“The one thing I think most people realize about Joe … is that he always maintains a sense of optimism,” Jill, 66, said. “Throughout Beau’s illness, even though the diagnosis was truly devastating, we always had hope. We never gave up hope. We tried treatment after treatment, month after month. But we always felt — until the moment he closed his eyes — we always felt he was going to live.”
The Bidens appeared on the NBC morning show ahead of the Tuesday, November 14, release of Joe’s new memoir, Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship and Purpose. In the book, the 74-year-old recalls the financial hardships his family faced in the White House as Beau underwent treatment prior to his death at the age of 46 in May 2015.
“Beau had this enormous sense of duty. He worked every single day,” Joe recalled. “He was beginning to lose the ability to recall proper names [after his diagnosis], but it had nothing to do with his cognitive capability. He was so proud that he did not want to be in a position where he was accepting a salary if people thought he couldn’t do the job. And so we thought that he might very well, before his time was up as attorney general, step down, and he had no other income.”
The politician told then-president Barack Obama about his worries, but explained that he could take out a second mortgage on his family’s home if need be. “[Obama] walked over and he said, ‘Joe, don’t. You love that house. Don’t do that. I’ll give you the money, I’ll give you the money.’ And that’s who he is.”
Obama, 56, delivered an emotional eulogy at Beau’s funeral in Delaware in June 2015. He applauded the late attorney for his service in the Iraq War, as well as his devotion to his family.
Earlier on Monday, Joe appeared on the Today show, where he discussed a potential run against President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. “I honest to God haven’t made up my mind about that,” he told Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer. “I’m not closing the door. I’ve been around too long.”