Delaware reacts to inauguration of "favorite son" Joe Biden as president

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Delawareans were beaming with pride on Wednesday as they watched Joe Biden become the 46th president of The United States.

At Wilmington Brew Works, people toasted with a specialty beer created just for him.

"We quickly dreamed up the beer to honor Delaware's favorite son," said John Fusco, Vice President of Brand Marketing.

The IPA is called "Rail Car One," paying homage to Biden's trips on Amtrak when he commuted daily while serving in the United States Senate.

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There's a six degree of separation in the Diamond State: everyone knows Joe.

Those who know him best, like his former Senate Press Secretary, Margaret Aitken, said his presidency was meant to be.

"He's the only guy for this moment. He comes in with a wealth of knowledge. He's hitting the ground sprinting, he knows so many people. He's a uniter, a healer," said Aitken.

When asked what this means for Delaware residents, Wanda Munsoid said, "It means you can be from a small state and still be and still be president."

"It was an amazing experience," said University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis. "I can't even describe the feeling that we had. We felt incredibly honored sitting across from the podium where President Biden was giving his fantastic speech."

At Opa Opa in Trolley Square, staffers say this is one of his favorite spots.

"He's friendly. You don't feel like he's the president. He's a normal person. He's very kind. Very polite. You feel comfortable with him," said Opa Opa manager Dmitris Provatos.

Longtime Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki has known Biden since college and is close with his family.

"He always had a special sense of his own destiny, I think," said Purzycki.

Biden visited Delaware on weekends while serving as vice president and moved back permanently when his vice presidency concluded.

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Purzycki said he grew emotional on Tuesday when Biden bid Delaware goodbye to head back to D.C. and singled out the mayor with warm remarks.

Purzycki said, in addition, his wife received phone calls from both Jill and Joe Biden after he recently underwent heart surgery offering any assistance the family might need.

"Here's a man and woman that are about to occupy the White House, the pinnacle of everything that's democratic in our country, and they take the time to call the wife of an old friend to say 'I'm here for you,'" said Purzycki.

He added that he truly feels that Biden felt a calling.

"We all have ego, but I really believe in my heart when Joe did this he wasn't doing this for Joe," said Purzycki. "He was doing it because he really felt the country needed him at this time in his life, and I think we all believe that and we think that this is the time when the man met the moment."
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