Delaware Rising at Biden Home States Ball
Our colleague Paul Farhi reports:
At the slow-building Biden Home States Ball at the Convention Center, the early arrivals included Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.), both of whom have connections to the new vice president.
As of Tuesday, Carper replaces Biden as his states' senior senator. Casey's connection: he was born in a house in Scranton that Joe Biden's father had lived in previously.
Carper, attired in a Republican-red bow tie, joked that Biden's inaugural oath was "the shortest speech I've ever seen Joe give." As to Biden's ascension, Carper said it will raise the profile of his largely overlooked state. "I won't say this is the moment we've always waited for, but we're glad it finally arrived."
People who paid $150 per ticket got standard steam-table, Convention Center fare like tortellini and penne pasta. The big attraction, of course, was the possibility that the Bidens and the Obamas would appear together for perhaps the only time all evening.
When they arrived, Biden and his wife Jill spent all of six minutes at the ball, briefly pepping up what had remained a flaccid affair.
The brevity of Biden's appearance seemed unsatisfying considering that he told the crowd that he had personally approved the pairing of Delaware and Pennsylvania as hosts of one of the ten official inaugural balls. "I said I wanted to be with my home state and my native state," he said from the stage. Biden was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in neighboring Delaware.
Biden then introduced his three adult children as his wife, wearing a bright red strapless gown looked on.
"Look folks, here's the deal," said Biden. "It's real simple. Enjoy tonight because tomorrow we gotta rebuild America."
And with that, the Bidens danced to a truncated version of the Rod Stewart song "Have I Told You Lately." Then they disappeared.
The President and First Lady took the stage at 11:03 p.m. to a forest of raised digital and cellphone cameras.
"As I looked out over that sea of people today I am reminded of the power and force of this country when this country is united," Obama said.
Then the first couple danced to "At Last" played by "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band. The dance lasted about one minute before the Obamas checked out.
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