Did anyone expect Biden to be the one? I mean you’re barely leading your opponent; you’d like to get some space between you and your challenger–and what do know; it looks like Biden provided the magic. Neither Clinton, nor Kerry, not even Barack Obama’s speech had this kind of force behind it. He’s the last guy you’d figure—but strange as it might sounds; Biden gave the speech of his life. It was a passionate, heartfelt and persuasive defense of the President . Biden looked the camera and the audience straight in the eye, and passionately told a compelling story that was extremely believable. His words, his cadences, his conviction, confirmed that the vice president could be trusted, and that folks was the man’s magic; because if you could believe Biden then you could believe what he told you. In other words, Biden was essentially saying: trust me, if you trust me you can trust the President. He felt it, he said it, and he meant it. Biden’s passionate, eyewitness account, transformed doubt into trust.
Just read the following excerpt from his speech:
“Listen Folks, I’ve watched him,” immediately, Biden identifies himself as an eyewitness, and continues: “He always steps up and he always asks in every one of those critical meetings the same fundamental question, ‘How is this going to affect the average American? How is this going to affect people’s lives?’ That’s what is inside this man. That’s what makes him tick. That’s who he is. Biden words were griping. As his story flowed and unfolded it rang strikingly true, especially when he said folks; so authentic, and he resumed:
“And folks, because of the decisions he’s made, and the incredible strength of the American people, America has turned a corner. The worst job loss since the Great Depression, we’ve since created 4.5 million private-sector jobs in the last 29 months. Look though, president — President Obama and Governor Romney, they’re both — they’re both loving husbands, they’re both devoted fathers. But let’s be straight, they bring a vastly different vision and a vastly different values set for the job. And tonight — tonight, although you’ve heard people talk about it, I’m going to talk about two things from a slightly different perspective. From my perspective… as I’ve said, I have had a ringside seat. the first story I want to talk to you about is the rescue of the automobile industry… let me tell you, let me tell you, from this man’s ringside seat, let me tell you about how Barack Obama saved more than a million American jobs. In the first — in the first days, literally, the first days that we took office, General Motors and Chrysler were literally on the verge of liquidation. If the president didn’t act — if he didn’t act immediately, there wouldn’t be any industry left to save. So we sat hour after hour in the oval office. Michelle remembers how it must of — what he must have thought when he came back upstairs. We sat, hour after hour. We listened to Senators, Congressmen, outside advisers, even some of our own advisers, we listen to them to say some of the following things.”
“They said, well we shouldn’t step up. The risks — the risks were too high. The outcome was too uncertain. And the president, he patiently sat there and he listened. But he didn’t see it the way they did. He understood something they didn’t get, and one of the reasons I love him. He understood that this wasn’t just about cars, it was about the people that built and made those cars… my dad — my dad respected Barack Obama — would have respected Barack Obama had he been around, for having had the guts to stand up for the automobile industry when so many others just were prepared to walk away.”
“You know, when I look back — when I look back now — when I look back on the president’s decision, I think of another son of another automobile man. Mitt Romney — no, no– Mitt Romney — Mitt Romney grew up in Detroit. My dad managed, his dad owned — well his dad ran an entire automobile company, American Motors. Yes, what I don’t understand — and in spite of that, he was willing to let Detroit go bankrupt. I don’t think he’s a bad guy. No — no, no, I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I am sure he grew up loving cars as much as I did. But what I don’t understand — what I don’t think he understood – I don’t think he understood that saving the automobile worker, saving the industry, what it meant all of America, not just autoworkers. I think he saw it the Bain way — I mean this sincerely. I think he saw it in terms of balance sheets and write offs. Folks, the Bain way may bring your firm the highest profits, but it is not the way to lead our country from the highest office. When things — when things — when things hung in the balance — when things hung in the balance, I mean literally hung in the balance, the president understood this was about a lot more hope than the automobile industry. This was about restoring America’s pride. He understood — he understood in his gut what it would mean to leave a million people without hope or work if he didn’t act. And he also knew — he also knew, he intuitively understood the message that it would have sent around the world if the United States gave up on an industry that helped put America on the map in the first place. Conviction. Resolve. Barack Obama. That is what saved the automobile industry. Conviction. Resolve. Barack Obama. Look, you heard my friend John Kerry. This president — this president has shown the same result, the same steady hand in his role as commander in chief. Look — which brings me to the next illustration. The next crisis he had to face… Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you what I think you already know. I watch it up close. Bravery reside in the heart of Barack Obama. And time and time again, I witnessed him some and its. This man has courage in his soul, compassion in his heart, and a spine of steel. And because — because of all the actions he took, because of the calls he made, because of the determination of American workers, and the unparalleled bravery of our special forces, we can proudly say what you’ve heard me say the last six months: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive. That’s right. One man.”
if you close your eyes and pretend; it was just a man speaking, taking off the robes of partisanism, his words, the way they were spoken, and what was said.
Biden was an eye witness; that’s what he said. Let me just briefly take some of his important statement and string them seamlessly together so you can hear him:
“folks I watched him. That’s what is inside this man. That’s what makes him tick. That’s who he is. I have had a ringside seat. let me tell you let me tell you, from this man’s ringside seat, let me tell you about
how Barack Obama… he didn’t see it the way they did. He understood something they didn’t get, and one of the reasons I love him. He understood that this wasn’t just about cars, it was about the people that built and made those cars… I watch it up close.”
Biden was a witness for the defense, and a most credible witness at that. He reached out, where people were.
Notice, I didn’t say he reached down. You know he didn’t reach down because he was already down where the people were. That’s why I believe this speech will resonate, that’s why I think it was the best speech among the whole lot. You see, he was there; that’s right, he was there in the oval office. And he’s one of us, average. You won’t get either party to challenge that fact. With his gaffs, Biden embodies the kind of average person most of us are. It enabled him to tell a compelling story about his boss, and put on display an image of someone he witnessed doing a job, doing it well, doing it with conviction, and doing it, sometimes alone because the President cared enough to do a nation of middle class people what others believed might be too risky. Biden said, “I want to show you two crisis I like to focus on [two] crises and show you — show you the character of leadership that each man will bring to this job because as I’ve said, I have had a ringside seat.”
Biden believed what he was saying and I believe him.
In making the case for his boss, Biden sought to give thousands of delegates packed into the Charlotte convention venue and a prime-time television audience a taste of what Obama was like behind the scenes as a decision maker. “He want[ed] to take… [us].. inside the White House to see the president, as… [as he saw].. him every day.” He said “I don’t see him in sound bites. I walk thirty paces down the hall into the Oval Office, and I see him in action,”
There’s not very much more I can say except, he gave the best speech because he leveled with us.
Joe Biden accepted his party’s re-nomination on Thursday night and urged voters in an impassioned appeal to give President Barack Obama four more years in the White House.
“The cause of change is not fully accomplished, but we are on our way. So I say to you tonight, with absolute confidence, America’s best days are ahead of us, and, yes, we are on our way,” he told the Democratic National Convention.
Working so closely with Obama, Biden added they have “learned a lot about each other.”
“I learned of the enormity of his heart,” Biden said. “And he learned of the depth of my loyalty to him.”
“You can say lot of things about Joe Biden, but you shouldn’t underestimate him. He’s a guy who has a lot of experience. He’s a guy who knows how to step up and give a speech,” Rolling Stone executive editor Eric Bates said Thursday on CNN. “And he knows how to debate.”
As one who calls himself “middle class Joe,” Biden is often deployed to speak to labor union groups or blue-collar workers in the Rust Belt. In July, he charged Romney with wanting to attack public workers, based on the Republican candidate’s call for major spending cuts in government.
Biden stayed largely on script in his big speech, a form of discipline that underscores the importance of the event. However, the vice president made headlines several times this year over slip-ups in speeches and interviews.
Biden sparked controversy when he told a Virginia crowd at a campaign event last month that Romney’s Wall Street regulatory policies would “put y’all back in chains.” Some conservatives quickly reacted to the remark, charging Biden with using a racially charged undertone in the statement.
The Obama campaign said the remark was taken out of context and pointed to Republicans who have used the word “unshackle” — a term that also brings to mind the image of chains — when referring to the economy.
That’s the man that defended the President Thursday night. He was the common man performing an unexpected feat. And in the end, if you listen to Biden, if you listen to him for a second time; you don’t have to listen to the whole speech, listen to it from 10 minutes in. Start listening to the speech where Biden says: “my dad never failed to remind us that a job is about a lot more than a paycheck.”
Listen to eight minutes. It’s a remarkable eight minutes that you’re sure to find quite powerful. Biden put the question of doubt but that question to bed and transformed doubt in trust. Not only did the vice president make it easier to trust the president, he made you want to trust the president.
Contributor D. Chandler