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Doing the Biden Shuffle

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If you’re like me, and you happened to be watching the Blue Rocks on Memorial Day weekend, you may have wondered why Joe Biden was out there working the stands, shaking hands with anyone who reached his way.
Surely he had put the New Hampshire and Iowa primaries well behind. Clearly the real heat of his reelection campaign was still weeks away. There was no glad-handing or politicking that had to be done. He could have stayed home, kept a low profile, cooked out with the family.
But there he was, and the Blue Rocks fans couldn’t get enough. They congratulated Joe on his run for president, offered their support, thanked him for his service, just said hi—because they could. Because Joe was right there with us, a regular guy watching a regular minor league ball game who just happened to be a U.S. Senator.
And that is exactly why the news that Barack Obama had selected him as his running mate was so mind blowing. Because an ordinary Joe, from as ordinary a place as Delaware, was suddenly placed in the extraordinary position of possibly becoming vice president of the United States of America.
Even after coverage in the paper about the media circus outside Biden’s home in the days before the Democratic National Convention, it was not the kind of news I’d expected to hear first thing upon waking on a Saturday morning. My state of disbelief was so complete, responding to the news like a journalist was almost impossible. What was Delaware Today going to do about this? Truth be told, it was the furthest thing from my mind.
No matter how you feel about Joe Biden or his views, there is no denying that his nomination is the biggest thing to happen in Delaware politics during our lifetime. The significance took awhile to penetrate my thick head, but we clearly could not wait for election results to decide a course of action. Yet with most of this issue already done, we wondered, how could we make room for a story? With our lead time, how could we be current?
It so happened there was a story that could be delayed a month. Yes, Labor Day weekend was looming, but we still had time to make some calls before everyone took off for a long weekend or the Republican National Convention. Even after the holiday and finishing production of the issue, there would still be time to write.
But what would we say? Here’s a secret: Sometimes you just don’t know. You simply start talking to knowledgeable people, learn what they think, then assemble their perspectives into a cohesive whole. Our premise: Biden’s candidacy means something special for us. Exactly what, we didn’t know.
We did know that, regardless of party affiliation, this is a very proud time for our state. So thank you, Senator. This place may never be the same.

 

Mark’s Day Book

  • Congratulations to our friend Priscilla Rakestraw for having served as co-chair of the Republican National Convention’s platform committee. Priscilla led the group that generated the plan for reforming the federal government. She is exactly the kind of person the party needs right now.
  • Tossing questions to gubernatorial candidates  John Carney and Jack Markell during a WDEL debate before the Democratic primary was enlightening—and unbearably suspenseful. Who would win? Now we know. Many thanks to WDEL’s Mellany Armstrong for the invitation, to Carl Kanefsky and Allan Loudell for making it fun, and to the candidates for their service. It’s always an honor to be part of the discussion.
  • The party for Brandywine Valley Life on the roof at Buckley’s was a blast. Congratulations to founders Ben Fournier and John Meyer for a successful launch. Gentlemen, I wear my shirt proudly.

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