Signs of Democratic Confidence as Biden Travels Ohio
By Perry Bacon Jr.
ATHENS, Ohio -- Sen. Sherrod Brown wants Ohio Democrats to watch Fox News on Election Night, so they can celebrate while watching conservatives in agony.
"It's going to be about 11:50 and Hannity looks at O'Reilly and says, 'You do it,' and O'Reilly says, 'No you do it,'" Brown said, referring to two of the network's famous commentators while warming up the crowd for an appearance by Sen. Joe Biden here. The crowd booed when Brown said the pundit's names.
"So O'Reilly looks at the camera at 11:53," Brown continued, "O'Reilly looks into the camera and says, 'Well folks, Ohio went for Barack Obama. He's the next president of the United States.'"
As Brown travels through Ohio on a bus tour with Gov. Ted Strickland and the Democratic vice presidential nominee, that wasn't the only sign of confidence from the team pushing for Barack Obama's election. For the second day in a row, Biden referred to "January 20" or "when we're inaugurated" -- although he quickly added, "God willing."
"When we're inaugurated, God willing, on January 20 of 2009, there are two things we're going to focus our entire administration on," Biden told the crowd of more than a thousand at the Athens fairgrounds. "Number one, rebuilding the middle class ... everything we do domestically will focus on that. And the second objective will be to restore our leadership and respect around the world."
Touting some of the proposals both Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership have suggested should be passed during the post-election session of Congress, such as freezing foreclosures on mortgages for 90 days, Biden said, "We can't wait until January 20th to get things done."
At the same time, the vice presidential candidate is taking nothing for granted, with a packed schedule of six events in two days in small towns in eastern and central Ohio. He will spend the rest of the week making stops in New Mexico and Nevada, attending fundraisers in California and taping appearances on both "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and the "Ellen DeGeneres Show."
And his staff, eager to keep him on script, has a teleprompter ready for all of his speeches. (Obama, who during the primary season spoke off the cuff, now does the same.) Aides repeatedly tried to cut off reporters' questions after a stop at a diner on Tuesday turned into an impromptu news conference, with the candidate again blasting Sen. John McCain's campaign tactics in recent weeks.
And Biden is not nearly as confident as Vogue Magazine, which features, in its November issue, the story "All the Vice-President's Women" accompanied by a picture of the women in the Biden clan, including his wife, Jill, his sister and lead political adviser, Valerie, and his 91-year-old mother, Jean.
"We're not just a couple in politics, or one person. We're a family in politics," Jill Biden told the magazine. "And I think vice president is the best place for us: The family can be at the residence, the family can come to the dinners, the family can go to the events. It would be more inclusive. We've worked so hard to get Joe to where he is. Besides, I'm ready for a new journey. Why not?"
Posted at 12:28 PM ET on Oct 15, 2008
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