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Biden: Election Will Be 'a Lot Closer' Than People Think

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally. (Tom Gannam/Associated Press)

By Perry Bacon Jr.
LIMA, Ohio -- The surest sign of confidence from the Barack Obama campaign? Maybe allowing Sen. Joe Biden to take a dozen questions from reporters at a diner stop that turned into an impromptu press conference in which the senator from Delaware laid out his thoughts on the state of the race and how a Democratic administration would govern.

After greeting some employees and people eating at Kewpee, a burger joint here, Biden last night approached a group of reporters. When one asked Biden if he had been "muzzled" by the Obama campaign following a recent controversial remark, the Delaware senator said, "If I'm muzzled ... no one said anything to me about it." He then proved his point, speaking on a wide range of subjects for more than ten minutes.

But the most distinct sound was the silence of his traveling advisers, who usually shout, "Thanks guys," when Biden starts making unplanned remarks to reporters, hoping both to discourage reporters from continuing to ask questions and as a hint to Biden he should stop.

The Democratic vice-presidential nominee told reporters here that even if Democrats gained control of the White House, the Senate and the House in the election, they would seek to govern in a bipartisan way. He said one of his roles in an Obama administration would be serving as a liaison to both parties in Congress. Biden predicted he and McCain would work on things together, saying, "John and I are likely to be around, in one form or another, in one job or another. My hope is we can work together."

"It would be good for the country," Biden said of Democrats controlling the government. "Look, this is not the Democratic Party of 1970 and the early '80s, nor is it the Republican Party of back then. This is the Bush Republican Party that's continuing, and we have a very different notion, Barack and, I in terms of how we view this, this election.... We can't get this done with just Democrats -- even if we control, even if we're lucky enough to get to 60 senators.

"We're not going to be able to control and get these tough things done without reaching out," he said. "The value in my view of us doing very well in the Senate, whether we get 60 or not, that's going to free up a lot of Republicans. There's a half a dozen Republicans who want to vote and have wanted to vote different than the Bush-McCain position. And they felt that way a long time. And so I think you're going to see if we get close, the ability to be able to build some consensus."

He predicted the GOP would be "chastened by this election, win or lose."

"I think there is going to be a center that can generate some genuine, bipartisan consensus," he said. "Now will it be overwhelmingly Democrat? Yeah. But you can't get any of this done. You can't get a major energy policy unless you get buy-in from the Republicans. You can't get a major economic rescue policy."

But Biden said he was still worried about winning the election, even as polls show the Democratic ticket ahead in many key states.

"We've been down this road before," he said. "I felt awful good about this time, you know, in the Kerry campaign. And I felt good in the Gore campaign -- and so, so, this, that old joke, you know, it ain't over till it's over. I mean we feel good. We look good, but it's not over yet ... This election's going to be a lot closer than everybody thinks it is."

At the same time, Biden essentially declared the contest for Pennsylvania over, even with both McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin having made numerous appearances there over the last few weeks.

"I think it's going to be close in Florida. It's going to be close here. It's going to be close in Missouri.... I don't think it will be that close in Pennsylvania. I feel very good about Pennsylvania," he said. "Maybe because I know the state so well. Um, I'm not overconfident about it, but I feel real good there."

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 1, 2008; 10:20 AM ET
Categories:  Battlegrounds , Joe Biden  
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Next: McCain Supporters Praying for a Virginia Win


In his very brief career, Obama has been rated the number one ideologue in the Senate. Obama's extremist policies and appointments would undermine the family, human dignity, freedom of conscience and religious expression, and free enterprise. And if that's not enough, Prof. Obama is a naive and foolish academic whose on the job training would endanger the whole world.

There is only one great man on the ballot, and only one qualified candidate: Sen. John S. McCain.

Posted by: zjr78xva | November 2, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Seriously I live in Pa., check this out:
Biden and Obama join the military. While the face belongs to Biden the arms are definitely Obama’s.

Posted by: pattipace7 | November 1, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Seriously I live in Pa., check this out:
Biden and Obama join the military. While the face belongs to Biden the arms are definitely Obama’s.

Posted by: pattipace7 | November 1, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Seriously I live in Pa., check this out:
Biden and Obama join the military. While the face belongs to Biden the arms are definitely Obama’s.

Posted by: pattipace7 | November 1, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse


Not when government-supported "extrajudicial" vigilante squads are "gang/community stalking" American citizens, making a mockery of the rule of law:


Posted by: scrivener50 | November 1, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

McCain is in big trouble, Obama Supporters are Using Huckabee in an online ad see video

Posted by: pastor123 | November 1, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

LOL! :-D

I wonder what Ahnold the Governator, thinks of those well developed Jaw Muscles of Biden!

-That Joe Biden... A Girlie Man, with a Big Mouth! Da Guy needs to stop eating so much "Foot", and exercise everything but his jaws! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | November 1, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The definition of middle class has degrade again. This time, it is 45K...

Mickey Mouse and the dead: you will be taxed next. Stop voting for Obama multiple times.

Posted by: mdem4mccain | November 1, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The definition of middle class has degrade again. This time, it is 45K...

Mickey Mouse and the dead: you will be taxed next. Stop voting for Obama multiple times.

Posted by: mdem4mccain | November 1, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

To: lucygirl1:

(a) The Great Depression stock market crash started in 1929, before FDR was Prez, but it didn't hit bottom until 1933, while he was in office. So it was still crashing during the beginning of his presidency. And (b) FDR was famous for his comforting, confidence-building "fireside chats" on RADIO. Thus, Biden slightly misspoke, but the gist of his comment was correct. Proving that he knows something about history. As opposed to McCain and especially Palin, whose comments have shown repeatedly that they are so dumb they couldn't pour rainwater from a boot with directions printed on the heel.

Posted by: Dan4 | November 1, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I hate you Repiglican pieces of garbage; I really do... good riddance.

Gerald Clough

Posted by: lostharvestmovie | November 1, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: toritto | November 1, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Latest composite polls:

Chances for McLame winning down to 2.8% and he MUST win Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania and Virginia polls close at 7 PM on election eve. If they are called early for Obama then McCain voters to the west will know it is over and the rout will be on.

Posted by: toritto | November 1, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Ignore these pro-McCain posters who are simply making up poll numbers (or relying on polling within his campaign). Check out these composite polls from battleground states in the Bush-Kerry 2004 election. Everyone of them was accurate except one (WI); however, Obama's leads are larger and more consistent than either Bush or Kerry....

Posted by: glcrease | November 1, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse


McCain is getting his ass kicked in states he should be winning.

Posted by: blarsen1 | November 1, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

McCain gets mad and hits the red button. That's all we need.

Posted by: blarsen1 | November 1, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

News Alert! -- John McCain is going to win in Joe Biden's Scranton, Pennsylvania! -- News Alert! -- Pre-election polls' error margin much higher than expected! -- News Alert! -- People around the world love Sarah Palin! -- News Alert! -- Vast majority of people around the world see America as defender of Liberty and Justice and want to live the American Way of Life! -- News Alert! -- Vast majority of Americans are going to vote for American Hero John McCain! -- News Alert! -- John McCain is going to win the election in a landslide! -- News Alert! -- "Dear Mr. Obama" video ( ) hits new record!

Posted by: loan4ever | November 1, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Senator Biden has had a load of sharks surrounding him from the moment he accepted this nomination.
They are looking for any syllable of a comment that they can misinterpret as negatively as possible in the extreme.
They are ready to try to embarrass him in any way and try to make that reflect negatively on their campaign.
That goes for about two-thirds of the press, not to mention any McCain clones floating through the Fourth Estate.
He has, if you insist on that term "muzzled", muzzled himself to take care that he gives them no opening to jump down his throat about anything he says.
Joe Biden is one of my heroes.
He's so intelligent, so seasoned after his years in the Senate, that he has a well-reasoned grasp of all major issues.
When he talks, he makes sense, unlike many pundits.
So don't talk about Biden being "controlled" or "muzzled" -- it's an insult to the man, Perry.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | November 1, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Remains to be seen if voters do as they say they will do. Polls take opnions to predict voting trends. The final factual vote is taken on election day which may or may not verify polling.

Early polling is showing specific trends. However, the majority of traditional voters have yet to go to the polls which is just in a few short days.

I see republicans and their supporters showing alot of bitterness right now. Remains to be seen how long republicans will hold democrats in contempt for their own losses. Am suggesting that bipartisianship may be delayed because of lingering annomosity by the staunch conservatives.

Posted by: truthhurts | November 1, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Our very own online concert for Obama/Biden '08

Leesha Harvey- Coal Train (Original)

John Mellencamp - Small Town

Bruce Springsteen - Radio Nowhere

Posted by: YeilRaven | November 1, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

An aunt Obama didn't even know he had! The 'pubs are no hungover after being drunk with power for 12 years. They will say or do anything to get elected. They are the sorest and sorriest bunch of losers you will ever see. The republican party will now fade into history and our long national nightmare will be over. The U.S. wants Barack Obama. The world wants Barack Obama. If the republicans don't like it, maybe they'd be more comfortable in Russia, which is more their style of government. We are a country governed by the people, not the corporations. We have turned into a fascist nation, giving our money to the banking industry and the auto industry. Obama will make our nation proud again. Detroit needs to make electric powered cars at a reasonable price so we can put the Middle East on it's knees. We need to restore manufacturing here and dis-empower China. We need to support our farmers and not make biofuels that have hurt their business more than helped. We need to develop new industries like solar and wind power to help employ our laid off workers. GO OBAMA!!!

Posted by: blarsen1 | November 1, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

cannula, no one cares...

Betty Ford and Jimmy Carter's brother were drunks, McSame's brother dropped the F bomb on a 911 operator because he was stuck in traffic...candidates can not control their relations, they can decide who their friends are.

That is why the Rezco and Wright stories do matter, but the behavior of Obama's father's half sister does not.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 1, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Hey, thecannulla, why don't you just read the Drudgereport and be happy with that one-sided coverage. Nobody said you had to read the Post. But a couple things you bring up:
1. Sen. Obama's aunt: why does it matter? How many people in this country have an aunt or uncle who are down on their luck? I have two.
2. Zogby's poll: that's news? A poll of people who have not voted yet? In any case, that is the only poll with such results, and the three day tracking for Zogby still has Sen. Obama up by five points.

Posted by: BShea82 | November 1, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Obama has a vision for this country that McCain lacks. He wants to make this country a land of opportunity for all. McCain mocks him for wanting a level playing field by saying he wants to redistribute wealth. Tax relief that should have gone to the middle class instead went to Exxon Mobile, a company that does not create jobs in this country.

Both candidates are well intentioned but only Obama can do two things at one time. He can pay attention to building the strength of this country throughout the world and also concentrate on the economic strength of American small business and its people. Obama attracts the kind of manpower we need as his advisers. We need to take advantage of the strengths we have. We need leaders with a sense of a strategic vision for the future in things like energy alternatives, education and health care.

Both men are patriots who care about this country but only one man is able to attract leaders from the business and professional community to his cause. When a man can is seen as being a capable leader by liberal Noam Chomsky, moderate Colin Powell and conservative Doug Kmiec he certainly has the ability to bridge the cultural divide.

He will not take guns away from enthusiasts and hunters, he will not promote a pro-choice agenda because he wants the support of the conservative community. He will be strong on homeland security and protection against military and terrorist threats from abroad because his strength comes from the moderate middle as well as the conservative right. Lastly health care and education and alternative energy an issue that is important to the left and the center.

What we need is to solve problems in a constructive way and not to fight among our selves. We need to point this country in a new direction and that is the goal of Barack Obama.

Posted by: Gator-ron | November 1, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

AP: Obama aunt from Kenya living in US illegally - The Denver PostNov 1, 2008 ... WASHINGTON—Barack Obama's aunt, a Kenyan woman who has been quietly living in public housing in Boston, is in the United States illegally ...

_ AP: Obama aunt from Kenya living in U.S. illegallyOct 31, 2008 ... WASHINGTON - Barack Obama's aunt, a Kenyan woman who has been quietly living in public housing in Boston, is in the United States illegally ...

AP: Obama aunt from Kenya living in US illegally | MiamiHerald.comOct 31, 2008 ... WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama's aunt, a Kenyan woman who has been quietly living in public housing in Boston, is in the United States illegally ...



Posted by: thecannula | November 1, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

The media seems to have been covering for Biden for some time. While news stories still talk about Dan Quayle’s spelling mistake 18 years later, there has been almost no news coverage of Biden’s numerous wacky statements. What if Quayle had said something similar to Biden’s recent statement that, "When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'" A neat trick given that Herbert Hoover was president in 1929 and no one was watching television.

It might not fit the simple template for a 36-year veteran of the Senate to not understand what vice presidents do (after all, eight vice presidents have served with him), but Biden knew less about this than the political outsider, Sarah Palin. Given that they are running to be vice president, why didn’t that story dominate the news coverage after the debate?
-- Finally, an amusing point as evidence that Biden is just one of the people he pointed to, inviting anyone to have a beer with him at "Katie's Restaurant" in Wilmington, Del. Unfortunately, people will have a hard time taking him up on his offer, since the restaurant hasn't had that name for probably 15 years.

Posted by: lucygirl1 | November 1, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Dear undecided Voter,

Please vote.

In the final analysis this election has been fought on following emotional presumptions by the both campaigns.

1. Presidential Temperament.

2. Sound presidential Judgment.
3. Meaningful plans, policies, and positions'

4. Understanding and knowledge of workings in & around Washington.
5. Vigor, wisdom and vision" for the future of our beloved Great-grand Nation.
6. American Values, Virtues, Vastness, and Strong soul.
7. Fear & hope & future & past.

9. Culture unite and Culture Divide.
10.Tactics of tearing people down & showing past scars and Inspiring people up and fearing people away.
11. Restoring Global standing and threatening global dominance.

12. Building nation up all around and Scaring people away from the tickets.

As a Independent registered voter I have decided to vote for the Obama-Biden ticket. I am sure they will protect our national security, strengths, stamina and soul as well as rebuild our nation from the bottom up in all areas of need. The OBAMA-BIDEN ticket will restore our global standing with the use of maximum, firm international diplomacy and minimal force if and when necessary.

Yours sincerely,

COL. A.M. Khajawall [Ret] MD., Forensic psychiatrist, Colonel, US-AR
/ MC Combat Stress Control[Ret], Disabled American Veteran and Iraq
Freedom team.

Posted by: akhajawall | November 1, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

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