said at the ceremony. "To know Joe Biden is to know love without pretense, service without self-regard, and to live life fully. As one of his longtime colleagues in the Senate, who happened to be a Republican, once said, 'If can't admire Joe Biden as a person, you've got a problem. He is as good of a man as God ever created.''" (It was Lindsey Graham who said that, for the curious).
Obama extolled Biden's virtues for almost 15 minutes, speaking fawningly about not just their relationship, but of the friendships that have developed between their spouses and children as well.
"Even though our terms are nearly over, one of the greatest gifts of these past eight years is that we're forever bonded as a family," Obama said.
And then, he announced — to Biden's shock — that he was presenting the vice president with America's highest civilian honor: the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He gave it to Biden with distinction, an official designation that Obama has never used before during his presidency.
Biden broke into tears. And so did the rest of the country.
Nobody Cries Like Biden
Biden's tears are a cherished natural resource https://t.co/GAwFrSMZD0— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) January 12, 2017
Fact check: True.
A Friendship For The Ages
I'm weeping because of Obama and Biden and hope I can one day have a friendship as great as theirs— Katie (@leinenkugelly01) January 12, 2017
Chicken Soup For The Soul
Joe Biden receiving the presidential medal of freedom warms the hell out of my heart.— Bo Lee. 보 (@Leebox) January 12, 2017
It's a dark time in American politics, but the look on Biden's face when Obama gave him that medal was a beacon of light.
The Exception To The Rule
Obama and Biden are the only two dudes worth crying over in 2017.— Lizette Longoria (@lizetteml) January 12, 2017
There aren't too many men worth shedding a tear for this year, but POTUS and VPOTUS are the exceptions.
Proof Of Love
Obama and Biden make me believe in true love— b. kini (@stonef0x_) January 12, 2017
Watching those two on stage, it's hard not to.
Even Republicans Dig It
Wow, just wow. What an unbelievable heartfelt powerful moment when President Obama gives VicePresident Biden Medal of Freedom. Bravo.— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) January 12, 2017
You want to know what real strength, courage, love and patriotism is? Watch President Obama and VicePresident Biden today. Lesson to see.— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) January 12, 2017
Even former chief strategists for George W. Bush were touched by the ceremony. Well, at least one of them was.
An Unexpected Union...
Joe Biden and Barack Obama remind me of Drake and Josh. No one REALLY expected them to be great together, but just look at them now.— Hurricane Danny (@Hey_Dannyboy14) January 13, 2017
It's true: Even Biden and Obama were surprised by how close they became.
...And A Bromance Like No Other
I LOVE PRESIDENT OBAMA AND JOE BIDEN'S BROMANCE 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/fjcdA4hmyV— Wilfred Kosmala (@WilfredKosmalaI) January 12, 2017
Do Obama-Biden count as a celebrity couple? If so, they're one of the best.
Inconvenient Places To Cry
Full on crying at Biden. Shouldn't have watched at work.— Sarah (@FoxesSox) January 12, 2017
Heed Sarah's warning, folks. Don't watch this video at work.
I Swear I'm Not Crying
Always seems to be someone cutting onions around me when I'm watching Barack Obama share his love of Joe Biden.— Matthew (@mattjtowers) January 12, 2017
What a coincidence — this keeps happening to me, too.
Love seeing Obama and Biden crying publicly in their last two appearances. Honest masculinity is beautiful & so much stronger than stoicism.— Cathy Humes (@CrappyFumes) January 12, 2017
Yup yup yup yup yup yup.
Squeezing In A Cry On Break
Current situation: in my car, on break, crying, watching Biden receive a medal of freedom.— Samantha Mahoski (@samanthamahoski) January 12, 2017
That's what breaks are good for.
The Most Beautiful Thing In The World
This was the most beautiful thing I've ever watched. Much deserved. VP Biden was like no other. Actually crying. https://t.co/fLInbViQUx— Blair K (@blairwyziggy) January 12, 2017
You might think this is an overstatement. But then you'll watch the video, and you'll realize it's not.
The Situation Has Been Compromised
Raise your hand if you're emotionally compromised after watching Obama give Biden the medal— Rachel Simon (@Rachel_Simon) January 12, 2017
A Duo Like No Other
The video of Obama presenting Biden with his medal is really quite something pic.twitter.com/GIadpFuPoc— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) January 12, 2017
That's actual footage from the ceremony, believe it or not.
Too Much To Handle?
Quit sharing videos of Biden and Obama. I'm just one man. HOW MUCH EMOTIONAL STRENGTH DO YOU THINK I HAVE?!— Dermot Ward (@chizmund) January 12, 2017
Just speaking for myself here, but the answer is, "not enough."
I'm now going to spend an hour thinking of the love Obama and Biden have for each other and how it will last forever.— Juliet (@Jsoosty) January 12, 2017
Only an hour?
A Friendship Fit For A Greeting Card
Is this a thing? Can we make it a thing?
My guts tells me that Barrack Obama and Joe Biden are real buddies. One lesson I've learnt is that you don't need a lot of friends. Just ONE pic.twitter.com/Gec1dddx2w— Franklin Davids Obot (@Franklindavidss) January 12, 2017
I am legitimately having a hard time keeping it together, guys. For real.
Will The Tears Ever End?
"I finally stopped crying over Obama surprising Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom." - Me, in the year 2365— Veronica Walsingham (@wordslikelace) January 12, 2017
Veronica won't be the only one.
"This also gives the Internet one last chance to talk about our bromance," Obama said at the ceremony. He was wrong about one thing: This isn't going to be the last time.