New York, Oct 2 : Democrat vice presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden Jr. is getting advice from a woman who has been an intimate since he was a grade school student with a stutter and a paper route, to take on his rival Sarah Palin in Thursday night's debate.
"He's been my best friend all my life. I opened my eyes and he was there and he said, 'Let's go.' I was his sidekick," said Biden's sister, Valerie Biden Owens.
As Biden Owens, 62, spoke, she summoned the ghost of her younger self, a kid sister trailing awestruck behind her big brother, Joey, the New York Times reported.
She has managed every one of his campaigns, from high school class president to his New Castle County Council race to his first Senate bid, a 1972 upset victory, to his minefield of a presidential run in 1988.
The tightly controlled Obama operation has been the first time she has had no official position on her brother's campaigns. That does not mean, however, that she is sitting this one out.
"She is absolutely his political alter-ego and confidante. She talks with the campaign every day," said David Wade, Biden's press secretary.
Their talks include advice on how Biden should handle himself during Thursday night's debate, a showdown where many will be watching whether Biden can temper his oversized personality so he does not appear to be overpowering his female opponent.
It was Biden Owens who endorsed the plan to have him practice with Governor Jennifer M. Granholm of Michigan, another dynamic female governor with a quick take.
As Biden has written in his autobiography, his trust in his sister is complete.
Biden Owens said her family along with Biden, there are two other brothers - does not know how to do it any other way. "It's just how we grew up," she said.
Having his family closely involved with his life has worked both politically and personally for Biden.