According to the GQ headline, Vice President Joe Biden is the “most misunderstood man in Washington.” Here are some gems from his interview:

“I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States of America,” he said one day at his residence in Washington. “But it doesn’t mean I won’t run.”

…But about 2016: “The judgment I’ll make is, first of all, am I still as full of as much energy as I have now—do I feel this?” he said. “Number two, do I think I’m the best person in the position to move the ball? And, you know, we’ll see where the hell I am.

“And by the way, if you come in the office, I have two portraits hanging—one of Jefferson, one of Adams. Both vice presidents who became presidents.” He said he likes to look at their very satisfied expressions. “I joke to myself, I wonder what their portraits looked like when they were vice presidents.”

… “And I said, ‘Why do you want me to be vice president?’ ” he told me, explaining that he never wanted the VP job, really he didn’t, but Obama convinced him. “He said, ‘Help me govern. Joe, you do Iraq. Defense, State—talk to Joe, get it done. Recovery Act, almost a trillion dollars, do it, Joe!

“Not that I’m so special,” he went on, “or that he couldn’t do it as well or better. But guess what, there was a war in Afghanistan going on at the same time, a banking system collapsing. It was a boulder rolling down a hill here. No matter who he was, now matter how brilliant—this guy is brilliant—he doesn’t have the space on his desk to pick up all of those pieces.”

… The leader of the free world. Now, there’s an interesting topic. He said nowadays that job is way too complicated for one person alone to do, and so America is almost certainly better off with two. Obama and Joe. “Ideologically simpatico.” That’s the key. “Not like Bush-Cheney, where Bush is sort of a blank slate and Cheney was his imprint. Cheney made it hard for the government to function coherently.”