Obama surprises 'brother' Joe Biden with Presidential Medal of Freedom

Friday, January 13, 2017

Yesterday afternoon United States President Barack Obama surprised his two-term vice president Joe Biden in the White House State Dining Room with the country's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction.

The Obamas and Bidens, pictured together from file, have enjoyed an unusually close and warm relationship.
Image: Daniel Schwen.

In a ceremony described by the press as highly emotional, Obama cited his choice of Biden as a running mate as one of the best of his career and described their few arguments as the sort that brothers would have and Biden himself as "a lion of American history."

This made only the fourth time in U.S. history that this modified form, the Medal of Freedom with distinction, has been awarded. Biden joined Pope John Paul II, then-former President Ronald Reagan, and former General and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Early during the ceremony, Obama noted comically "this also gives the Internet one last chance to talk about our 'bromance.'" The hashtag "#BROTUS," a play on the acronym for President of the United States (POTUS), was a common sight on Twitter in 2016.