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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Biden’

Interesting, disconcerting, upsetting, disappointing, and depressing to see some longtime Democratic veterans engaging negatively in an unsourced (as is the practice) post by a pro-Hillary eastern European troll discrediting Joe Biden. This is but one of the dangers of trolls writ large, broad, and general. Not just anti-Hillary trolls. Pro-Hillary trolls, too.

Trolls target emotions and get visceral responses. It’s their MO. In the long run, this can be damaging to the party and to future primaries no matter how the Unity Reform Commission transforms the primary process. Trolls can, as we saw last year, influence the vote and interfere with the democratic process. The bottom line is that this borders on illegal. The fact that the troll is for Hillary should be irrelevant.

Here are some comments made by Joe Biden this morning.


Joe Biden has insisted that under no circumstances would he have agreed to replace Hillary Clinton last year as the Democratic presidential nominee running against Donald Trump.

The former US vice-president was asked about former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Donna Brazile’s book, Hacks, which says she considered replacing Clinton with Biden because of health concerns, particularly after the nominee suffered a fainting spell at a 9/11 anniversary commemoration in New York.

Biden told NBC’s Today show on Monday: “I give you my word, the first time I or any of my staff heard of anything about that was in the book, number one. And number two, I would never have taken it.”

He added: “I was for Hillary. I did 83 campaign events for Hillary. I think I can say I did more events and worked as hard for Hillary as anyone else. She would have been a first-rate president.”

Has Joe made critical comments about Hillary’s campaign? Sure. He said it lacked joy, a subjective judgment with which campaign staff, volunteers, rally attendees, and voters disagree strongly. (He was never at any of our parties.) He also said there was no discussion of issues.” That simply is not true. The evidence is here on this blog as well as at Hillary’s website. The truth is that the media chose to focus on emails and bogus health reports rather than on the issues she spoke about routinely on the trail. We can agree to disagree with him on these remarks.

Here is the portion of a Facebook post that elicited a firestorm of negativity against Vice President Joe Biden today.

Joe Biden publicly adored Hillary all the time when she had great chances (yes, great chances) to be POTUS, and now that she is robbed, he turns against her? It is hypocrisy and backstabbing in my book. Plus, horrible tactics: Hillary fans are the majority.

Minus a single quote from him or a link to a story attributing remarks, Facebook friends came down on Joe Biden like Sharknado based solely on this Facebook character’s allegations.

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Aside from the fact that Americans for Hillary object strenuously to being called “fans” since we worked our hearts out, voted for her,  and consider ourselves supporters, the problem here is two-fold.

  1. There are no links to remarks indicating that Biden has “turned against” Hillary. This source routinely eschews posting links. Readers are supposed to trust “her” as the source. The Facebook character who posted this offered no basis for the “report.” (I am not certain “she” is not a coalition, i.e. electronic troll farm, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that her name is also the name of a fictional character.)
  2. That Facebook character is neither a Democrat nor even an American. Technically, a foreign agent has no business influencing any Americans regarding any internal issues be they national or partisan.

As to the first issue, a few commenters asked for links to source material on this subject or argued with the assessment. One who asked for a source was told to “Look around on the news, it is everywhere that he is criticizing Hillary, AGAIN.”  (Let me remind you, this account is operating out of eastern Europe.) A few objected to the effort to sow discord within the party. One chap said the discussion was getting “too tribal” for him. A few, having heard Biden’s remarks, said they did not interpret recent remarks as negative. Another veteran handful tried to argue that Hillary, in fact, has no intention of running again, to the chagrin of the character in charge of that page.

The overwhelming majority, however, went after Biden ruthlessly. (Think kids with tin cans at the end of “Suddenly Last Summer.”)

On the second issue, there is much to be wary of. There is no reason why a foreign fan of Hillary’s cannot say “we Hillary fans” or “we Hillary supporters.” Lots of my friends are foreign nationals who like Hillary but do not refer to themselves as “we Democrats” or imply by omission that they are Americans. They do not say “We (emphasis mine) however have a candidate to vote for in 2020 and IT IS HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON.” This character does that regularly leading friends to believe that they are interacting with an American who lives here and can vote. Untrue on both counts. This is a foreign agent.

Aside from the deception and subterfuge, which is despicable, there is the emotional impact a post like this delivers. The Facebook friends have faith that these comments 1)come from an American and 2)are true.

That troll stirred up a mighty reaction against Vice President Joe Biden today. Think about that. Digest it. It was an attack by a foreign agent on a former vice president of our nation who is now a private citizen not running for any office.  Anything here sound familiar? This actually qualifies as a border skirmish in the cyberwar we fight with outside infiltrators. Chew on that.

When no one but Hillary Clinton is an acceptable candidate, the clear objective of this troll account, there are a few imaginable ways, none of which I choose to entertain, to throw this nation into chaos such as we have yet to see although we thought we had seen it all.

In the end, for me it is interesting, disconcerting, upsetting, disappointing, and depressing that smart, battle-tested veterans of campaigns take this bait. It is divisive and dangerous for Democrats, for the party, for Americans, and for future elections.

It imperils the nation when politically aware people cannot see that they are being played by a troll even when five full days after Election Day that character finally but vaguely refers to “the Blue Wave of the last few days,” and no one catches on.

We know exactly when we saw that Blue Wave. We can pinpoint it. It was last Tuesday night and most of us were up late on social media posting and celebrating.

It did not take us until Sunday to know about it or to mention it. We whooped and hollered and drank all kinds of Chardonnay and other spirits. It did not take days. We knew right away that night. We exploded the social nets with it.

So what kind of comment is that? It is a troll comment from someone who had no idea that we were even having elections here.

Disinformation on this account has been called out in the past. The reaction is never to correct the original statement but rather to blow off the truth and then act hurt. Saying you “try to be as accurate as possible” doesn’t cut it when you refuse to be accurate about who and where you are.

You don’t like backstabbers? I don’t like liars … especially when they stab other Democrats in the back with lies.

 

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So … I cracked the code to Donna’s book! A few choice episodes in no particular order.


Carefully, using a Q-tip, I swabbed the back of the JFA with fresh lemon juice (not the squeeze bottle kind) and held it against the scented candle. A MAP! To the Lost City of Gold! I should call Nicholas Cage! I also needed Helen Mirren, to translate the Olmec – but she was sticking close to Hillary, and I didn’t want to tip my hand. That dame can be testy if you cross Hillary.   #DonnaBrazileBookExcerpt

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I took two different taxis back from the parking garage so as not to be followed. I called Joe and he came over. I closed all the blinds and put on some gospel music – really LOUD. I put my finger to my lips to indicate that we should not speak. Then I led him over to the computer and began typing. “Deep Throat says we are in danger. Surveillance. BUGGING! He says our lives may be in danger.” I did not tell Joe how I had contacted the deceased Deep Throat. He doesn’t believe in my methods.  #DonnaBrazileBookExcerpt

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Using a special powder from the voudou priestess back home, I carefully traced a pentagram on the floor. I lit five scented candles – one at each point. Hillary went for the door. She wasn’t having any of this. “I don’t believe in this nonsense.” I convinced her to stay. We needed advice. So I summoned Eleanor Roosevelt. Hillary would listen to her. The candles flickered as a mysterious breeze came through. A voice, deep and ghostly, said, “Hillary, you are doing fine. You have grown the hide of a rhinoceros. Please tell that water buffalo to stop disturbing the spirits.” It was so unfair! I had summoned her, after all! #DonnaBrazileBookExcerpt

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The debates were going badly. Hillary was coming off over-prepared and too knowledgeable. I hired Nicolle Wallace to help prep Hillary since she had done so well prepping Sarah Palin. I never sent Hillary any questions. I texted Nicolle one question. ONLY ONE – and not to Hillary. To Nicolle. It was about Flint, Michigan. When Nicolle tried to show it to Hillary, Hillary grabbed the phone, ran out into the hallway, and threw the phone down the stairwell. CNN fired me anyway. So unfair. #DonnaBrazileBookExcerpt

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I turned off all the lights and blew out all the scented candles. I closed all the blinds. I threw the sofa cushions on the floor so I could sleep below the level of the windows. I had gone to the mattress. Who knew when bullets might come flying through? I knew Debbie was wrong ever to have hired Fredo. She was such a poor manager. #DonnaBrazileBookExcerpt

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When Hillary fainted at the 9/11 memorial I was royally p*$$ed off! How dare she???!!! Not only did she go to work sick, campaigning hard when she was just about to become president, but she failed to submit to me – chair of the party – a doctor’s note! What AM I? Chopped liver? I will NOT be ignored! I will have my revenge! I decided I needed to call Joe. #DonnaBrazileBookExcerpt

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Finally, there was no getting around it. I had to call Bernie. I was distraught. To calm myself I lit some scented candles and put on gospel music I can heard through my bluetooth earphones in every place in the house thanks to the best bluetooth transmitter receiver I put in my house to enlarge the signal. I was not quite sure of what I had found, actually. It was a draft. It might have been a smoking gun. Or perhaps it was a red herring. Jane answered. Bernie was having his nap, but his distant cousin Larry was around. Maybe he could help. As it turned out he was no help whatsoever! He couldn’t get batteries out of a package. Geez! #DonnaBrazileBookExcerpt

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Stay tuned. There may be more to come. Working on my hacking skills! With assistance!

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Laughter is the best medicine. If we can’t laugh we might as well be dead.

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In her remarks today, Hillary remembered the late Senator John Glenn who passed away today.  The occasion was a tribute to Harry Reid who is retiring after 30 years representing Nevada. Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer, who succeeds Reid as Leader, shared the podium in reminiscing on Reid’s long career. Both Hillary and Schumer quoted words from Paul Simon’s “The Boxer.”  Reid was a a boxer at one time.  The event was held at the Russell Senate Office Building.

Read’s remarks were typically acerbic. There were moments when he seemed emotional. Harry stuck around so that every single person in the room who wanted a picture with him got one. You could tell he was very touched.

Here is a full video of the proceedings.

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The portrait was unveiled and it is truly extraordinary!

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They met up on the tarmac in Scranton, two long-time buddies who used to have breakfast almost every Tuesday morning at Joe’s residence when Hillary was Secretary of State.

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And then they were off to the rally.  In her speech, Hillary, wearing blue, hearkened back to her blue-collar roots in Scranton.  She told the audience that her grandfather’s job at a lace factory provided profit-sharing and health care at the beginning of the 20th century.

Joe gave shout outs to Bob Casey. He reminisced about his appearance in Scranton eight years ago with Hillary and Bill Clinton.

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Joe spoke powerfully about what it will mean when Hillary becomes president.  He said she has always been there and that is her life story.  He called Trump’s cynicism unbounded.  He said no candidate has ever known less about national security than Donald Trump and that he doesn’t seem to want to learn it.  Speaking about Trump got Joe’s Irish up. It was awesome.  If you listen to nothing else here, listen to the last half of Joe’s speech.  It is scathing, and it is true.


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Joined by Clinton In Scranton, Biden Calls Out Trump For Already Making America Less Safe

Joined by Hillary Clinton in Scranton on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden called out Donald Trump for already making America less safe.  Biden pointed to Trump’s dismissal of our European allies, his comments on Ukraine, his praise for Saddam Hussein, his support of torture, his slander of the Muslim parents of a Gold Star family, and his dangerously irresponsible lies about President Obama and ISIL to emphasize the security dangers of a Trump presidency.

Biden’s remarks on Trump’s dangerous national security proposals are transcribed below:

JOE BIDEN:

“Look at the people who have come out, scores and scores of the most prominent Republican thinkers in the national security field.  They have come out in both political parties and party.  He has no idea what he’s talking about.  Even confronted with the facts, he doesn’t want to learn them.  Few times he tries to deal with the facts, he reveals a profound misunderstanding of what to say.  Just listen for a second.  Listen to him.  He belittles our closest allies in this hemisphere and in Europe.  Nations that stand with us, are part of our security network, that are with us when we address every international challenge, those who fought and bled alongside us for decades, he wants to toss those relationships aside, like the ones that – like his failed business ventures or something.  In the meantime, he talks cavalierly about encouraging other nations, as Hillary pointed out, to develop nuclear weapons, as if nuclear war is some trivial affair.  Does he not understand we wrote Japan’s constitution to say they could not be a nuclear power?  Where was he when – in school? Someone who lacks this judgment cannot be trusted.  There’s a guy that follows me right back here, has the nuclear codes.  So God forbid anything happened to the President and I had to make a decision.  The codes are with me all – he is not qualified to know the code. He can’t be trusted.

I was proud.  My son Beau served for a year in Iraq, came back a highly decorated soldier.  I must tell you. I must tell you had Donald Trump been president, I would have thrown my body in front of him – no, I really mean it – to keep him from going if the judgment was based on Trump’s decision.

Every president since Harry Truman has looked toward Europe whole, free, and at peace.  One of the most consequential people right now who is trying to undo that is a man that Donald Trump says he admires.  Now, I’m not big on the character assassination stuff.  I really mean that.  If you look at everything, any campaign I’ve ever run, I’m just trying to – like that old program of Walter Brennan, ‘Just the facts, ma’am, nothing but the facts.’ Oh, that was Joe Friday, actually. But he says he admires Vladimir Putin. No, no, no, no, no.  It’s more than – it’s more than the ‘Ew’ about it.  Here’s the deal.  What is Putin’s objective, as Hillary knows as well as anyone, dealing with Putin as I have and the President has and John Kerry, Putin is determined to crack NATO and crack the European Alliance.  That is his overarching, overwhelming interest.

I’m heading from here, getting on a plane and flying to Kosovo, then to Serbia, and then I am going to the Baltic States.  You know one of the reasons I am going is to make sure – to reassure those who are members of NATO and the Baltic States we mean what we say, we mean what we say, the sacred alliance of 60 years because they’re worried.

Listen to his comments about Ukraine.  He assures us Russia will not move on Ukraine.  But if he could not understand it, they’ve already moved on Ukraine and occupy Crimea.  This guy’s shame has no limits.  He’s even gone so far as to ask Putin and Russia to conduct cyberattacks against the United States of America. No, no.  Even if he is joking,  which he’s not, even if he’s joking, what an outrageous thing to say.

Look, folks.  These are not isolated examples.  He’s even showered praise on Saddam Hussein, one of the vilest dictators of the 20th century, a man who repeatedly backed terror attacks against Israel because he was supposedly – the reason he admires him – he was a killer of terrorists.  That’s why he likes Saddam.  He would have loved Stalin.  He would have loved Stalin.

Look.  This says a lot about his approach.  It explains why he’s so often embraced tactics of terrorist enemies themselves – religious intolerance, casting entire communities culpable for the acts of a few in the community.  Torture, when he knows it’s illegal, and says he would still order it even though the military commanders said they would not obey his orders.  When can you think of, ever, in history where military commanders have said, before a man or woman is elected, that they would not follow his orders?  Threatening to kill innocent family members of suspects.  Indiscriminate bombing, what he calls for.  That’s how anyone hoping to lead this great democracy in the world should behave?

Look.  He likes autocrats.  He wills the politics of fear and intolerance, calling for a ban on Muslims in the United States, slandering proud Muslim parents of a Gold Star family who paid the ultimate sacrifice, threatening to send American citizens to Guantanamo – oh, I tell you, this guy’s okay. Look. Trump’s ideas are not only profoundly wrong, they’re very dangerous and they’re very un-American.  They reveal a profound ignorance of our constitution. It’s a recipe for playing into the hands – and I will end this because you’ve been standing so long – it’s a recipe for playing into the hands of terrorists and their propaganda.

Last year ISIL’s top leader, who we’ve been tracking since we got bin Laden, Hillary, me, John, everyone else, the President – his name is al-Baghdadi.  And he revealed the goal of ISIL.  He just said it straight out.  You can go on a website.  He said, their goal is to ‘compel the crusaders to actively destroy the grey zones themselves,’ meaning anywhere where Christians and Muslims live, he calls a grey zone.  He said their objective is to actively destroy that grey zone.  Muslims in the West, he says, will have to quickly find themselves between two choices:  either apostatize, or immigrate to the Islamic State, and thereby escape prosecution.  How does he make the case?  By pointing out that no Muslim is welcome in the West.  ISIL wants to manufacture a clash of civilizations between us versus them.  Trump is trying to give them exactly what they want.

Last week he stood in front of a crowd in Florida and said President Obama founded a terrorist organization, ISIL. Now, look.  Look.  This I really should end with.  That’s an outrageous statement.  But let me tell you why it’s a dangerous statement.  As he might say, the bad guys are listening.  Yesterday the head of Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, Iran’s top terrorist surrogate and a direct threat to our ally Israel, repeated Trump’s claim in the entire Muslim world and around the world that President Obama founded ISIL.  You say, well, what difference does that make?

Here’s exactly what the leader of Hezbollah said, referring to Trump’s accusation.  He said this.  ‘This is not’ – this is a spokesman for ISIL – I mean, excuse me, for Hezbollah –‘This is not a simple speech,’ referring to Trump.  I’m quoting him.  ‘This is an American presidential candidate.  This was spoken on behalf of the American Republican Party.  And he’ – meaning Trump – ‘has the data and documents to back it up.’

If my son were still in Iraq, and I say to all those who are there, the threat to their life has gone up a couple clicks.  It’s gone up a couple clicks.  You saw what’s happening in Turkey, where some in Turkey are accusing us of being part of the coup attempt.  Ladies and gentlemen, does he have any idea of the adverse consequences these outlandish comments have on our allies, or friends, and the physical safety of our troops?  Trump is already making our country less safe.”

Biden’s full remarks, as transcribed, are below:

JOE BIDEN:

“Hello, folks.  It is good to be home.  Folks, let me tell you what Scranton does deserve.”

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  “Love you, Joe!”

JOE BIDEN: “Well, thank you. Scranton deserves what it’s always deserved because it is made up of so many people with grit and courage – I mean this sincerely, from the bottom of my heart – with grit, courage, determination, who never, never, ever give up.  They deserve someone who not only understands them; they deserve someone who is with them.  And they deserve someone who’s made of the same stuff.  That’s Hillary Clinton.  That’s who she is.

It’s good to be home with so many friends.  As I look around, I – matter of fact, one of the people in the reception line said, ‘My aunt owns your house.’ Tell her I’m coming, I’m coming home. I was there when I was running, and up in the bedroom written on the wall still is, ‘Joe Biden slept here.’ And then it said, ‘Lived here.’  I’m glad they added the ‘Lived here’ part.

I’m often asked why we moved from Green Ridge to Claymont, Delaware and then Wilmington.  Claymont is a suburb of Wilmington, Delaware.  And it’s because of Bob Casey. No, look, no, the Caseys lived five blocks from us, just around the corner from St. Clare’s.  And I am midway between Bobby’s dad and Bobby.  And I knew only one of us were going to make it out of Green Ridge, and knew it wasn’t going to be me. So I had to move.  There was too much Casey talent in the neighborhood.  Bobby, you’re a great friend and a great, great United States Senator.  Thank you.

As they say in southern Delaware, they talk at you like this:  Matt Cartwright, that boy, he married up.  He married right up to the […] I tell you, I don’t know, always seeking influence.  I – but you got it, man.  And, Matt, you’re doing a wonderful job as well and have become a very dear friend as well.  Thank you.

I’ve been home since this time, but I stood here eight years ago kicking off our campaign with Hillary and Bill Clinton at my side, having my back.  It was just me up here.  They came to show their support.  And I want to make it clear that as Scranton has always had my back, we, in fact, all of us, are going to have your back, Hillary. Scranton has been so – some of the folks in our administration were there on election night when the results were coming in.  I give you my word as a Biden, I asked one and only one question:  What did we do in the Northeast? And we won by a larger margin than we had any time before, and the rest didn’t matter.  I took full credit for it.  Nothing to do with it.

You know, if you listen to Barack, you’d think I was a kid who just climbed out of a coal mine with a lunch box, from Scranton.  I’m the kid from Scranton.  Well, I am from Scranton and I was a kid at one time.  But so often, quite frankly, my people in Delaware resent it.  I’ve represented them for 36 years as a U.S. Senator and 44 years in high public office, and I swear to God, Hillary, there’s a parade that started on the Fourth of July about just as I was getting started in ’72, and it was called the Hockessin parade.  It’s right on the Pennsylvanian border.  And from the time my boys were then three and four years old – four and five years old at the – actually three and four years old, they were in the parade with me.  And so when my Beau became – and he was the most popular politician in Delaware – I would tag along with him – no, for real – in the parade.

So one of the things I’m trying to do, Hillary, after the people of Delaware being so generous to me all these years, and to Beau as attorney general, I am trying to go back and do as many things in the last year at home in Delaware to show my affection and my appreciation.  And so I was in the Fourth of July parade in Hockessin recently, surprising the press and everyone because I was there.  And there were thousands of people there, many of the same people that waited five hours in line to pay respects at my son’s viewing.  And I was there to thank them for the overwhelming support they gave me for all those years.  And as I continued along the parade route, two guys came running up to me – big guys, both guys I had played ball with – bigger than me.  Secret Service was about to have a heart attack.  And they said, Joe, what in the hell’s all this stuff about Scranton?  You’re from Claymont, god darn it.  You’re from Claymont.  And you’re from Delaware still, aren’t you, Joe?  So y’all have to write a note, tell them I love Scranton, it’s my home.

But you know what, home is where your character is stamped.  Where it’s stamped into your soul.  Where your values are set.  Where your view of the world and your place in that world begin.  For me, that was 2446 North Washington Avenue, around my grandfather Finnegan’s table – and it’s where I learned that money doesn’t determine your net worth.  That no one – that no one – I mean this sincerely.  This is not hyperbole.  This is deadly earnest.  I learned that no one is more worthy than you, and everyone is your equal.  I learned from my mother, Catherine Eugene Finnegan-Biden that – and she said this so many times.  She’d look me in the eye and say, Joey, look at me.  Remember, you’re defined by your courage, and you’re redeemed by your loyalty. She’d go on to say – because everybody’s had tough times – she said, as long as you’re alive, you have an obligation to strive.  And you’re not dead until you’ve seen the face of God.

What I learned here from my father is that I could be anything I wanted to be.  That anything could be accomplished.  This is not a joke.  This is real.  That the measure of your character is not whether you’ll get knocked down and you’ll fall, because you will.  The measure is how quickly you get up. I learned – I learned about resilience from my father.  Who, like many of you, and many of your parents, made what I call the longest walk.  The longest walk any man or woman can make is a short flight of stairs to their child’s bedroom to say, honey, I’m sorry we can’t live here anymore.  We lost the house.  Or Daddy or Mommy doesn’t have a job.  I remember my Dad making that walk.  Moving us to my grandfather’s home.  I remember, but what I remember most was him saying, but I promise you, everything, everything is going to be – we can’t go back to St. Paul’s – you can’t play in Green Ridge Little League anymore.  But I promise you, everything is going to be okay.

And he meant it.  He knew it.  Because there used to be a basic bargain back then.  There used to be a bargain, if you worked like hell for the outfit you work with and they did well, you got to participate.  That was the bargain.  And what Hillary is all about is making sure that every one of you – every one of you can look your child and your grandchild in the eye, and say, honey, I mean this sincerely, everything is going to be okay.  Think how many people you know who don’t feel like they can say that right now.  My father, when he said it, on the balls of his heels, he meant it.  Because he thought that there was just a clear shot if you worked hard.

Everything I learned at my father and grandfather’s table was reinforced by my neighbors and my friends all around this town.  Pride, independence, resiliency.  When I moved away from Scranton, I was going into 4th grade.  But I never left.  I spent summers, holidays, college weekends, weddings, funerals, first communions, bat mitzvahs – and by the way, for me it was Nay Aug Park, it wasn’t the Lake.  I always remember – I always remember – but I’ve been taught what you all believe up here.  Everyone’s entitled to be treated with dignity and respect, no matter who they are.

That America – that America – And Hillary gets this better than anybody I know.  That America can be defined in one single word: possibilities. That’s the thing about America – that’s the thing about Scranton.  That’s the thing about who we are.  Anything is possible.  That’s the America I know.  And ladies and gentlemen, that’s the America Hillary Clinton knows.  You know the people I trust most?  In public life – I’ve been doing this a long time – I trust the people who – the feeling starts in their gut, moves to their heart, and then is articulated by a great mind.  Hillary understands the hopes and aspirations of the people in Claymont and Scranton and every Scranton and Claymont in the United States of America.

I’ve known her for over 30 years.  I knew her before she was first lady.  When she became first lady.  When we served together in the Senate.  During her years as Secretary of State, once a week, we’d have breakfast in my home.  I became the Obama whisperer. She’d look at me and say, what did he mean by that?  He loves her.  Everybody knows.  This has never been an issue with Hillary.  Unlike, it’s a gigantic issue with her opponent.  But all kidding aside, everybody – by the way, my family is right there.  The Finnegans.  How are you?  I didn’t even see you.  Secret Service, you see that beautiful young girl there?  Make sure she gets back when I leave the stage, okay?  Because we’re not leaving until I get a hug.

Anyway, sorry guys.  It’s kind of a family thing. But look, think about it.  Everybody has known from day one how smart, how bright Hillary is.  Everybody knows how tough she is. But what I don’t think everybody knows enough about – it may be the difference between the Irish Catholic and the Methodist piece here – we wear everything on our sleeve.  I don’t think they fully understand how passionate she is about what she does. I want you to listen just for a minute.  I don’t even want you to clap.  I want you – because I want to make sure you understand what I know about her.

You know, she understands that that college loan to get a bright young girl or boy to school is about a lot more than whether or not they’re going to get a chance.  It’s about the pride and the dignity of the parent who looks at that child.  I mean this sincerely.  Please don’t – just listen to this.  I remember, I was – went down to my Dad’s place of work to pick up a car.  And he was wandering back and forth in the parking lot.  The secretary said, ‘He’s out there.’  And I walked out.  And he said, Joey, I’m so sorry.  I’m so damn sorry.  This is before cell phones.  I thought maybe something happened.

He said, ‘I went to the bank today, honey; they won’t lend me the money to get you to school.  I’m so ashamed.’  A damaging thing to a parent is to look at a talented child, or a sick child, or a child in need, and not be able to do anything.  She’s understood that for years.  She’s understood for years that millions of people here in Scranton and Claymont and all across America went to bed staring at a ceiling thinking, my God, what happens if she develops breast cancer?  Or he gets lung cancer?  What happens?  We lose everything.  What do we do then?

A lot of you remember those days.  My family remembers those days.  She gets it.  She understands what it will mean – and I really mean this – it’s more than about her.  She understands what it means for these beautiful young girls – and I’m being serious now – these three beautiful little girls I’m looking at now, what it will mean to them when it’s President Hillary Rodham Clinton. It will change their lives.  It will change their lives.  It will prove that my daughter and my granddaughter can do anything my son and grandsons can do.  That’s what it will mean.  It’s consequential.

So let me say this as clearly as I can.  If you live in a neighborhood like I grew up in, where my wife Jill grew up in, Willow Grove, or down in Claymont, if you worry about your job, getting decent pay, if you worry about your children’s education, if you’re taking care of an elderly parent after losing the other one, then there’s only one person in this election who will possibly help you.  And that is Hillary Clinton.  Folks, she’s always been there.  It’s not a joke.  You know, you see – use phrases like that – but she has always been there.  That’s her life story.  And let’s state the obvious: that is not Donald Trump’s life story.  Senator Ted Kaufman, who you know very well, Hillary, served with you.  He used to be my administrative assistant for years and years, graduate of the Wharton School, an engineer by degree at Duke.  He said he had a professor at the Wharton School – the Wharton School, by the way, isn’t – doesn’t have a Trump sign up.  Anyway, that said, the difference between being a success and the genuine success – excuse me – a minimum success and a real success is someone who had nothing and makes a million dollars is a real success.  Someone who inherits a million and makes 20 million –”

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  “A bum.”

JOE BIDEN:  “No, they’re not a bum, but they’re a mere success. Now, some are bums but not all.

Look, let me tell you the part that bothers me and, as Hillary will point out and knows, that no one ever doubts I mean what I say. The problem is that I sometimes say all that I mean.  But let me tell you what really bothers me most.  And maybe this only works in – where I grew up.  I don’t know.  But what bothers me most about Donald Trump is his cynicism is unbounded.  No.  I really mean this.  Think of this for a minute because you’re all raised in this area.  You’re different ethnicities, different religions, different backgrounds.  But there’s one thing I’ve noticed all the years I’ve spent.  And I’ve always, always come home.  And that is that the way you were raised, if you ever showed a lack of empathy for someone in trouble, if you ever summed up a thought that the praise he’s most proud of, ‘You’re fired’ – think about the phrase, ‘You’re fired.’”

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  “You’re fired.”

JOE BIDEN: “Think – no.  All kidding aside.  I really mean this.  Maybe it’s just me.  But think about what your mother or father or grandmother or grandfather would have said to you.  Think about everything you learned as a child.  I really mean this.  No matter where you were raised, how can there be pleasure in division and ‘You’re fired’?

And he’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class.  Give me a break.  And, to repeat myself, it’s such a bunch of malarkey, it makes no sense, none, none, none, none.  This guy doesn’t care about the middle class.  And I don’t even blame him in a sense because he doesn’t understand it.  He doesn’t have a clue.  No, no.  He really – I mean, he really doesn’t.  He doesn’t have a clue.

And, by the way, there’s something else he has no clue about that has nothing to do with being a Democrat or Republican.  I have worked – I’ve worked with eight presidents of the United States.  I have served with hundreds of senators.  Only 13 senators in history, I’m embarrassed to say, have served as long as I have. Dozens of secretaries of state and secretaries of defense of both parties.  And I can say without hesitation, my word as a Biden, no major party nominee in the history of the United States of America has – no, don’t cheer; quiet, just listen – has known less or been less prepared to deal with our national security than Donald Trump.  And what absolutely amazes me, what absolutely amazes me, that he doesn’t seem to want to learn it. No.  I really mean it.  He doesn’t seem to want to learn it.  He doesn’t seem to think it matters.  This man is totally, thoroughly unqualified to be president of the United States of America.  He not only lacks the temperament – people say he lacks the temperament.  I would feel better if that’s all he lacked. On every issue that matters most to our security, Donald Trump has no clue what it takes to lead this great country.

Now, look, if I had said this eight to 10 months ago, you would say, well, I am being partisan.  Well, I am partisan.  I make no apologies for that.  But I am not mean about it.  And, as Hillary will tell you, I don’t know any Democrat that has a more positive relationship with Republicans than I do in the United States Senate.  But, having said that, look at the people who have come out, scores and scores of the most prominent Republican thinkers in the national security field.  They have come out in both political parties and party.  He has no idea what he’s talking about.  Even confronted with the facts, he doesn’t want to learn them.  Few times he tries to deal with the facts, he reveals a profound misunderstanding of what to say.  Just listen for a second.  Listen to him.  He belittles our closest allies in this hemisphere and in Europe.  Nations that stand with us, are part of our security network, that are with us when we address every international challenge, those who fought and bled alongside us for decades, he wants to toss those relationships aside, like the ones that – like his failed business ventures or something.  In the meantime, he talks cavalierly about encouraging other nations, as Hillary pointed out, to develop nuclear weapons, as if nuclear war is some trivial affair.  Does he not understand we wrote Japan’s constitution to say they could not be a nuclear power?  Where was he when – in school? Someone who lacks this judgment cannot be trusted.  There’s a guy that follows me right back here, has the nuclear codes.  So God forbid anything happened to the President and I had to make a decision.  The codes are with me all – he is not qualified to know the code. He can’t be trusted.

I was proud.  My son Beau served for a year in Iraq, came back a highly decorated soldier.  I must tell you. I must tell you had Donald Trump been president, I would have thrown my body in front of him – no, I really mean it – to keep him from going if the judgment was based on Trump’s decision.

Every president since Harry Truman has looked toward Europe whole, free, and at peace.  One of the most consequential people right now who is trying to undo that is a man that Donald Trump says he admires.  Now, I’m not big on the character assassination stuff.  I really mean that.  If you look at everything, any campaign I’ve ever run, I’m just trying to – like that old program of Walter Brennan, ‘Just the facts, ma’am, nothing but the facts.’ Oh, that was Joe Friday, actually. But he says he admires Vladimir Putin. No, no, no, no, no.  It’s more than – it’s more than the ‘Ew’ about it.  Here’s the deal.  What is Putin’s objective, as Hillary knows as well as anyone, dealing with Putin as I have and the President has and John Kerry, Putin is determined to crack NATO and crack the European Alliance.  That is his overarching, overwhelming interest.

I’m heading from here, getting on a plane and flying to Kosovo, then to Serbia, and then I am going to the Baltic States.  You know one of the reasons I am going is to make sure – to reassure those who are members of NATO and the Baltic States we mean what we say, we mean what we say, the sacred alliance of 60 years because they’re worried.

Listen to his comments about Ukraine.  He assures us Russia will not move on Ukraine.  But if he could not understand it, they’ve already moved on Ukraine and occupy Crimea.  This guy’s shame has no limits.  He’s even gone so far as to ask Putin and Russia to conduct cyberattacks against the United States of America. No, no.  Even if he is joking,  which he’s not, even if he’s joking, what an outrageous thing to say.

Look, folks.  These are not isolated examples.  He’s even showered praise on Saddam Hussein, one of the vilest dictators of the 20th century, a man who repeatedly backed terror attacks against Israel because he was supposedly – the reason he admires him – he was a killer of terrorists.  That’s why he likes Saddam.  He would have loved Stalin.  He would have loved Stalin.

Look.  This says a lot about his approach.  It explains why he’s so often embraced tactics of terrorist enemies themselves – religious intolerance, casting entire communities culpable for the acts of a few in the community.  Torture, when he knows it’s illegal, and says he would still order it even though the military commanders said they would not obey his orders.  When can you think of, ever, in history where military commanders have said, before a man or woman is elected, that they would not follow his orders?  Threatening to kill innocent family members of suspects.  Indiscriminate bombing, what he calls for.  That’s how anyone hoping to lead this great democracy in the world should behave?

Look.  He likes autocrats.  He wills the politics of fear and intolerance, calling for a ban on Muslims in the United States, slandering proud Muslim parents of a Gold Star family who paid the ultimate sacrifice, threatening to send American citizens to Guantanamo – oh, I tell you, this guy’s okay. Look. Trump’s ideas are not only profoundly wrong, they’re very dangerous and they’re very un-American.  They reveal a profound ignorance of our constitution. It’s a recipe for playing into the hands – and I will end this because you’ve been standing so long – it’s a recipe for playing into the hands of terrorists and their propaganda.

Last year ISIL’s top leader, who we’ve been tracking since we got bin Laden, Hillary, me, John, everyone else, the President – his name is al-Baghdadi.  And he revealed the goal of ISIL.  He just said it straight out.  You can go on a website.  He said, their goal is to ‘compel the crusaders to actively destroy the grey zones themselves,’ meaning anywhere where Christians and Muslims live, he calls a grey zone.  He said their objective is to actively destroy that grey zone.  Muslims in the West, he says, will have to quickly find themselves between two choices:  either apostatize, or immigrate to the Islamic State, and thereby escape prosecution.  How does he make the case?  By pointing out that no Muslim is welcome in the West.  ISIL wants to manufacture a clash of civilizations between us versus them.  Trump is trying to give them exactly what they want.

Last week he stood in front of a crowd in Florida and said President Obama founded a terrorist organization, ISIL. Now, look.  Look.  This I really should end with.  That’s an outrageous statement.  But let me tell you why it’s a dangerous statement.  As he might say, the bad guys are listening.  Yesterday the head of Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, Iran’s top terrorist surrogate and a direct threat to our ally Israel, repeated Trump’s claim in the entire Muslim world and around the world that President Obama founded ISIL.  You say, well, what difference does that make?

Here’s exactly what the leader of Hezbollah said, referring to Trump’s accusation.  He said this.  ‘This is not’ – this is a spokesman for ISIL – I mean, excuse me, for Hezbollah –‘This is not a simple speech,’ referring to Trump.  I’m quoting him.  ‘This is an American presidential candidate.  This was spoken on behalf of the American Republican Party.  And he’ – meaning Trump – ‘has the data and documents to back it up.’

If my son were still in Iraq, and I say to all those who are there, the threat to their life has gone up a couple clicks.  It’s gone up a couple clicks.  You saw what’s happening in Turkey, where some in Turkey are accusing us of being part of the coup attempt.  Ladies and gentlemen, does he have any idea of the adverse consequences these outlandish comments have on our allies, or friends, and the physical safety of our troops?  Trump is already making our country less safe.  And I’m testing your stamina.

So let me go to the end here and say – Hillary has forgotten more about American foreign policy that Trump and his entire – I’m not exaggerating – his entire team will ever understand. Ladies and gentlemen, Hillary’s been there.  She has been tested.  I’ve been in the room with her as we jointly, with the President’s leadership, sent some of these killers to the gates of hell.  At our weekly breakfast on the international stage, she’s strong.  She’s respected.  She’s admired.  There’s nothing – there’s nothing, nothing – that she doesn’t understand about America’s place in the world.

And ladies and gentlemen, because she knows one thing that Donald Trump doesn’t know:  It’s never, never, never, ever been a good bet to bet against the United States of America!  Give it a fair shot. Give it a fair chance.  Americans have never, never, never, ever let their country down, never – and ladies and gentlemen in Scranton and in America, we never bow.  We never bend.  We never kneel.  We never yield.  We own the finish line.  That’s who we are.  We are America!  And she gets it.  We’re second to none, and Hillary Clinton is going to write the next chapter in American history.”

 

STAND

 

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Some of the songs were cheerful and a few were sad. All were full of hope, promise, and affirmation. We heard from parents and relatives of children killed by gun violence as well as from law enforcement whose ranks have also suffered.  Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly spoke.  The military had their evening in the spotlight and Leon Panetta spoke.  The big speeches came from Mike Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Tim Kaine, and President Barack Obama who spoke about the nominee as no outgoing president ever has.

We heard our fight song.

Broadway stars serenaded the audience, and even Cagney and Lacy reunited to celebrate.

One thing was clear. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and I know a lot of people are mad at her, organized an awesome convention. So well done!  She was not there, of course, but she did leave her footprint in the sand.

“Mayor Mike” Bloomberg entered as a visitor unaligned with any party but warning about Trump.

Joe Biden touched our hearts.

Tim Kaine accepted his nomination, laid out his resumé, and, from what I can tell, charmed his party.

President Obama categorized Donald Trump’s remarks as components of a larger,  poorly organized, and dangerous Trump Doctrine in which everything depends on Donald Trump alone.  He asked us to do what, for years, I have been saying we would do – carry Hillary in.  He put her in the context of Teddy Roosevelt’s arena.  . Raise your hand if you remember me saying we would carry her into the Oval Office in Teddy Roosevelt’s chair.

Finally, with every person in the house on their feet, came the nominee and it was the best moment so far in a week of best moments.

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Friend —

We’re just one day out from the final fundraising deadline of this primary, and after a long, tough fight, we have a presumptive nominee who’s going to be a terrific president: my friend, Hillary.

I’m proud to endorse Hillary, and I’m grateful you’re part of her team — our whole country is counting on you to make sure she wins this November. President Obama and I are going to be hitting the campaign trail hard to help out as much as we can — and we hope you’ll join us.

With a big deadline like the one the campaign is facing tomorrow and a 250,000 donation goal to hit, every $5 helps — can you chip in right now?

I’ve known Hillary for a long time — from the time she was First Lady, Senator from New York, and our Secretary of State. She is a force of nature. She’s tough, she’s brilliant, and she genuinely loves serving this country. Hillary is the kind of person who, at the end of the day, wants to help people and make their lives better. That’s who you want as your president.

That’s especially true when your other option is Donald Trump.

Donald Trump’s politics of fear and intolerance have no place in America. He won’t solve our problems — he’ll make them worse. Because let me tell you denigrating our allies isn’t a foreign policy. Telling the world the United States can’t be counted on to pay our debts isn’t an economic policy. And attacking the ethnicity of a federal judge violates everything we stand for — and believe — as Americans.

I’ve always believed this nation succeeds best when we come together as one America. But everything about Donald Trump’s campaign is determined to divide and pull us apart.

There’s no one I trust more than Hillary to lead the fight against Trump, and I’m hoping you’ll come through as part of her team again and again. She needs you. We all do.

I hope you’ll chip in $5 before tomorrow’s critical deadline — I can’t thank you enough for being part of the fight to keep our country moving forward:

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Thank you,

Joe

US Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smile as US President Barack Obama welcomes South Korean President Lee Myung-bak during a State Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 13, 2011. Obama hosts his South Korean counterpart for a full day of official State ceremonies, including a State Dinner. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

US Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smile as US President Barack Obama welcomes South Korean President Lee Myung-bak during a State Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 13, 2011. Obama hosts his South Korean counterpart for a full day of official State ceremonies, including a State Dinner. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

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He was never actually in, but today Vice President Joe Biden made it official that he would not pursue a path to the presidency.  Flanked by President Obama and his wife, Jill, Biden made the announcement in the White House Rose Garden today. Family, friends, and colleagues were all gathered for the announcement that came as a surprise to the press corps and made for a bit of drama in the afternoon.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says he will not run for president in 2016, ending months of suspense and easing Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton's path to the party's nomination. Linda So reports.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says he will not run for president in 2016, ending months of suspense and easing Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s path to the party’s nomination. Linda So reports.

Long time friend and former colleague, Hillary Clinton gave him a call and offered this statement.

U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden talks with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) during the funeral services for U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston, Massachusetts August 29, 2009. Senator Kennedy died late Tuesday after a battle with cancer. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES POLITICS OBITUARY)

U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden talks with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) during the funeral services for U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston, Massachusetts August 29, 2009. Senator Kennedy died late Tuesday after a battle with cancer. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES POLITICS OBITUARY)

 

Statements

Hillary Clinton Statement on Vice President Biden

Joe Biden is a good man and a great Vice President.  Serving alongside him in the Senate and then the administration, I saw first-hand his passion for our country and our people.  Like millions of others, I admire his devotion to family, his grace in grief, his grit and determination on behalf of the middle class, and his unyielding faith in America’s promise.  As Vice President, Joe has been by President Obama’s side for every pivotal decision.  He helped save the auto industry and pull our economy back from the brink of depression.  He continues to fight for higher wages, safer communities, and a more peaceful world.  It’s a record to be proud of, defend, and build on.  And I am confident that history isn’t finished with Joe Biden.  As he said today, there is more work to do.  And if I know Joe, he will always be on the front-lines, always fighting for all of us.

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