Coverage Roundup: VP Biden at McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner:
Former Vice President Joe Biden insists he is not making another presidential bid in 2020, despite giving a rousing speech to New Hampshire Democrats about restoring dignity to politics and winning back working class voters.
Biden returned to the state on Sunday to honor the nation’s first all-female, all-Democratic congressional delegation at an annual state Democratic Party dinner. He was joined by U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, and U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter.
“We know now you’ve finally earned the title Granite State, because you have four women running the show,” Biden told the crowd. “Amazing thing, I campaigned for all of them and they won in spite of it…”
…He also encouraged Democrats to not bemoan how hard the next several years are going to be, but instead, embrace the challenge and look at all there is to be hopeful about.
“I know it seems like we’re hopelessly divided. I know it feels like we’re hopelessly stuck in a political death match and we can’t figure out how to get out of it,” he said. “But we are better than that. I’ve always believed that we’re strongest when we act as one America.”
He told the crowd to abandon the false narrative that Democrats have to choose between progressive idealism and being a party that stands up for the working class. Instead, he said, there is nothing keeping the party from being both.
“What’s the core reason why you’re a Democrat?” he asked. “Because you abhor the abuse of power. Whether it’s financial power, psychological power, physical power.”
Biden also told those in attendance that they needed to remind “the 172,000 voters we needed” in the 2016 election that the Democratic Party has not forgotten them and understands them.
“A lot of them wonder whether we’ve forgotten them. They are being abused by the system. They are as decent as any one of us are,” he said. “So folks, let’s go win it back.”
…Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr...delivered a tough-love manifesto for the party’s future to a crowd of Democrats here.
Mr. Biden called on Democrats to deliver an optimistic message aimed at the needs of struggling Americans and to emphasize issues like health care and education, which he described as largely sidelined in the last election. “I’m absolutely positive they want to be with us,” he said of people in economic distress. “We have to prove, again, we understand that hopelessness.”
Mr. Biden said he was prepared to storm the country to help revive the party, and boasted of his comfort in wooing areas that voted for Mr. Trump. “Wherever you want, just let me know, because it’s important,” he said…
…Speaking before Mr. Biden, New Hampshire’s two senators, Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, said they missed having him in the White House. Describing academic centers he has set up since leaving office, Mr. Biden said they housed “the people who literally would be running” the State Department under Hillary Clinton…
The former vice president has kept intact much of his political brain trust, and he has extensive relationships in the early primary states. He and his aides have begun to map out party-building activities. He plans to address a major fund-raising event for Florida Democrats in June, and during a visit to South Carolina in April, he met with a state legislator, James Smith, to urge him to run for governor next year.
Mr. Smith, a friend of Mr. Biden’s… said he had been noncommittal about his own future.
“What the country needs is authenticity, truth, and I think he exudes that,” Mr. Smith said…
Yes, Joe Biden said, the Democratic Party is in crisis. And so is America.
But it’s not too late.
Returning repeatedly here to the combined 172,000-vote margin in the three states that decided last year’s presidential election, the former vice president said Democrats need to face how deep the problem is — not a fluke, not just about Hillary Clinton’s performance, not just about a campaign by Donald Trump that clearly disgusted him.
“The cadre of people who were all ours for so long … they doubted whether we still remembered,” the former vice president said, in his first major political speech since the inauguration. “I’m absolutely positive they want to be with us, but we have to prove again that we understand that hopelessness. … We have to show them, we have to be the source of their hope…”
“…I don’t think Donald Trump can hear you!” New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley called out to the crowd, urging them to cheer more loudly for Biden as the event began.
Biden also stopped at several points to say nice things about Clinton, what a great president she’d have been, how she faced a double standard because she was a woman, even as he made clear over and over again how flat he clearly felt her campaign fell in breaking through.
But Clinton doesn’t deserve all the blame, he said.
“Trump was pretty smart. He made it all personal. It wasn’t the press’s fault, but they focused on all of that,” Biden said. “This bile sucked up all the oxygen…”
…Democrats should be angry about Trump, Biden said, but they should be angry too about how much they’ve lost their way and what that’s meant for America.
“What kind of country are we becoming? What kind of country do we believe we want to be — and how do we get there?” Biden said. “How, how do we unite America again? How do we unite this country? How do we end this bitter, bitter political division?”
The answer, Biden argued, was in talking more about three core American values: Dignity, thinking big, and optimism.
“Scapegoating has become a national political obligation,” Biden said. “‘Just build a wall, that’ll keep them out.’ The fears of these people who’ve been hurt are being played upon, instead of appealing to their better angels.”
Contrast that, Biden said, to the events he did for Clinton during the campaign with white union members in the Midwest, when he got them applauding for same sex marriage, stopping violence against women, and immigration.
“I was in what’s supposed to be those angry white guys, who are supposedly racists, who by the way a guy named Barack Obama won the last two times,” Biden said.
That’s wrong, Biden said, but so is what he called the “false debate” in the Democratic Party right now between appealing to working class voters and appealing to progressive values. That’s just like Democrats, he charged, forgetting who they are.
“Remember the core reason why you’re a Democrat — we abhor the abuse of power, whether it is financial power, psychological power, physical power. Think about what made you a Democrat. It’s the abuse of power. We’ve got to remember who we are,” Biden said.
And then, he said, Democrats need to remember who they care about…
“I think it is an understatement to say we dearly miss having his voice and leadership in the White House,” said Sen. Maggie Hassan, in her introduction, calling him “my friend, New Hampshire’s friend, America’s friend.”
“We think of him as one of our own,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. “And boy, do we wish he was still in the White House.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden said Hillary Clinton faced a “double standard” in the presidential campaign and was at a “disadvantage.”
Biden told the New Hampshire crowd that he is not running for president in 2020, repeatedly praising the former First Lady during the address last night.
But he said President Trump was able to defeat Clinton by not talking about the issues.
“Trump was pretty smart. He made it all personal. It wasn’t the press’s fault, but they focused on all of that. This bile sucked up all the oxygen,” said Biden, claiming the election was less about issues than “any campaign in modern history…”
Former Vice President Joe Biden…keynoting the state Democratic Party’s major annual fundraiser with his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, at his side, quietly and emotionally thanked New Hampshire Democrats for their support following the death of his son, Beau Biden, in 2015…
Biden said of the nation, “Tolerance has long been our greatest attribute. And it has had a great economic impact, and it has earned us the respect of the entire world.
“We’ve had our moments of shame,” he said, but, he said, the “arc” of the country continues toward the values that he said have long defined the nation.
Biden said Americans need to ask themselves, “What kind of country are we becoming? What kind of country do we believe that we want to be?”
…He called for “thinking big,” and on specific issues, for free public college education and for more tolerant immigration policies.
Biden received an enthusiastic standing ovation when he called for public financing of elections, saying such a move would “change the whole damn world.”
“I know it seems like we’re a house divided and stuck in a political death match, and we don’t know how to get out of it. But we’re better than this,” Biden said.
“We’re like a family in this country. We have to come together. When we do that, things will begin to change because the American people are ready…”
Earlier, the four members of the state’s all-women, all-Democratic congressional delegation rallied the crowd.
After Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Ann Kuster spoke, Sen. Maggie Hassan called Biden “a true champion for hard-working families, and it’s understatement to say we dearly miss having his voice in the White House.” She said Trump and the Republicans are pushing “politics that run counter to the values of our state.”
“Resistance must persist, and that starts right here in New Hampshire, and right now,” Hassan said.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said, “Because of you we’ve been to stop Republicans from taking away health care from 20 million Americans. We stopped Donald Trump from building an expensive and inexpensive wall along the border.”
She was cheered when she called for “an independent commission to look into Russia’s interference in our elections.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden joined New Hampshire Democrats Sunday night at the party’s annual 100 Club Dinner in Manchester. The event offered the party a chance to focus its energy in the wake of a bruising political year.
Close to a thousand Democrats gathered at the Manchester Raddison Hotel on Sunday night. The event was a who’s who of prominent figures in the party including former Vice President Joe Biden, the entire New Hampshire congressional delegation, and dozens of state lawmakers.
But there were also people like Kelly and Daniel Seichepine.
“I think after the election we kinda felt like we should do more, considering what happened.”
…The notion that last year’s election results are now a powerful motivator for Democrats was a theme repeated all night.
A member of the Rockingham County Democrats said attendance at monthly meetings has roughly doubled since the election…
Senator Jeanne Shaheen focused on what Democrats have been able to accomplish in the first few months of the Trump administration.
“I know how hard it is to see the progress of the last eight years being rolled back. But never doubt your ability to make a difference. Because of you, we’ve been able to stop Republicans from taking away healthcare from 20 million Americans.”
Senator Maggie Hassan made a similar pitch, appealing to a sentiment that has become symbolic among Democrats since November.
“Making progress for our people will be a marathon, not a sprint. But the resistance must persist, and that starts right here in New Hampshire and right now.”
The night’s headliner, Joe Biden, offered a mix of optimism about America’s standing in the world with a scathing assessment of America’s politics at home.
Biden also addressed the state of the Democratic Party at large, rejecting what he called a false debate about the future of the party.
“Either we have to demonstrate we’re more progressive and forget about those folks out there being left out, particularly those middle class folks. Or we got start talking about working people and forget our progressive values.”
Biden argued the two aren’t mutually exclusive, citing Barack Obama’s electoral victories as evidence…
Union Leader: Biden tells Manchester crowd, ‘Guys, I’m not running’
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s speech at a major Democratic Party fundraiser in New Hampshire fueled talk of a 2020 race, but he was quick to dismiss the idea: “Guys, I’m not running.”
Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, opened their appearance Sunday night with an emotional thank you to those in the room at the Radisson Manchester for support after their son Beau died from cancer in 2015.
“So many of you were so good to our Beau,” he said. “And the way in which you wrapped your arms around us — you’ve been incredible.”
Biden said he would devote the rest of his life to his “moon shot” initiative at finding a cure for cancer. He said he is ready to raise money for the party and to do whatever he can to shape debate…
The party’s annual fundraiser celebrated the state’s all-female, all-Democrat congressional delegation. U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan and U.S. Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster also spoke.
They took turns addressing past party successes and future challenges with President Donald Trump in the White House and Gov. Chris Sununu, R-Newfields, at the State House.
“The resistance must persist, and that starts right here in New Hampshire and right now,” Hassan said.
Shaheen said Democrats have so far kept Trump from building an expensive wall along the border with Mexico, and have fought to keep the Affordable Care Act. She repeated calls for the President to release his tax returns, and for an independent investigation of any Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“Granite Staters are tired of the partisanship and all of the rancor,” Kuster said.
Shea-Porter said the four were speaking as “one solid, political voice” in Washington to oppose the President.
Biden focused his remarks not so much on Trump, but on the greatness of America as a nation of immigrants, the importance of jobs and a strong middle class, and the tradition of political leaders putting aside differences to get things done.
“We have to remember to think big again,” he said. “We’ve always thought big, from the Hoover Dam to putting a man on the moon…”
…Steve Marchand, a former Portsmouth mayor running for governor in 2018, said the former vice president reflects what the party fights for.
“He connects with the full array of Americans in a way that few politicians can,” Marchand said…
Joe Biden’s speech to sold out New Hampshire Democratic Party Dinner may have sounded like an early version of a 2020 stump speech, but the former Vice President insisted he’s not considering a third campaign for the presidency.
Early in his keynote address at the McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner, Biden said that when NHDP Chairman Ray Buckley invited him to speak in the first-in-nation-primary state, “there wasn’t a doubt in my mind, even though it caused a lot of speculation.”
But Biden then immediately added “Guys, I’m not running…” Instead, Biden urged Democrats to emphasize an optimistic message on such issues as health care and education aimed at struggling Americans.
“We have to prove, again, we understand that hopelessness.” He added.
And he said he’s ready to assist the party to “help raise money, recruit candidates, campaign.. wherever you want.”
“Just let me know, because it’s important,” he added…
In front of a crowd of more than 800, the former Vice President, with his wife Dr. Jill Biden standing next to him, spoke emotionally as he thanked Granite State Democrats for their support of the 2015 death of his eldest son Beau.
Biden spent much of his address on three values that he feels are lacking in today’s national political conversation: dignity, optimism, and the ability to think big. He touted that Americans are “better positioned than any nation on Earth to lead the world in the 21st century.”
And he urged that people “have to think big again.”
Biden also indirectly took aim at Trump, saying “dignity is missing in so much of today’s discussion,” adding that “they’re appealing to the worst fears and anxieties.”
He said that Americans need to ask “what kind of country are we becoming? What kind of country do we believe that we want to be?”
Biden concluded his speech by urging “folks, let’s go win it back…”