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[cnn-photo-caption image= http://am.blogs.cnn.com/files/2009/11/biden-joe-gi-art.jpg caption="President Obama values Joe Biden's advice as truth teller, officials say."]
By Ed Henry
CNN Senior White House Correspondent
Washington (CNN) - Apparently you can take the vice president out of the Senate, but you just can't take the Senate out of the vice president, and that might be the secret to Joe Biden's influence in President Obama's inner circle.
As I waited Friday in the ornate rooms of the old Department of War near Biden's office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House, I kept wondering which Biden was going to show up for our exclusive interview.
Would it be the old Joe that I used to cover as the Senate correspondent for Roll Call newspaper many years ago, who would throw an arm around me in a Capitol hallway and be happy to give a - let's face it - fairly long answer about any subject I'd throw at him?
Biden had this habit of dropping flattery as well as a reporter's name into the answers for familiarity in his gosh-darn-it manner: "Look Ed, I'm literally not just blowing smoke, but you know as much about the Bush tax cuts as I do. ..."