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The PJ Tatler

Bridget Johnson


March 20, 2012 - 11:04 am

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny met with President Obama for a belated White House St. Patrick’s Day celebration, but first the visiting taoiseach had to get through breakfast with Joe Biden.

“VPOTUS seems to have an inexhaustible supply of Irish sayings,” the foreign pool reporter from The Irish Times noted.

“We should do this every year;  celebrate St Patrick’s Day twice!” Biden said in the dining room at his residence. “You are proof of what my grandmother said, that Irishmen would rather talk than eat!”

“They say a man’s always fortunate to have Irish friends,” he said. “They’re never above you. They’re never below you. They’re always beside you.”

Biden then recounted an old New Yorker cartoon, showing Pat and Mike having a pint in New York. “Don’t you wish you were in a pub in Dublin, wishing you were in a pub in New York?” Pat says to Mike.  The guests laughed.

“Taoiseach, that’s all you need to know about us American Irish,” Biden said. “Our families told us that we Irish are bound together by common values of family, courage and hope, always hope. We found ourselves in situations many times of needing hope.”

The breakfast included a sampling of Irish Washington: Sens. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.); former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and current chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey; counterterrorism adviser John Brennan; and MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell and Chris Matthews.

“The thing I love about you old buddy is you’re always optimistic,” Biden said to Kenny. “You’re always optimistic. That’s the Irish.”

He offered a toast, quipping, “You’re not supposed to do this with water!”

“May you all look back on your past with as much pleasure as you look to the future,” Biden said.

For his part, the taoiseach’s remarks focused on how much he respects America’s role in global security and the economic situation in the European Union.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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