Back when I first heard that Barack Obama had selected Joe Biden as his running mate, I wondered, “How’s that dynamic going to work out?” The Joe Biden I knew was a senior senator who liked his Amtrak commutes, his role on the foreign relations committee and his independence. But then Obama appeared on “Meet the Press” and said, “I’m going to want someone with independence, who’s willing to tell me when he thinks or she thinks I’m wrong. We’re going to have a lot of problems and a lot of work to do, and I’m not interested in a vice president who I just send off to go to funerals.”

After many interviews of putting down the Veep speculation, Biden finally told the world he was ready to serve, especially since Obama made it clear he wants more than just a figurehead for his vice presidency. When Biden was first announced as the VP-elect, they went on this whirlwind “rockstar” tour of America to show that they had the charisma, the passion and the gravitas to lead the nation. But over time, Biden’s independent spirit has done the administration well: while Obama stays in Washington, tending to business, he can send Joe jet-setting and globe-trotting on special missions.

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