By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers.
Even before his pop became vice president-elect, Delaware's Beau Biden was on the rise. He was elected attorney general at 37, and the whole Delaware Democratic establishment expected him to be the easy choice to replace his dad in the Senate once Joe Biden takes his new job at the White House. But a higher calling entered. It seems that Beau Biden is one dedicated soldier. Already dispatched to Fort Bliss, Texas, for training with his 261st Tactical Theater Signal Brigade of the Delaware Army National Guard before a year tour in Iraq, Captain Biden spurned an offer to be an absentee senator by taking his dad's spot in Washington. And, family friends say, that isn't all he declined. Before departing for training, National Guard officials raised the issue of security for a vice presidential son in Iraq, clearly aware of other high-profile cases like that of former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's son, who is now serving in Iraq, and that of Prince Harry in Afghanistan. Their offer: Do his tour in Delaware instead. But we hear that Biden, in the judge advocate general's corps, responded with a firm "No Sir!" and has even gone out of his way to avoid interviews and photographers eager for his story. "Beau asked to be treated like any other member of the guard," says a family friend. That was no surprise to daddy Biden, who recalled that in Beau's 2006 attorney general's race, pollsters suggested that he be shown in campaign brochures wearing his uniform. Beau refused because he didn't want to change the easy rapport he had with his fellow guardsman. The VP-elect's reaction to all of this? He was heard telling friends, "I'm prouder of Beau than I am of any title."
Illustration by Joe Ciardiello for USN&WR