Introducing Vice President Joe Biden At the 2016 International Women of Courage Forum

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
March 29, 2016

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you. Please, everybody, sit. I will be very brief. I have to leave in a moment to go over to a meeting at the White House, and the President – and the Vice President has come over here to a meeting here, and no, we are not switching jobs, I promise you. (Laughter.)

The Vice President and I have been friends for a long, long time, going way back to the 1970s, which dates both of us. But I had the pleasure of serving with him in the United States Senate for many, many years.

And I will tell you that nowhere did I see more passion, more leadership, more legislative ability than in then-Senator Joe Biden’s efforts to pass the Violence Against Women Act in the 1990s. He went to the floor again and again and again, but more importantly, he held meeting after meeting, went to the White House, worked with all of the leadership, cajoled, showed enormous skill in shepherding this very complicated bill back then through an ideological minefield. And he simply was not going to accept defeat. So with dozens of trips to the White House and dozens of meetings with congressional leadership, he found the common ground and he eventually managed to change the way that our country responded to domestic violence and sexual assault.

Every step of the way – (applause) – every step of the way, he sought out colleagues and advocates and he was willing not just to share the work with them; he shared the credit with everybody. And that is leadership, and he has brought those qualities to the White House.

As Vice President, Joe Biden announced the first-ever White House advisor on violence against women.

He has strengthened the efforts to reduce dating violence against students, teens, and young women.

He launched the 1 is 2 Many initiative, which uses technology and outreach to help reduce dating violence and sexual assault.

And he joined President Obama in creating the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.

Joe’s father has a saying that, “Everyone, everywhere is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.” And that is what this effort is all about. As you know, he also was invited by Lady Gaga, his now very good friend – (laughter) – to – he told me – just a moment, no. (Laughter.)

So ladies and gentlemen, without further ado – (laughter) – Lady Gaga’s friend, the Vice President of the United States. (Laughter.)