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Delaware Rising at Biden Home States Ball

As Jill Biden looks on, Vice President Joe Biden addresses the crowd during a quick stop at the Biden Home States Ball. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 20, 2009; 10:32 PM ET
Categories:  Parties  
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Next: Snowboots and Barbie Dresses at Mid-Atlantic Ball



Barack Obama is the greatest liar in history (no wonder he is an excellent lawyer!) During his campaign, he told lots of hope in future for America if he was elected, but now he warns Americans of oncoming darker economy and not to put too much hope in his promises. He promises a big plan to reduce budget deficit but his inauguration ceremony this January will be the most costly in history (50 millions) while the nation is in deep depression, as well as his presidential campaign (600 millions), which was far more than his opponent John McCain's. He swears to clean up Washington DC, but he failed to first clean up his homestate Illinois, one of the most corrupt state with the scandal of Governor Rod Blagojevich, who greatly helped Obama to win his state senate seat in 1996, 1998, and 2002. And his favorite slogan is "Yes, we CAN", yet he himself CANNOT quit smoking at all !!! (Each year about 1.3 million American smokers quit successfully).

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | January 21, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Ok Thanks Tim.

Now perhaps we can get down to talking about what a poor and disappointing job that the ball committee did with the Biden Ball.

Not only was the food awful (that was expected thanks to WaPo's great advance work!) but Maroon 5 didn't show (at least up to the time POTUS showed). Instead we were treated to some band with the word "orchestra" in their title. It turned out to be a 3rd rate wedding band who proved not only how bad their lead singers are but also didn't take the hint to end their 20 minute extended remix of "Play that Funky Music" when the Marine band was standing around on the stage to play on POTUS.

Lovely job... other balls at the Conv Ctr got the Greatfull Dead, Mariah Carry, and other big headliners, and we get a wedding band...what no cake?

Posted by: deltaxi | January 21, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Just one note: "Have I Told You Lately" was written and originally performed by Van Morrison, not Rod Stewart. A terrific choice for the Bidens... Congratulations!

Posted by: rmd1064 | January 21, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Hey Palin! you might be able to see Russia from your house, but Vice President Biden can see President Obama's house from HIS house!

Posted by: Hillary08 | January 21, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

And with that, the Bidens danced to a truncated version of the Rod Stewart song "Have I Told You Lately." Then they disappeared.

Really? Better not tell Van Morrison.

Posted by: TheDubb | January 21, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Admittedly the wedding band was weak and I would have liked at least one more a-list performer, but have you guys seen the comments about the Youth Ball? Given the lack of long lines, confusion, chaos, etc, seems like this wasn't too shabby...

Posted by: dsullivan3003 | January 21, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I loved the ball. I highlights were the Bidens and the Obamas. I can't believe we saw in person the dress Michelle Obama is going to display in the Museum of American History. Also a Maroon 5 concert on top of it all isn't too shabby.
Low points...I saw some women walking around the party without shoes on. I think it's fine to get out of the heels for a while, but there was one women in a short dress walking around barefeet like she was at the beach. The other bad thing was for $150, it was a very expensive cash bar and a few small tables of pasta, cheese squares, some raw vegetables, some round cold chicken slices and some dessert wedges like brownies. it was delicious of course, but a little low end for an inaugural ball where people spent at least $150 for tickets and thousands of dollars to come to Washington. Those were the only things that seemed to cheapen the affair. I wouldn't trade the night though. Once in a lifetime.

Posted by: trulyindependentvoter | January 21, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the food was the same at all of the balls at the Convention Center. (There was an article in the Post discussing just that). One nice thing, according to the article, was that only a few balls were getting dessert, and apparently Biden's ball was one of them. After everything I had heard about inaugural balls (e.g., no food, drinks, or room to move around, standing out side for hours, etc.) I was quite happy that none of that happened. The bottom line is that people go to see the President and First Lady, and that was guaranteed since it was an official ball. I have lots of great photos of President Obama. I had something to eat, a few drinks, and saw a short Maroon 5 concert, so my friends and I enjoyed ourselves.

Posted by: harperissac2008 | January 23, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Van Morrison didn't write "Have I Told You Lately...."

It was originally penned and performed by country musician Scottie Wiseman in 1945. I'm sure, however, he's down with both Van Morrison's and Rod Stewart's renditions. Seldom does a country hit move over to the pop charts.

Posted by: megsplace2 | January 28, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

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