Vice President Joe Biden eulogized the late U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter Tuesday afternoon as a friend who remained loyal in tough times. Biden, speaking at Specter's funeral at Har Zion Temple in Penn Valley, said political allies are easy to come by when times are good. Plenty of people in politics "calculate their friendship with you in terms of the impact on them and their ambition or how they want to be thought of."
But not Specter, Biden said. "Arlen reminds me of an old saying: A friend is someone who walks in and when others walk out. Arlen always walked in at moments that were of great consequence."
That was a lesson learned, said Biden, noting that he and President Obama are in a close election. Biden was due to campaign Tuesday in Colorado and Nevada, two "toss-up" states in the election, he said. He skipped those election spots, explaining why directly to Specter's widow, former Philadelphia City Councilwoman Joan Specter.
"I ask myself frequently Joan -- no malarkey, that's an Irish thing -- what would Arlen do?," Biden said, drawing laughs from the standing-room only crowd of more than 1,000 people. "Arlen wouldn't have thought about it. He would have been there for me."