Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pool report on Vice President Biden in Miami Beach

 Vice President Joe Biden was at a fundraiser in Miami Beach Thursday evening, and here’s a pool press report from Tolu Olorunnipa of the Miami Herald
VPOTUS made his second stop on a South Florida fundraising tour at the house of longtime friend Michael Adler in Miami Beach Thursday night. 
Speaking from about 6:18 to 6:36 to a crowd of about 150, VPOTUS touted his decades of experience on the political scene in an attempt to assure his supporters that, despite the wide array of challenges facing the Obama administration, he and Obama were prepared and ready to take action. 
He spoke generally about most major issues, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs focusing more on the economy than other topics (jobs, housing market, bailouts). He did not directly address the Afghanistan or Iraq wars. 
We inherited a pretty deep hole, we found ourselves dug in pretty deep beyond what I think we even thought or what most people even thought, VPOTUS said. By the time we raised our hands on Jan. 20 to be sworn in, already that month we had lost 700,000 jobs. And before we literally got our computers hooked up, almost before the White House's West Wing was functioning, we lost another 640,000 jobs in February.
 On housing, he noted that Florida, along with other states, has been hit particularly hard.
 VPOTUS said: For 36 months in a row, housing prices plummeted, losing 30 percent of their value. You’re still reeling down here. You and Nevada and Arizona and California -- the places that were at the top of the bubble. 
VPOTUS called the bailout of the banks the most unpopular decision he’s had to make. He said the bailouts were necessary to keep the economy from slipping into a depression. 
VPOTUS noted that there was a lot of good news, but also a lot of bad news to consider after the Obama administration’s first 10 months in office. One piece of good news, he said, is that we are beginning to forget how bad things once were.
The truth is, the good news is, we're forgetting, he said. We’re a long way from out of the hole, but the GDP did grow 3.5 percent this quarter. 
He added: We’ve got a hell of a long way to go, a hell of a long way to go, but we think the trajectory we set the country on is the right trajectory. 
More on good news and bad news:
The good news is the bad news, he said. The good news is it’s beginning to work. The ten largest banks in the country are all but one very healthy. They’ve already paid back 70 billion, We’ve already made 11 billion on that and we’re going to get another 15 billion paid back. The bad news is they’ve got $900 billion in capital and they’re not lending anything. And so, it’s a long way to go. 
He recognized Miami Mayor Manny Diaz by name repeatedly, calling him at one point, one of the best mayors in the country.  
VPOTUS said he speaks on a weekly basis with mayors and governors, who ask Where’s the next stimulus. VPOTUS said he’s not sure there will be another stimulus.
 I am absolutely confident that were going to come out of this. And when we come out of this we’re going to come out stronger than before, particularly, the middle class.
 He spoke about his father losing his job, when he was a 4th grader in Scranton, Pa. VPOTUS said that GDP growth would not be satisfactory unless the middle class was faring well.
The way we look at this is We’re not going to be satisfied even if the GDP is growing at 6.6 percent, he said. if middle class folks, the same folks who got clobbered, through no fault of their own, aren’t able to look their kids in the eye by the time we leave office and say Honey, it’s going to be okay.
 VPOTUS said we were at a defining moment in American history, calling it one of the most dangerous, but also one of the greatest opportunities to effect significant change for the future.
 We’re at one of those inflection points in history, he said. A non-decision today is a fundamental decision. A non-decision on energy policy is a fundamental decision. A non-decision on dealing with American education is a decision.
About 150 attended the event. Ticket prices ranged from $1,000 to $10,000. It was Biden’s second stop in South Florida on Thursday. He spoke at a lunch event in Boca Raton as well.
 In the crowd: Miami mayor Manny Diaz, Basketball star Isaiah Thomas, Miami-Dade Police Chief John Timoney.
Attendees dined on hors d’oeuvres and drank wine, water and soft drinks. Biden spoke outside in front of Michael Adler’s pool. Adler introduced Biden.
 VPOTUS left the state after the event.

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