Magazine May 20, 2019, Issue

Welcome to My World! by Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Pittsburgh, Pa., April 29, 2019 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

An Audible™ Audiobook,
Read by the Author

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CHAPTER ONE: THE
IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CARE

You know, people ask me all the time: “Joe, what’s your self-care regimen?” I guess people think that if you’re the kind of person who runs for president every few years, you probably don’t have a skin-care or general-wellness practice.

That just isn’t so.

Yes, of course, the important stuff is health care for all, good jobs and good wages, restoring America’s stature around the world. But you can’t do any of that — not universal health care, not a student-loan bill of rights, not even taking action to reverse climate change — if you don’t take care of yourself.

How can I love you, the voter, if I don’t love myself?

Lucky for both of us, that isn’t a problem!

Each morning, without fail, I do a series of yoga poses entirely in the nude. This helps connect me to my body and to the sun — I almost always do these simple stretches either outside, when the weather permits, or inside, in a sunny part of the house that I share with my wife, Dr. Jill Biden, Ph.D. When I’m on the road — which is a lot of the time these days — I do them wherever I can. This has led to some embarrassing moments, I must say!

But it’s important to get the body going in the morning. There’s a lot of work to be done in America these days. We’ve got to get to work. And for me, that work starts in the nude.

I don’t believe we need to “make America great again.” America already is great. But let’s face facts: We have lost our way.

Following that morning routine, I shower, rub my body with sesame oil, sit quietly for a moment while the oil is absorbed into my skin, and then dress, apply sunscreen, and I’m good to go.

I don’t usually wear a scent. I find that, in my line of work, there’s so much touching and hugging and cuddling and full-body contact that a scent can be a distracting and sometimes unwelcome addition to the experience. During a full day of campaigning — and especially when I was vice president — I would regularly press my body against another voter’s body three or four dozen times per day. Not always full body-to-body contact, of course — some voters are shy! — but my goal is to touch every single voter in America, skin-to-skin contact, before that crucial Tuesday in November 2020.

It’s what I believe in. It’s what’s going to bring change and a new day to America. It’s how Dr. Jill Biden, Ph.D., and I stay connected as a couple, and it’s something I want to share with you.

And, hey, it doesn’t have to be in the nude. It can just be the fleshy part of my hand, where the thumb connects to the palm, cupped against the back of your head or maybe the soft tissue of your upper arm. It can be the flat of my forearm against your lumbar 3 — or even lumbar 5, if you’ve had some European-style experiences and aren’t hung up about the human body — or maybe just my thumbs, stroking you in unison as the dermatomal energies are released along the body’s natural nerve pathways.

I want to nuzzle the back of your neck as I explain how we can get our country back again, back from the brink of isolationism, trade wars, environmental disaster, racism, and the whole constellation of things we’ve all had to endure under this failure of a presidency. I want you, the voter, to feel the gentle tickle of my facial hair — depending on the time of day, of course! — against the smooth, flat, sensitive tissue that covers the occipital bone where it connects to the cervical spine. From the front of your body, if you point to your clavicle and then extend an imaginary line through your neck and out of the back of your atlas bone — that’s exactly where I would like to massage you, the voter. That’s where I intend to put my face.

It’s time for real leadership.

To the American voter I say: Back pain is most often caused by a tightness in the hip flexors! As I travel around the country, meeting families and young folks just starting out, what I’ll be trying to do is explain my six-point vision for renewing America’s purpose while I knead your glutes and iliotibial bands and make a soft purring noise while I press my face against the back of your knees and

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In This Issue

In Defense of Markets

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

The Week

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