Joe Biden’s Son Headed to Iraq

Joe Biden’s son is scheduled to deploy to Iraq. And his dad isn’t trying to score political points on it.

Capt. Beau Biden, a Judge Advocate General in the Delaware National Guard and the state’s attorney general, is part of the 261st Signal Brigade that has been told to prepare for duty in Iraq in 2008. They have not been given a date of deployment yet.

“I don’t want him going,” Delaware Sen. Joe Biden said from the campaign trail Wednesday, according to a report on Radio Iowa. “But I tell you what, I don’t want my grandson or my granddaughters going back in 15 years and so how we leave makes a big difference.”

Biden criticized Democratic rivals such as Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama who have voted against Iraq funding bills to try to pressure President Bush to end the war.

“There’s no political point worth my son’s life,” Biden said, according to Radio Iowa. “There’s no political point worth anybody’s life out there. None.”

Like Jim Geraghty, I wish young CPT Biden a safe return and, like his dad, I hope his risk will be worth it.

There’s a reason Joe Biden is, along with Bill Richardson, a Democratic candidate that Republicans privately say they wouldn’t mind seeing elected president despite being fairly liberal on domestic policy. Yes, he’s arrogant and yes, he often shoots from the hip and says silly things (the Indians at 7-11 and Obama clean and articulate comments being the most recent gems). But he’s a serious, genuine guy whose heart is in the right place.

He also, apparently, has a hell of a sense of humor, saddling his son with a rhyming variant of his own first name.

FILED UNDER: 2008 Election, Iraq War, , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Scott_T says:

    I think you are wrongly assuming that it was Joe’s choice for his son’s name. You know, or you might soon know, that women have a say in the matter of these kind-a-things.

    It could well be his wife’s choice and humor and he was OK with the name. I bet you can imagine a mother going “Beau Biden you clean your room!”.

    That’s what women think about when choosing names.


  2. Triumph says:

    If the guy is a JAG, he isn’t going to be seeing any combat. Furthermore, JAGs in Guantanamo have been court martialed for aiding the terrorists.

    Given the plagiarizing liberalism of his old man, lets hope Beau isn’t a chip off the old block.

  3. Anderson says:

    If the guy is a JAG, he isn’t going to be seeing any combat.

    True, but even if you’re spending 24/7 in the Green Zone, I daresay it’s risky just living over there. Best of luck to young Biden.

  4. Mike says:

    Roadside bombs, mortars, snipers, bullets and RPGs being shot at helicopters. JAGs do face combat in today’s conflicts – the Chief Warrant Officer and Sergeant Major of the Army JAG Corps were both killed when their helicopter was shot down in 05 in Iraq. How do you think defense attorneys get to their clients. How do you think crime scenes are visited/investigated? Think before you type.

  5. just me says:

    I think you guys are both right.

    He is going to be in a warzone, and there aren’t really any “frontlines” and “rear guard” situations anymore. If you are anywhere in Iraq, you are at risk.

    But his risk isn’t the same as the Marines and combat soldiers who are clearing areas of insurgents, and exchanging fire. Those guys are engaged in actual combat. A JAG officer isn’t going to go out looking for a fight, but he very well may find himself in one by virtue of where he is.