The Woman Who Convinced Biden To Be Obama's VP

Before winning the 2020 election, Joe Biden was part of the historic 2008 ticket that introduced America to its first Black president. Despite the opportunity, Joe wasn't exactly jumping at the chance to be Barack Obama's VP. In an interview with Conan O'Brien on his podcast, "Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend," the former vice president recounted how Barack had nudged him to discuss the possibility with his (Joe's) family.

The Biden family supported the idea, but even that didn't immediately sway Joe. Facing a dilemma, he sought advice from his longtime confidante, his mother, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden. "And she said ... 'Let me get this straight, honey. The first Black man has a chance to be president, says he needs you, and you told him no?'" Joe recalled that his mother also reminded him that he had previously described Barack as "honest and smart." Just like that, with a push from mom, Joe Biden and Barack Obama began a groundbreaking partnership.

Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden shared a sweet moment with Barack Obama

Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden's role in the Biden-Obama saga didn't end with Joe saying "yes" to the VP spot. During the podcast episode, Joe fondly remembered his mother and Barack Obama's interaction after they won the election. "She wasn't supposed to be out when we got announced. And as we walked out, she walks off the stage, and there's a picture of her grabbing Barack's hand, and she says, 'Come on, honey. It's going to be okay.'"

Joe Biden often talks about his mom warmly, especially in his speeches. In his acceptance speech as Barack's vice presidential candidate, he shared a gem from his mother's treasure trove of wisdom. "She taught her children that you are defined by your sense of honor, and you are redeemed by your loyalty" (via NPR). Joe also credited his mother with helping him overcome his stutter, explaining how she reassured him that he was so intelligent he "couldn't get the thoughts out quickly enough."

Barack Obama attended Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden's funeral

Joe Biden's mother, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden, passed away at 92 on January 8, 2010, a year into the Obama-Biden tenure. Prominent politicians, including Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, attended the funeral. Since her passing, Joe has kept her memory alive in the most touching ways. For Mother's Day 2020, Joe shared a heartwarming video collage featuring photographs of himself with his mother on X, formerly known as Twitter. "She's been gone since 2010, and I miss her every day, especially around Mother's Day."

Barack Obama also showcased Catherine's wisdom during his eulogy after the heartbreaking death of Joe Biden's son, Beau, in 2015. "I got to know Joe's mom, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden, before she passed away. She was on stage with us when we were first elected." He then recalled one of Catherine's memorable sayings: "Out of everything bad that happens to you, something good will come if you look hard enough" (via Obama White House Archives). Although details of Catherine's early life are limited, her influence during her lifetime and after her death are unforgotten.