Magazine | September 7, 2015, Issue

From the Dream Journal of Joseph Biden, Vice President of the United States

Monday, slept well. Woke before the alarm. Here is what I remember from my dream: I was covered in a kind of lightly scented oil — it wasn’t baby oil, that I would have recognized — but some other kind of aromatic oil — and I was moving through a crowd of people and they were all grabbing at me and trying to pull me down but the slickness of the oil and my natural limberness kept me from being entrapped and I slipped through them, gaining speed and momentum as I did, as if being squeezed naked through a crowd of people. What do kids call this? Is this a “mosh pit”? Need to research this more fully.

I don’t remember any particular ending to the movement, just the sense of my naked and oiled body being propelled forward by a large crowd.

Questions: 1) What kind of oil was it and is it available either via Amazon or locally? 2) At first the crowds pulling at me seemed sinister but later it was clear they were actually giving me energy, pushing me forward. What does this mean? 3) As I ponder my political future, what does this dream mean, as regards my natural level of comfort with my body? Is a clothing-optional candidacy something worth exploring?

Tuesday, bad sleep, tossed and turned. Hit snooze button three times. Dr. Jill Biden informed me that several times during the night I sat bolt upright in bed and began singing a version of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” in what sounded like a fake southern accent. (Note to self: Need to research who Taylor Swift is and listen to that song.) What I remember from my dream: being in a conference room looking at graphs and tables and polling results and someone telling me, “Joe, this is just how much people hate you” and then everyone laughing and laughing and then I kept saying, “Wait, is that a joke? Are you guys kidding? What’s the deal here?” And they said, “No, no, it’s a joke, people love you, you can be the big guy,” and then suddenly Barack Obama was there and he had a basketball and he threw it at me, but really aggressively the way sometimes people do, and he kept throwing it hard at me and it hurt my fingertips but I didn’t want to say anything, and he kept throwing it harder and harder and harder and it really hurt and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes, and he said, “What’s wrong, Joe? Gonna cry? Gonna cry, Crybaby Joe?” And then the ball hit me in the face and everyone was laughing and suddenly I was being strangled by a red pantsuit.

Questions: 1) Do my pollsters laugh at me behind my back? Am I getting the complete numbers I need to make the decisions I need to be making? 2) Need to work on my basketball skills, as this dream highlights an insecurity that I feel during my encounters with potus, and it’s clearly something that weighs on me and affects my sleep patterns. 3) Need to ask Dr. Jill Biden about the pantsuit. Can’t figure that one out.

Wednesday, regular sleep. Woke with the alarm. Did not hit snooze button. Dr. Jill Biden reports no nighttime singing. What I remember from my dream: I am in a hot tub or Jacuzzi-like spa environment with German chancellor Angela Merkel and we are giving each other highly sensual massages while discussing the recent nuclear exchange between Iran and Israel, which means this dream is a dream from the future, which is weird, in which I am potus, and then suddenly we’re both in fluffy robes and sitting in mani-pedi chairs with other members of nato and we’re not talking about the nuclear exchange because it hasn’t happened yet, or something, it’s not really clear, but we’re all of us very concerned about what we keep calling “the events” and then I’m on Air Force One and for some reason there’s a cake and I’m supposed to sign a presidential pardon for Hillary Clinton, who is either in jail or about to go to jail — it isn’t clear, sort of like what happened between Iran and Israel or me and Angela in the hot tub — and I’m trying to sort it all out when I’m suddenly so tired that I fall asleep in the chair, right as I’m being interviewed by the late David Brinkley, both of us, by the way, dressed as wrestlers from the 1950s.

Questions: None. Self-explanatory.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Cruising Speed

It’s striking that the five Mission: Impossible films, made across two decades in an ever-changing Hollywood, have all starred Tom Cruise. Even in this age of franchises and costumed stars, ...
Politics & Policy

Found Wanting

In a country in which fewer and fewer people serve in an ever-shrinking all-volunteer military, it can be difficult to make a comprehensive case to the civilian public about the ...


Politics & Policy


Is Puerto Rico Back from the Brink? Writing in the Week (July 20), National Review’s editors incorrectly characterize Puerto Rico governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla. Their unfair portrayal of his efforts to ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Hillary has been wearing orange pantsuits. Someone’s been planning ahead. ‐ In a speech at American University defending his Iran deal, President Obama accused its Republican opponents of making “common ...
Politics & Policy


ORPHAN What was I looking for in that room Crowded with old books, shelves so full, It seemed they could not hold another title, Except where in places a weary volume Leaned upon its neighbor’s ...

Most Popular


What The 1619 Project Leaves Out

“The goal of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times that this issue of the magazine inaugurates, is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year,” The New York Times Magazine editors declare. “Doing so requires us to place ... Read More

It’s Time for Colin Kaepernick to Move On

Colin Kaepernick. Remember him? Below-average quarterback. Above-average poseur. Not “activist,” not really. Activists actually say stuff. Kaepernick almost never says anything. He’s like the Queen or most popes — you have to read the deep-background musings of supposed members of his inner circle to get ... Read More
PC Culture

Courage Is the Cure for Political Correctness

This might come as some surprise to observers of our campus culture wars, but there was a time, not long ago, when the situation in American higher education was much worse. There a wave of vicious campus activism aimed at silencing heterodox speakers, and it was typically empowered by a comprehensive regime of ... Read More

Trump and the Black Vote

"Donald Trump is a racist, white supremacist, white nationalist. So are his supporters." Some version of that refrain is heard almost hourly somewhere in mainstream media. Democratic politicians seem to proclaim it more often than that. Listening only to the Left, you'd conclude that more than half a ... Read More