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Obama Surprises Biden With Country's Highest Civilian Honor

Presidential Medal of Freedom brings vice president to tears
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2017 5:15 PM CST
Biden Brought to Tears by Presidential Medal of Freedom
President Barack Obama presents Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – President Obama brought Joe Biden to full-on tears Thursday when he presented his vice president with the country's highest civilian honor, Huffington Post reports. Obama was honoring Biden for his decades of political service when he surprised him with a special version of the Presidential Medal of Freedom that has only been given to three other people: Colin Powell, Ronald Reagan, and Pope John Paul II. Obama called Biden a "lion of American history" and the best choice he made as president because he "gained a brother." According to the Wall Street Journal, Biden admitted both he and Obama were "surprised" they became such close friends over their eight years leading the country together and said he's "indebted" to the president. (Read more Joe Biden stories.)

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