Vice President Biden spoke to the Democratic National Committee last night at the Corcoran Art Gallery. He came to a rather moving part of his speech where he described in real-life terms what many American families are going through right now as they face home foreclosure or job loss.
“Folks, you know — you do know tens of millions of people out there are in really tough straights. And tens of millions more are worried. They’re literally — friends of yours, as well as people who work an hourly wage. Barack understands that the longest walk a parent ever has to make is up a short flight of stairs to tell his child: ‘I’m sorry, honey. I’m sorry, but we got to move. You got to change schools. You can’t stay on the basketball team. You’ll be okay, honey, you’ll be okay, but Daddy lost his job, Mommy lost a job, and they’re going to take our house.’”
“Folks, this is the real deal.”
Aptly put. But then, Biden built up to what the Obama administration has done to address these problems. Yet instead of talking about their foreclosure prevention program or their efforts to help banks start lending again or the $787 billion stimulus plan and its investments in infrastructure, Biden segued from his description of the problems facing ordinary Americans to foreign policy.
“This ain’t politics. This is life and death for a lot of people. And what did he do? He started this administration off by, in one fell swoop, reestablishing around the world respect once again for America, saying boldly and straightforwardly, without any equivocation, we will never engage in torture. We will close Guantanamo Bay. We will — (applause.)”
Granted, the veep talked about the stimulus a few moments later, but the abrupt switch from the description of a parent talking to a child and then holding out the closure of Gitmo as a response to that was a strange moment in the speech.
Biden made some other noteworthy remarks during the speech, arguing that President Obama is facing “the most difficult first 100 days of any president.”
“This President inherited the most difficult first 100 days of any President, I would argue, including Franklin Roosevelt. Let me explain what I mean about that. It was clear the problem that Roosevelt inherited. This is a more complicated economic calculus. We’ve never, ever, ever been here before, here or in the world. Never have we been here before — banks leverage 30 to 1, or us being in a position where derivatives — we’re just trying — most Americans are trying to figure out what that means.”
And the vice president, making the case for the stimulus package, pleaded with his listeners to “turn off the cable news networks.”
“Look at what we’re talking about,” he said.
— Jon Ward, White House reporter, The Washington Times
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