TIME People

Read the Full Text of President Obama’s Eulogy at Beau Biden’s Funeral

President Obama delivered a heartfelt eulogy at Beau Biden’s funeral in Delaware on Saturday.

Here is a full transcript of his remarks, as delivered:

“A man,” wrote an Irish poet, “is original when he speaks the truth that has always been known to all good men.” Beau Biden was an original. He was a good man. A man of character. A man who loved deeply, and was loved in return.

Your Eminences, your Excellencies, General Odierno, distinguished guests; to Hallie, Natalie and Hunter; to Hunter, Kathleen, Ashley, Howard; the rest of Beau’s beautiful family, friends, colleagues; to Jill and to Joe — we are here to grieve with you, but more importantly, we are here because we love you.

Without love, life can be cold and it can be cruel. Sometimes cruelty is deliberate –- the action of bullies or bigots, or the inaction of those indifferent to another’s pain. But often, cruelty is simply born of life, a matter of fate or God’s will, beyond our mortal powers to comprehend. To suffer such faceless, seemingly random cruelty can harden the softest hearts, or shrink the sturdiest. It can make one mean, or bitter, or full of self-pity. Or, to paraphrase an old proverb, it can make you beg for a lighter burden.

But if you’re strong enough, it can also make you ask God for broader shoulders; shoulders broad enough to bear not only your own burdens, but the burdens of others; shoulders broad enough to shield those who need shelter the most.

To know Beau Biden is to know which choice he made in his life. To know Joe and the rest of the Biden family is to understand why Beau lived the life he did. For Beau, a cruel twist of fate came early –- the car accident that took his mom and his sister, and confined Beau and Hunter, then still toddlers, to hospital beds at Christmastime.

But Beau was a Biden. And he learned early the Biden family rule: If you have to ask for help, it’s too late. It meant you were never alone; you don’t even have to ask, because someone is always there for you when you need them.

And so, after the accident, Aunt Valerie rushed in to care for the boys, and remained to help raise them. Joe continued public service, but shunned the parlor games of Washington, choosing instead the daily commute home, maintained for decades, that would let him meet his most cherished duty -– to see his kids off to school, to kiss them at night, to let them know that the world was stable and that there was firm ground under their feet.

As Joe himself confessed to me, he did not just do this because the kids needed him. He did it because he needed those kids. And somehow, Beau sensed that -– how understandably and deeply hurt his family and his father was. And so, rather than use his childhood trauma as justification for a life of self-pity or self-centeredness, that very young boy made a very grown-up decision: He would live a life of meaning. He would live a life for others. He would ask God for broader shoulders.

Beau would guide and look out for his younger brother. He would embrace his new mom –- apparently, the two boys sheepishly asking their father when they could all marry Jill -– and throughout his life, no one would make Jill laugh harder. He would look after their baby sister, Ashley. He would forever be the one to do the right thing, careful not to give his family or his friends cause for concern.

It’s no secret that a lot of what made Beau the way he was was just how much he loved and admired his dad. He studied law, like his dad, even choosing the same law school. He chased public service, like his dad, believing it to be a noble and important pursuit. From his dad, he learned how to get back up when life knocked him down. He learned that he was no higher than anybody else, and no lower than anybody else –- something Joe got from his mom, by the way. And he learned how to make everybody else feel like we matter, because his dad taught him that everybody matters.

He even looked and sounded like Joe, although I think Joe would be first to acknowledge that Beau was an upgrade — Joe 2.0. (Laughter.) But as much as Beau reminded folks of Joe, he was very much his own man. He was an original.

Here was a scion of an incredible family who brushed away the possibility of privilege for the harder, better reward of earning his own way. Here was a soldier who dodged glory, and exuded true humility. A prosecutor who defended the defenseless. The rare politician who collected more fans than foes, and the rarer public figure who prioritized his private life above all else.

Beau didn’t cut corners. He turned down an appointment to be Delaware’s attorney general so he could win it fair and square. When the field was clear for him to run for the Senate, he chose to finish his job as A.G. instead. He didn’t do these things to gain favor with a cynical public –- it’s just who he was. In his twenties, he and a friend were stopped for speeding outside Scranton. And the officer recognized the name on the license, and because he was a fan of Joe’s work with law enforcement he wanted to let Beau off with a warning. But Beau made him write that ticket. Beau didn’t trade on his name.

After 9/11, he joined the National Guard. He felt it was his obligation -– part of what those broader shoulders are for. He did his duty to his country and deployed to Iraq, and General Odierno eloquently spoke to Major Biden’s service. What I can tell you is when he was loading up to ship out at Dover, there was a lot of press that wanted to interview him. Beau refused. He was just another soldier.

I saw him when I visited Iraq; he conducted himself the same way. His deployment was hard on Hallie and the kids, like it was for so many families over the last 14 years. It was hard on Joe, hard on Jill. That’s partly why Jill threw herself into her work with military families with so much intensity. That’s how you know when Joe thunders “may God protect our troops” in every speech he does, he means it so deeply.

Like his father, Beau did not have a mean bone in his body. The cruelty he’d endured in his life didn’t make him hard, it made him compassionate, empathetic. But it did make him abhor bullies.

Beau’s grandfather, Joe’s father, believed that the most egregious sin was to abuse your power to inflict pain on another. So Beau squared his broad shoulders to protect people from that kind of abuse. He fought for homeowners who were cheated, seniors who were scammed. He even went after bullying itself. He set up a Child Protector — Predator Task Force, convicted more than 200 of those who targeted vulnerable children. And in all this, he did it in a way that was alive to the suffering of others, bringing in experts to help spare both the children and their parents further trauma.

That’s who Beau was. Someone who cared. Someone who charmed you, and disarmed you, and put you at ease. When he’d have to attend a fancy fundraiser with people who took themselves way too seriously, he’d walk over to you and whisper something wildly inappropriate in your ear. (Laughter.) The son of a senator, a Major in the Army, the most popular elected official in Delaware –- I’m sorry, Joe –- (laughter) — but he was not above dancing in nothing but a sombrero and shorts at Thanksgiving if it would shake loose a laugh from the people he loved. And through it all, he was the consummate public servant, a notebook in his back pocket at all times so he could write down the problems of everyone he met and go back to the office to get them fixed.

Because he was a Biden, the titles that come with family -– husband, father, son, brother, uncle -– those were the ones Beau valued above any other. This was a man who, at the Democratic National Convention, didn’t spend all his time in backrooms with donors or glad-handing. Instead, he rode the escalators in the arena with his son, up and down, up and down, again and again, knowing, just like Joe had learned, what ultimately mattered in life.

You know, anyone can make a name for themselves in this reality TV age, especially in today’s politics. If you’re loud enough or controversial enough, you can get some attention. But to make that name mean something, to have it associated with dignity and integrity –- that is rare. There’s no shortcut to get it. It’s not something you can buy. But if you do right by your children, maybe you can pass it on. And what greater inheritance is there? What greater inheritance than to be part of a family that passes on the values of what it means to be a great parent; that passes on the values of what it means to be a true citizen; that passes on the values of what it means to give back, fully and freely, without expecting anything in return?

That’s what our country was built on –- men like Beau. That’s who built it –- families like this. We don’t have kings or queens or lords. We don’t have to be born into money to have an impact. We don’t have to step on one another to be successful. We have this remarkable privilege of being able to earn what we get out of life, with the knowledge that we are no higher than anybody else, or lower than anybody else. We know this not just because it is in our founding documents, but because families like the Bidens have made it so, because people like Beau have made it so.

He did in 46 years what most of us couldn’t do in 146. He left nothing in the tank. He was a man who led a life where the means were as important as the ends. And the example he set made you want to be a better dad, or a better son, or a better brother or sister, better at your job, the better soldier. He made you want to be a better person. Isn’t that finally the measure of a man -– the way he lives, how he treats others, no matter what life may throw at him?

We do not know how long we’ve got here. We don’t know when fate will intervene. We cannot discern God’s plan. What we do know is that with every minute that we’ve got, we can live our lives in a way that takes nothing for granted. We can love deeply. We can help people who need help. We can teach our children what matters, and pass on empathy and compassion and selflessness. We can teach them to have broad shoulders.

To the Biden family, this sprawling, intimate clan –- I know that Beau’s passing has left a gaping void in the world. Hallie, I can only imagine the burdens that you’ve been carrying on your shoulders these past couple of years. And it’s because you gave him everything that he could give everything to us. And just as you were there for him, we’ll be there for you.

To Natalie and Hunter –- there aren’t words big enough to describe how much your dad loved you, how much he loved your mom. But I will tell you what, Michelle and I and Sasha and Malia, we’ve become part of the Biden clan. We’re honorary members now. And the Biden family rule applies. We’re always here for you, we always will be — my word as a Biden. (Laughter.)

To Joe and Jill –- just like everybody else here, Michelle and I thank God you are in our lives. Taking this ride with you is one of the great pleasures of our lives. Joe, you are my brother. And I’m grateful every day that you’ve got such a big heart, and a big soul, and those broad shoulders. I couldn’t admire you more.

I got to know Joe’s mom, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden, before she passed away. She was on stage with us when we were first elected. And I know she told Joe once that out of everything bad that happens to you, something good will come if you look hard enough. And I suppose she was channeling that same Irish poet with whom I began today, Patrick Kavanagh, when he wrote, “And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.”

As hard as it is right now, through all the heartache and through all the tears, it is our obligation to Beau to think not about what was and what might have been, but instead to think about what is, because of him. Think about the day that dawns for children who are safer because of Beau, whose lives are fuller, because of him. Think about the day that dawns for parents who rest easier, and families who are freer, because of him. Some folks may never know that their lives are better because of Beau Biden. But that’s okay. Certainly for Beau, acclaim was never the point of public service.

But the lines of well-wishers who’ve been here all week — they know. The White House mailroom that’s been overflowing with letters from people — those folks know. The soldiers who served with Beau, who joined the National Guard because of him. The workers at Verdi’s who still have their home because of him, and who thanked him for helping them bus tables one busy night. The students in Newark who remember the time he talked with them for hours, inexhaustible, even after giving a speech, even after taking his National Guard fitness test. The Rehoboth woman who’s saved a kind voicemail from him for five years, and wrote to say “I loved the way he loved his family.” And the stranger who wrote from halfway across this great country just to say, “The only thing we can hope for is that our children make us proud by making a difference in the world. Beau has done that and then some. The world noticed.”

Jill, Joe, Hallie, Hunter and Natalie — the world noticed. They noticed. They felt it, his presence. And Beau lives on in the lives of others. And isn’t that the whole point of our time here? To make this country we love fairer and more just, not just for Natalie and Hunter, or Naomi, or Finnegan, or Maisy, or Malia, or Sasha, but for every child? Isn’t that what this amazing journey we’ve been on is all about -– to make life better for the next generation?

Beau figured that out so early in life. What an inheritance Beau left us. What an example he set.

“Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. “But, above all, we have learned that whether a man accepts from Fortune her spade, and will look downward and dig, or from Aspiration her axe and cord, and will scale the ice, the one and only success which it is his to command is to bring to his work a mighty heart.”

Beau Biden brought to his work a mighty heart. He brought to his family a mighty heart. What a good man. What an original.

May God bless his memory, and the lives of all he touched.

Read next: Watch Chris Martin Sing a Beautiful Version of ‘Til Kingdom Come’ at Beau Biden’s Funeral

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TIME People

Obama Eulogizes Beau Biden as ‘an Original’

The Vice President's son died of brain cancer last week

President Obama remembered Beau Biden as “a man of good character” on Saturday, eulogizing Vice President Joe Biden’s son a week after his death of brain cancer at age 46.

During his heartfelt eulogy, Obama drew from an Irish poet and said Biden was “an original. He was a good man. A man of good character. A man who loved deeply and was loved in return.”

“We are here to grieve with you, but more importantly we are here because we love you,” Obama said to the Biden family.

Throughout his eulogy, Obama was visibly moved—at times holding back tears and pausing to wipe his face. “Joe 2.0,” Obama called him—an “upgraded” version of his father. Tragedy informed the lives of both father and son: A car crash killed Joe Biden’s daughter and first wife. But tragedy made Beau Biden more compassionate and caring, Obama said, a trait he learned from his father. Biden, Obama said, lived “a life of meaning.”

“From his dad he learned to get back up when he was down,” Obama said. “He learned that he was no higher than anybody else. He learned to make all of us feel like we mattered.”


In Washington, the American flag over the White House flew at half-staff. In Delaware, a thousand people gathered to pay their final respects to the family of Beau Biden, including state and local lawmakers, members of Congress, and members of the President’s cabinet. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were among those in attendance, the White House said.

Saturday’s funeral mass at St. Anthony of Padua Church was the last of three public events held in memory of Beau, a former Delaware Attorney General who had been a leading candidate for governor of the state. More than a thousand people traveled to Delaware’s Legislative Hall for a Thursday memorial service. There, Vice President Biden accepted the Conspicuous Service Cross, which was posthumously presented to Beau for his nearly 12 years of service in the Delaware National Guard.

People came in droves to mourn with the Biden family during a wake on Friday at the St. Anthony of Padua Church. Vice President Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, Biden’s son Hunter and several members of the family stayed—from 1p.m. until about 11p.m.—to greet every mourner that came to pay their respects.

Obama said the outpouring of support the Biden family has received over the past week is a testament to Beau’s legacy as someone who cared about others and sought to make the world a better place.

“The world noticed,” Obama said. “They felt it, his presence. Beau lives on in the lives of others. Isn’t that the whole point of our time? To make this world that we love more fair and more just? Isn’t that what this amazing journey we’ve been on is all about-to make things better for the next generation?”

“What an inheritance Beau left us. What an example he set,” Obama said. “What a good man. What an original.”

TIME local

This NY Plumber Neglected His $136M Winning Lottery Ticket for Over a Month

He hid the winning ticket behind a pipe in his basement

A plumber in New York cashed in on a $136 million lottery ticket Thursday, taking home a massive cash prize he nearly squandered.

Anthony Perosi, 56, had the winning Powerball ticket in his possession for over a month before he even checked it. A friend told him the winnings had gone to a schoolteacher and he believed her.

“A few days after the drawing, I was talking with a friend of mine, and she told me the winning ticket was purchased at the 7-Eleven on Page Avenue,” Perosi said Thursday, according to WABC New York. “I said that’s where I bought my ticket, and she told me she heard that a school teacher won it.”

That was in March.

One fateful day in April, though, after having some trouble with his truck Perosi went down to his basement where he’d kept his ticket pinned in a “lucky” spot behind a pipe. And lucky it was.

The Staten Island native said he thought he was having a heart attack when he saw the winning numbers. He called his 27-year-old son over to confirm. The two said Thursday it’s been surreal ever since.

The elder Perosi doesn’t plan on letting his new-found wealth change him, though. “I want to continue to work, but will be able to relax a little more and not have any worries financially,” he said.

[WABC New York]

TIME Terrorism

Family of Boston Terrorism Suspect ‘Unaware of Any Radicalization’

Usaamah Rahim was killed Tuesday after authorities said he lunged at them with a large knife

A lawyer for the family of a man killed by terrorism investigators in Boston earlier this week said Thursday they were shocked by accusations that he was radicalized by extremists and were under no suspicion that had been the case.

Usaamah Rahim, 26, was shot and killed Tuesday after authorities say he lunged toward them with a large knife that he bought on the Internet. An FBI affidavit filed Wednesday stated Rahim had initially planned to behead someone outside Massachusetts, but later changed his mind to “go after” the “boys in blue” instead, a reference that officials took to mean police. The document states Rahim discussed his plans with at least two people, including 26-year-old David Wright, who was charged Wednesday with conspiring to conceal or destroy evidence.

Earlier on Thursday, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told NBC that Rahim was allegedly plotting to behead conservative blogger and anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller. But Evans called the idea “wishful thinking.”

“The family is unaware of any radicalization,” Ronald Sullivan, an attorney for Rahim’s family and a Harvard Law professor, said during a news conference. Sullivan said the family is ready and willing to “enter into a joint relationship with investigators to get to the truth.” Rahim’s private burial was scheduled for Friday.

TIME Music

Watch Ed Sheeran and The Roots Cover ‘Trap Queen’

The English singer blesses the Internet with another unlikely cover

Ed Sheeran and The Roots collaborated for a soulful take on Fetty Wap’s most popular tune and it’s better than you could have guessed.

Sheeran is no stranger to surprising viewing audiences with unlikely musical covers. Just this week, the cherubic crooner appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he made some of the most hardcore metal hits sound like folksy lullabies.

On Thursday, he did it again. Only this time he didn’t make “Break Stuff” sound like something your grandma could jam along to. The English singer blessed the Internet with an acoustic cover of the hit song “Trap Queen,” making selling drugs and counting money with bae sound like lovely post-brunch activities.

Read next: One of These Songs Will Be This Year’s Song of the Summer

TIME Television

These Jeopardy Contestants Couldn’t Name the Attorney General

The $600 question even came with a visual clue

The answer was literally staring them in the face.

On a Wednesday episode of Jeopardy, contestants were prompted to identify Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The $600 question even came with a visual clue—an image of America’s newly minted “top cop” was flashed across the screen as host Alex Trebek asked the three contestants to identify her.

Not one hit the buzzer. “The lady’s name is Loretta Lynch,” Trebek said.

Not a bad case for requiring more students to take a basic civics course, is it?

Watch the full clip below.

Read next: Attorney General Loretta Lynch Makes a Big Splash in Her First Month

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Sarah Palin Says Media Ignored ‘Pedophile’ Lena Dunham While Shaming Duggars

Daughter Bristol Palin also wrote about "double standards" in the "liberal media"

Bristol and Sarah Palin lashed out at the media Thursday for its response to the scandal surrounding reality TV star Josh Duggar, comparing his family’s treatment with that of Lena Dunham after passages in her memoir were labeled evidence of child abuse.

In separate posts, Bristol and Sarah Palin blast the “liberal media” for reacting with furor over news that Duggar had inappropriately touched his younger sisters, some of whom were sleeping, while downplaying passages from Lena Dunham’s recently published memoir in which she describes looking at her sister’s vagina and bribing her for kisses as a child.

TLC has pulled episodes of the Duggar family’s hit show amid the scandal and Josh stepped down from his position at the Family Research Council. Dunham released a statement apologizing for triggering painful responses by including the offending passages in the memoir.

But both Palins believe the media response has been uneven. “I can’t believe how crazy the media is going over the Duggar family compared to the big fat yawn they gave Lena Dunham when she wrote in her book that she sexually experimented with her sister,” Bristol Palin wrote in a blog post. “The double standards make me sick.”

The former Alaska Governor had much harsher words for the differences in treatment, calling Dunham a “pedophile” and members of the media “disgusting hypocrites.”

“I’m not defending the Duggar boy’s obvious wrongdoing over a decade ago,” Palin wrote on Facebook. “I’m not an apologist for any sexual predator, but I’m sickened that the media gives their chosen ones a pass for any behavior as long as they share their leftwing politics.”

Dunham has yet to remark on the Duggars or the Palins.


Feds Say Fracking Has Little Impact on U.S. Drinking Water

Fracking Jonah Field wyoming
Alex Milan Tracy—Sipa USA/AP Schlumberger trucks with 2000 horsepower pumps direct water, sand and chemicals over 11,000 feet into the ground to create a fracture at a completion site on the Jonah Field in Sublette County, Wyo., pictured on April 9, 2015.

EPA report says no evidence of "widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States"

The controversial oil and gas extraction technique of hydraulic fracturing — commonly known as “fracking”— has no “widespread” impact on American drinking water, according to a new report released by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Fracking, when water-based mixtures are pumped at a high pressure into geologic formations to extract oil and gas, has long been criticized by environmentalists who claim the wastewater from the process can pollute nearby freshwater supplies such as springs, lakes and rivers. The report, however, found “no evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.”

The report does note some specific instances, however, when some parts of the fracking process have contaminated drinking wells or otherwise impacted the American water supply, but authors note the number of cases is “small compared to the number of hydraulically fractured wells.”

The fracking industry has been partly responsible for a revolution in the shale oil industry, lifting U.S. production to 9.3 million barrels a day in early 2015 — up from 5.6 million barrels a day in 2010. However, the worldwide fall in oil prices since last year has shrunk demand for the method of extraction, with many fracking companies forced to slash costs or shut down operations.

The report warns there are some activities both above and below ground that could have an adverse impact on the water supply, including water withdrawals at places with low water availability, spills, poor treatment of wastewater, and the way water moves in and out of fracking areas. The study’s authors note that municipalities, tribes, and federal officials should use the report to keep future contamination from occurring.

The reports authors say while the findings could mean contamination is rare, it could also be a result of limited data on resources before and after fracking begins and the lack of a definitive link between some instances of contamination and fracking activities.

TIME rick perry

Rick Perry Announces Presidential Bid

Hopes for better fate than in doomed 2012 campaign

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry became the 10th Republican to officially run for president on Thursday.

In a speech in a Dallas suburb, the long-serving Texas governor attempted to turn back the clock on his failed 2012 attempt, which foundered when he fell short against other Republicans in debates, famously forgetting one of his own campaign platforms mid-answer—his “oops” moment.

On Thursday, Perry said, “It’s time for a reset.”

“We have the power to make things new again,”he said, “to project America’s strength again and to get our economy going again. And that is exactly why I am running for President of the United States of America.”

Read More: Read Full Text of Rick Perry’s Campaign Launch

Perry has sought a low-key rehabilitation, seeking to rebuild his reputation with interviews meant to show his command of the issues. As a former governor, he also hopes to differentiate himself from a field thick with Republican senators, including Sens. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham.

During his speech Thursday, Perry called Texas the “engine of growth” under his leadership and noted his record as governor, highlighting his handling of last summer’s crisis involving unaccompanied minors crossing the Southwestern border.

“If you elect me your president, I will secure that border,” he said.

Still, he faces some trouble back home, as a Texas grand jury indicted him last year on two abuse-of-power charges which claim he broke the law when he threatened and vetoed funding for a district attorney who was arrested for drunk-driving. Perry has denied wrongdoing and called the indictments politically motivated.

In a brief one-minute video posted ahead of the speech, Perry said the United States was showing “weakness abroad” and a “slow recovery economically” and said he would “bridge the partisan divide.”

Perry currently polls at the bottom of the Republican pack, picking up an average of 2.7% support in the Real Clear Politics average of polls. That puts him right at the cusp of being invited on stage at the official GOP debates, which are being limited due to the unusually large field.

Read More: Rick Perry’s Lone Star Do-Over

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