My attempt to get Joe Biden to kiss my baby

Those lips are made for baby-smooching.

The plan was simple. Take my 16-month-old son to the Joe Biden rally in Commerce City yesterday, so the vice presidential candidate could plant one on him. That’s the American dream, right? Getting your baby kissed by some utter stranger in the name of political posturing?

Please don’t accuse me of destroying my journalistic integrity and revealing my political stripes by this arrangement. Sure, Biden may the Democratic VP candidate, but I went for the curiosity factor. This guy seems just bonkers enough to do something downright hilarious with my kid, such as nibbling on his toes or blowing raspberrys on his belly in front of thousands and thousands of people.

To ensure my progeny was in close enough proximity to Biden’s lips for this to happen, I needed to score a front-row seat at the rally – and that, considering my lack of political sway, wasn't going to happen. Luckily, I did happen to have a friend with that sort of influence at the event, and once she scored a first-row seat for herself she promised to borrow my son and get him his smooch when the time was right.

Till then, my son and I would hang out in the press section along with my friend’s young son, who decided keep us company. The three of us were a motley sight at the press entrance: A guy with a baby accompanied by an 11-year-old holding a camera (a broken camera at that, since my wife dropped it the night before). When the event staff did a doubletake at my young associates, I shrugged and played it cool: "Interns."

As reporters and cameramen cast disparaging looks at us, we waited in the press section for Biden to appear. And waited. And waited. Finally, the crowd cheered as up to the podium stepped… State Representative Diana DeGette. She spoke for a bit, then excitedly introduced… former Denver mayor Federico Peña. This went on for a while. One guy got up solely to introduce the person who would introduce Biden.

Eventually, two and a half hours after we’d arrived, the man of the hour strode into the field house, his thousand-watt smile at full power. As to whether Biden actually got around to saying anything, though, I can’t say. At that point I was heading out the door, my hysterical, over-tired son in tow. No kiss for him, no mushy photo op for me.

And there you have it: I went to the Biden rally yesterday and all I got was this lousy blog rant. -- Joel Warner

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner