A self-declared "Senate man," Joe Biden admitted up-front that he might not fit the vice-presidency. The charming Democrat had spent two-thirds of his life making feisty speeches and verbal flubs—not exactly characteristic traits of a VP. So Barack Obama and Biden sat down to talk. All Biden wanted, he said, was "to be a valued counselor on the big decisions," said Obama adviser David Axelrod.
Biden's unattributed quoting of a politician had cost him a shot at the presidency in 1987; his intense preparation for the Robert Bork Supreme Court hearings led to an aneurysm and brain surgery. This firebrand, for VP? "It's like putting a boxer in the ring and telling him not to fight," John H. Richardson writes in Esquire. So far, so good, despite a few bumps. The more Biden works with Obama, "the more I realize how philosophically in sync we are," he said.