As a prelude to the main event, the much-anticipated acceptance speech from President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden took the stage and, by the time he was done had covered every major facet of what this presidential campaign is all about and the stark differences before America. Say what you will about Vice President Joe Biden. Call him a ‘gaffe machine’ at your own peril, my Republican friends.
This is a man who has deep working-class roots and relates perhaps better than anyone on the Obama team, including Bill Clinton, to the White male middle-class demographic…the Reagan Democrats that the Romney/Ryan team covet so dearly. As a party that’s 89% White; having already alienated the women’s vote, the minority vote and the youth vote and yet to make the case to seniors over their “Vouchercare” scheme, Republicans will be lost in places like Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa and Florida, unless they can maximize the White male turnout as never before.
Joe Biden is the sort of plain speaking, no-nonsense stump speaker who can evoke the clear message of lunch-bucket practicality and good old-fashioned “common sense.” He is a throw back to the back-slapping, door-to-door, grass-roots politicians of yore. He can appeal poignantly, effectively to hundreds of thousands of workers who the Republicans are trying to sway and to deceive with their ads falsely claiming that Obama has eliminated the “work for welfare requirement” of the Welfare Reform Act. Yes, President Clinton will also be a valuable tool in debunking this myth…no…This Lie!. But in Joe Biden – a man of the people – these middle-class, work-a-day values come through loud and clear.
His personal story is compelling and one which no Republican “swift-boating” or derision can broach or challenge. The Biden pre-speech video may not have been widely seen on network television, but it evoked the struggles of the middle-class and the true values of America…that “no one is better than you” and “we’re all in this together.” He is the embodiment of the American legacy of F.D.R.’s New Deal and a prosperity for ALL, not just the entrepreneurial “Job Creator” 1%.
Biden has been – in the last four years – a perfect complement to the young cool intellect of Barack Obama and – I for one – am proud of the wisdom the president showed in naming him Vice President…the same wisdom he displayed in selecting Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, both former rivals and political adversaries, just as Abraham Lincoln named his political enemies to his administration. Joe Biden evokes personal struggle, sacrifice, family and dedication to moving America forward, ever forward.
As the son of an auto sales guy, Biden can best connect to all those auto workers and an industry saved by President Obama, when Mitt Romney said ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt.’ In stump speeches across the “Rust Belt,” Biden’s sincerity and common touch will appeal far more than the “spread sheet” theology generated by down-sizing, out-sourcing and factory closings of ‘vulture capitalism.’ Biden, as the father of a war veteran, can also reach the American sacrifice ethos born of ‘service to country,’ rather than the military deferments and family privilege of Mitt Romney, who avoided Vietnam service, and the neo-conservative mantra of endless wars, sending other people’s children to fight and die. He reminded us of the sacrifice of the military (and their families) and the need to provide for those coming home from war.
On Medicare…he produced yet another timely bumper sticker to go with his, “Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!” with, “that’s not courage and that’s not fair,” in summarizing “Vouchercare”. He dissected the Romney/Ryan Budget and its ‘medicare death plan’ and then, took on immigration and the unfairness of depriving education and security to children who have come to this country through no fault of their own and know no other country.
“Two different visions and two different value cores.” Biden reminded the Convention and the national television audience of just how the Republican Party has bet against America, saying, “You deserve a president who will never quit on you.”…calling on promoting “the private sector and not the privileged sector.” And, speaking of the virtues and values of the president, called for an America where “no one is forced to live in the shadows of intolerance.”
The Vice President spoke in strong, emotional, personal terms and referred tenderly to the president by his first name, a nice touch to cement the common, ‘just one of the guys’ feeling that has often eluded the president in reaching the White middle-class and independent demographics. But…he also cemented the image of President Obama as the “commander-in-chief,” cool under fire and willing to make the tough, courageous decisions and…the right ones! Joe Biden will indeed be a powerful, unwavering voice in the fall campaign and a resolute asset to Obama’s victory and down-ticket victories and a stong, experienced, guiding light in a second term.
Here’s the video: