Photo Credit: iVillage
Within minutes of meeting Dr. Jill Biden, it is obvious being a military mom is as important a title to her as having her Ph.D and being the Second Lady of the United States. She invited some local school kids to the Vice President’s Residence Monday (and iVillage too) to honor military families. As she greeted the finely dressed fourth graders from White Oaks Elementary School in Burke, Virginia, she held up a picture of her son, Beau, with his son on his shoulders. Beau Biden, a member of the Delaware Army National Guard and the current Delaware Attorney General, served in Iraq for a year. “I know what it is like,” Biden told the kids. She knows what it’s like, she said, to have a loved one deployed, especially during the holidays.
Biden told us in her first exclusive interview with iVillage that the goal of Joining Forces, the joint effort on the part of First Lady Michelle Obama and Biden, is “creating awareness” of the sacrifices military families make every day and for communities, churches and individuals “to commit to an act of kindness.” She talked movingly about how during Beau’s deployment, her daughter-in-law woke up to find someone shoveling her driveway after a snowstorm. “It’s just those little things that mean so much to a family,” she told us.
Watch more of Dr. Jill Biden’s interview with iVillage here:
We had so many great questions from you -- the iVillage Community -- for Biden. We certainly had to ask her about 2016 after her husband, Vice President Biden, recently made some news when the two-time presidential candidate left the door open to another run, telling Today, "I’m never ready to close the door on anything."
“I never say no to anything,” Dr. Biden told us, “but who knows. I mean right now really our focus is getting Barack re-elected and so that’s what we’re working hard on.” Asked if she’d urge her husband to mount another quest for the presidency, she said, “I think he’d be a great president and his priorities are my priorities and the one reason I encouraged him to run last time was to get out of Iraq and that meant so much to me having a son who was deployed and now my dream has come true.”
We wondered if she and the Vice President watch any of the Republican presidential debates – there’s one just about every week! She said they catch “pieces here and there.” What does she think about the Republican field? “I am just thankful that we are not in Iowa and trying to win the Iowa Caucuses so I am just happy that we’re where we are.”
We then played the iVillage Word Game with Dr. Biden – we say a word or phrase and she tells us what comes to her mind.
Favorite holiday food? “Let’s see, Christmas cookies,” she said. I had to concur!
Favorite holiday tradition? “We have a tradition on Christmas morning because all my kids stay Christmas Eve night. We wait at the top of the steps and Joe (the Vice President) goes to see if Santa has been there and we all go down as a family so I love that.”
Favorite TV show? “I love ‘The Good Wife,” the wife of the Vice President told us. “I love watching that.” As for her husband, “He likes ‘Morning Joe.” We do too, Dr. Biden!
New Year’s Resolution? “I guess it would be just to keep focused on the issues that I’ve been working on. Recently, I’ve been trying to raise money for the refugees in Kenya who have come from Somalia because these children are dying and starving. I want to continue my work with that. Of course, I will continue to work at the community college (she teaches English full-time), and you know I’m a military mom and I will keep visiting those troops and our wounded warriors as well and keeping connected with military families.”
Stay tuned for more of our exclusive interview with Dr. Jill Biden including comments on her relationship with Michelle Obama, the highlights and lowlights of her White House years, her work on behalf of community college education and how she and the Vice President keep their love affair alive after 34 years of marriage.
For more, watch this video to see how troops are being honored throughout the holidays at the White House and at the Naval Observatory, the offiical residence of the Vice President.
Kelly Wallace is Chief Correspondent of iVillage. Follow Kelly on Twitter: @kellywallacetv