October 26th, 2010
09:03 PM ET
Sent from New York City
Before attending a fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the Vice President made a stop to rally phone bankers doing GOTV at the NY Organizing for America HQ on 21st street in Gramercy Park. About 40 volunteers are on cell phones in two central rooms of the office. In one small book-lined room, about ten sit around a conference table making calls with scripts and bags of candy in front of them. In another, 20 or so sit on folding chairs at long folding tables. They appear to be making calls for Scott Murphy. "My name is Phil," one says. "Do you know there's an election seven days away?" Upon learning the person had already voted absentee, he tried to find out if the person had voted for murphy and for Gillibrand but the voter seemed to have hung up. The next call also seemed to quickly end in a hang up.
Melissa DeRosa, NY State OFA Director says they're targeting people who voted for the first time in 2008 to stress that Obama needs a blue house to further his agenda.
The Vice President arrived 4:55 to cheers and applause from about 50 volunteers who came from other rooms to crowd into the central blue-painted room.
"I came to say thanks," he said.
He rallied the troops with a 15-minute (or so) speech about how he's an optimist and expects to keep the house and senate. "Reports of the death of the democratic party are premature," he said. He said republicans have not said what they would do differently and quoted ex boston mayor kevin white who said "don't compare me to the Almighty. Compare me to the alternative." (Applause)
He slammed Pete Sessions for saying Republicans would "return to exactly the same agenda" they had before..."literally they have no vision" and talked about the deficit, renewable energy and unemployment. He invoked his personal story of his father moving his family from scranton to wilmington because there were no jobs in PA and said "people have a reason to be angry and frightened."
He thanked the volunteers for their work. "Get out our voters. If we do, we're going to be just fine. I love you."
He added: "you guys are great but everywhere in America you're replicated.".."The dirty little secret is you're not going away."
He then shook hands with volunteers, put his arm around a teen volunteer from France, had a strange exchange with a woman who shouted something about Sarkozy and gypsies. The woman muttered "he's a pig" of Sarkozy.
Then Biden made his way to a table and placed a call off one of the lists. The potential voter wasn't home but he left a message, saying "sorry I missed you."
After, there were more hugs and kisses. He told one man "if I had your hair I would have been president"
Then he left to travel to the Gillibrand fundraiser....
The early-evening Manhattan fundraising reception for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand at the Ron Feldman Fine Arts gallery, a white-walled art space on Mercer Street in SoHo that had an exhibit of framed pieces by Hannah Wilke. Her early drawings .
There were 175-200 guests - paying a minimum of $125 per person. They enjoyed a buffet of veggies, cheese, bread and an assortment of cold appetizers. Event invite called the event for 4:30 p.m.
The Vice President arrived around 5:40 but stayed in the back until the program began at 5:52. Gillibrand and Biden entered the very hot stuffy room and addressed the crowd from a small stage at one end. There was a teleprompter on stage. Gillibrand's spokesman said she didn't use it. Not sure about Biden.
Gillibrand spoke first and gave shout outs to elected in room: Rangel, Nadler, Clarke, Towns, Meeks. She mentioned ex-rep Floyd Flake and assembly speaker Shelly Silver. "Thank you so much Speaker Silver." She said, adding: "labor is in the house...our dear friend Stu Appelbaum" (from rwdsu).
She gave a six minute speech about wanting to bring back "made in america" and says her opponent (who she didn't name) wants to privatize social security and roll back women's rights, gay rights and civil liberties. She talked about education and said "this election is about who we fight for."
She introduced Biden at 5:58, calling him the youngest senator when he was elected (she meant "one of the," her spokesman says) . He spoke for 18 minutes - calling Gillibrand "kristen" at least twice.
He said she's the 103rd candidate he's stumped for "and none is any better than this one."
His speech invoked similar themes - and many of the same anecdotes - as his earlier one. "You can't pick up the paper without seeing how people are angry," he said. "They should be...they have been decimated."
He received applause after saying the president doesn't talk about the past to litigate it but so we don't repeat it. "It took us 8 years to get dug into this incredibly deep hole," he said, saying it's hard to get out in 18 months.
He says Wall Street reform "did not cripple wall street...the banks are back in business." And talked about energy and education, saying the chinese would never cut education aid.
He again told the moving to Wilmington story, again quoted Kevin White, again quoted Sessions, then got applause when he said he would finish up quickly because it was so hot people were sweating.
As for next week, he said "we know what we have to do." The Republicans "have no vision." He said "If we lose control of the House and Senate" it will set progress "back a decade."
He thanked the contributors and volunteers for their work. "It's God's work... So get her elected."
He finished at 6:16, gave Gillibrand a half hug and left.