A loose and jovial Biden is taking his whole half hour giving speeches and telling stories, swiveling this way and that in his chair. He clearly cracks himself up. Even his trademark condescension has been dialed back. If his “Boss” routine with Condoleezza Rice was a nine, this is only about a six. It’s a variation on the good cop/bad cop routine, but everyone’s in on the joke when he smiles and tries to lull Alito into saying something unguarded.
Biden’s underlying purpose with his vignettes is to suggest that Alito is out of touch with the way the world works in 2005. Is his judicial remove from the day-to-day concerns of a politician a sign he’s living in the 1950s? No, but who cares? Biden loves his own voice, so much so that he won’t ask any questions. Even his interruptions are polite. He just wants to hear those dulcet tones some more.