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January 03, 2017 05:09 PM

Vice President Joe Biden was in full “Uncle Joe” mode for his final swearing-in of new and re-elected senators on Tuesday.

Compliments, “dad jokes” and baby kisses (and snubs!) abounded as Biden held ceremonial swearing-ins for all Senate members of the new 115th Congress inside the old Senate chamber at the Capitol.

Here are some of Biden’s best lines of the day:

  • To Sen. Chuck Schumer’s mother, after she told Biden how proud she was of her son: “I don’t think he knows how to do anything else.”
  • To Schumer’s daughter, who greeted the vice president right behind her grandmother: “Grandma can do whatever she wants, whenever she wants to do it.”
  • To Schumer’s mother, after Schumer cracked that she’d like to make a 10-minute speech: “Mom, in my house, mothers rule. If you want to make a 10-minute speech, I’ll listen.”
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  • To the wife of Sen. Johnny Isakson, after greeting her with a kiss: “Diane, my sympathies. I don’t know how in the hell he got you.”
  • After meeting Isakson’s young grandsons and granddaughters, Biden addressed the grandsons: “You have the hardest job. There are too many beautiful girls in this family. Keep the boys away from your sisters. You guys are going to have a real hard time.”

It was a running theme.

  • To another senator’s young son, Biden said: “Jasper, you’re going to have a hard job keeping the boys away from your sister.”
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In another recurring Bidenism on Tuesday, the vice president told kids to be patient with their dads, because dads are “hard to raise.”

  • To Sen. Roy Blunt’s children: “You’ve got to be very patient. Fathers are hard to raise.”
  • To Sen. Marco Rubio’s children: “Dads are very hard to raise so be patient with him.”
  • To Rubio himself: “Can I have a picture with just the kids? Forget you!”

Biden also told Rubio: “Best of luck pal, best of luck.” Over a farewell handshake, Rubio told the vice president, “We have a good chance to do some good things here,” to which Biden genially responded, “Keep the faith, man.”

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  • To the wife of Sen. Jerry Moran, after she gave her husband a congratulatory kiss: “Why don’t you give me a kiss?” (She did.)

But some, like these babies, were less obliging when it came to showing Biden some affection:

  • To Sen. Rob Portman’s wife: “C’mon. It’s official already. There’s no way out. No way out.”
  • To Portman’s daughter: “You’ve got a smile that lights up the whole city.”

It wasn’t all jokes and flattery. Biden also had a touching exchange with Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, asking after Blumenthal’s son who is in the Navy.

“Where is he?” Biden asked.

“I don’t know, he’s a Seal,” the senator replied.

“Keep the faith, Richard, and thanks for always being so good to my Beau,” Biden said, referencing his late son, Beau Biden.

Said Blumenthal, “I’ll always remember him and thank you for your service.”

Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom/ZUMA Press

Back to Bidening:

  • Asking Blumenthal’s 23-year-old daughter for a selfie, the vice president told her his granddaughters enjoy teasing him with Snapchat filters: “My granddaughter puts ears on me. That’s what granddaughters do.”

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Even during a break in the steady parade of senators, Biden was in full-schtick mode:

  • “They say there’s a bit of a lull. We don’t have anybody named Lull,” Biden deadpanned.
  • To the assembly of waiting photographers, he asked: “Anyone else want to be sworn in?” Replied one of the cameramen: “Too much work.”
  • Asking an aide how many more senators were yet to stream through the chamber to take the oath, Biden cracked: “After our Christmas parties, we had over 5,500 people through, in the line to have a picture taken. At least I wasn’t in high heels — this time. Things are changing, man!”

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