Vice President BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE and second lady Jill BidenJill BidenFirst Lady visits schools to discuss COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Biden travels west as Washington troubles mount MORE joined in saying one final farewell to Pawnee, Ind., in the series finale of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” on Tuesday night.
Local government heroine Leslie Knope’s massive crush on the vice president has been a running gag in the critically acclaimed show — Knope once described her ideal man as someone with “the brains of George Clooney in the body of Joe Biden.”
Biden, who had guest starred once before to fulfill Amy Poehler’s character’s dream of meeting the object of her affection, this time brought his wife, Jill, to the party in a flash-forward to catch up with the characters in 2025.
Knope, the onetime local parks director turned city councilwoman who’s now working in D.C. for the Department of the Interior, and her husband, now-Indiana Rep. Ben Wyatt, are dining at the Bidens’ home. Her obsession with the vice president seems to have calmed down, though, as she tells her husband she’s “past that point” of having a nervous breakdown when she talks with Biden.
Jill Biden warns dinner guests that there will be “no shop talk” at dinner.
“If you want to discuss politics, you’re going to have to wait until after dinner — I’m looking at you, Leslie,” she says.
Joe Biden grumbles to his wife about the after-dinner games that appear to be planned, saying, “the last time we played charades, [Leslie] spent three and a half hours here.”
“You’re just mad because you lost,” his wife scolds.
Biden tweeted his praise of the show on Tuesday, too.
Leslie and Ben’s love of politics and public service have always been at the heart of the show, and their dinner at the Bidens’ — where it’s unclear if the current VP is still in elective office in 10 years — serves to tie up the characters’ arcs one last time.
At the dinner, both Leslie and Ben are separately approached about running for governor of Indiana, and the final minutes are spent as they debate who should seek the office. In the end, Ben steps aside so his wife can run, and the closing scenes in 2035 show Leslie addressing her alma mater, Indiana University, after two terms as governor but leaving the door open to a “new, unknown challenge.”
“Not to say that public service isn’t sexy, because it definitely is,” Leslie says in her address. “But that’s not why we do it. We do it because we get the chance to work hard at work worth doing, alongside a team of people you love.”
That future could be the White House for either Leslie or Ben. In a scene at a funeral in 2048, the two are shown with what appears to be Secret Service protection.
The show has long celebrated public service and government, chronicling the lives of hardworking local government bureaucrats over seven years. That’s one reason the show has attracted a plethora of guest stars, including Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Many of those politicians weighed in on Tuesday night, praising the show for its portrayal of government workers and women in politics.