Former Vice President Joe Biden's personal, folksy pump-up speeches are so effective, they even work across the political aisle.
On Wednesday, the veteran politician, whose book Promise Me, Dad details his late son Beau's battle with glioblastoma, worked his magic on The View's Meghan McCain, the daughter of his longtime friend, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was diagnosed with the same aggressive form of brain cancer earlier this year.
"I think about Beau a lot," McCain, 33, told Biden tearfully. "This doesn't get easier but you cultivate the tools to work with this and live with this. I know you and your family have been through tragedy I couldn't conceive of. What would you tell people?"
Before dispensing his advice for coping, Biden, 75, took McCain's hand and recounted how he first got to know her dad. It was in the mid-to-late 1970s when he was a newly elected senator and widower with two young sons. McCain, still suffering from the injuries he sustained as a POW in North Vietnam, was working as a military liaison to the Senate.
"Your dad, when he was a military aide, would work with me and became friends with Beau," he said. "And Beau talked about your dad’s courage — not about his illness but about his courage.”
He continued, “Her dad is one of my best friends. Her dad goes after me, hammer and tong. We’re like two brothers who were somehow raised by different fathers because of our points of view. But I know — and I mean this sincerely — even when your dad got mad at me and said I should get the hell off the ticket ... I know if I picked up the phone tonight and called John McCain and said, ‘John, I’m at 2nd and Vine in Oshkosh and I need your help,’ he’d get on a plane and come.”
Biden, whose final White House projects included a "Cancer Moonshot" report of recommendations for reimagining how doctors treat the disease, ticked off a number of recent breakthroughs, including injecting viruses into cancer cells (as was done with Beau) and CAR-T cells.
He explained, "They take your T-cells — your immune system cells — out of your body and reinforce them with a nanogen. That goes in and finds the cancer cells, which can hide from your immune system."
Above all, he urged McCain to remain positive: "There is hope and if anybody can make it, your dad can.”
Ever the motivational speaker, Biden urged, "We gotta keep moving like this is gonna happen. It is gonna happen. This is why I set up this foundation (the Biden Cancer Initiative) after we did the Moonshot. Because I swear, guys, we are gonna beat this damn disease. We really are."
Meghan McCain: Cancer will not make my dad surrender