A little less than 37 years ago Senator Joe Biden said the n-word twice in a public Congressional forum.

It happened during a June 1985 hearing about the nomination of William Reynolds to be Associate Attorney General. The Biden utterances begin at the 39-second mark. He was quoting a political adversary as a way of deploring their racial attitudes; context was obviously crucial in this instance. But if a U.S. Senator were to do the same today he/she would have to resign by sundown.

This is not an n-word thing. I’ve posted this because it’s quite striking how much sharper, younger and more vigorous Biden’s voice sounds…listen to him. Today his voice sounds soft and halting and grandfatherly with the coughing and whatnot. There’s no substitute for the aliveness of youth, or in this instance the larynx and voice box of a 40-year-old.

Biden will turn 80 on 11.27.22.