From: Olivier Knox [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, June 05, 2015 03:07 PM
To: Allen, Liz; Pietranton, Kelsey; Spector, Stephen; Goodman, Meghan
Subject: VP Pool Report #4
The grey skies had lifted and the stained-glass window above St Anthony's altar glowed as Vice President Joe Biden greeted each mourner and well-wisher in a line that stretched up the main aisle of the church, down another, doubled over itself several times inside the St Anthony's gym, through the inevitable Secret Service magnetometers, and down the street at least two blocks.
Biden, standing barely an outstretched arm's length from his eldest son Beau's casket, looked like a man lending support as much as receiving it. Here, a handshake and a kiss on the cheek. There, a long embrace, reluctantly ended. For that stricken-looking man, a handshake, and firm grip on the shoulder, and a big, comforting Biden smile.
To his right stood Dr Jill Biden, Beau's widow Hallie, Beau's younger brother Hunter, Hunter's wife Kathleen, Beau and Hunter's sister Ashley, her husband Dr Howard Krein. Each of them greeted each person in turn.
The vice president's brother Frank and sister Valerie stood some ways down the nave, dispensing hugs and handshakes and shared acknowledgements of the magnitude of the loss that brought (in your pooler's estimation) several thousand people to this Catholic church in Wilmington's Little Italy.
A list of Washington notables is at the bottom of this pool report. Your pooler saw Senator Tom Carper (D.-Del.) Senator Bob Casey (D.-Penn.) Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart, and Chris Mathews.
A guest book could be signed as people left.
Outside, those in the crowd who would have wielded an umbrella to fend off a light drizzle just hours ago now opened them for protection against the sun. Umbrellas set aside for security reasons stood next to the magnetometers on two folding tables.
In the St Anthony's gym, your pooler approached Ernest Livingston, a 71-year-old Wilmington resident who leaned on a cane for support.
"I came straight from the doctor's. I came to pay my respects to someone who meant a lot to me and who meant a lot to the state of Delaware," he said.
Livingston said he got in line at 12:10 pm, and was still in the gym at 1:50 pm.
"It's worth the wait," he said. "I just love the Biden family."
DC notables, per the VP's office:
Secretary of Treasury Jacob Lew
Senator Chris Coons
Senator Tom Carper
Senator Barbara Mikulski
Senator Ben Cardin
Senator Joe Donnelly
Senator Bob Casey
Congressman John Lewis
Chief Washington Correspondent