Vice President Joe Biden spoke at a $500 a head fundraiser for 250 big-wig Democratic donors today at the midtown Sheraton, hosted by east side Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and made a few cracks about Maloney’s 2010 primary challenge by Reshma Saujani.
“I wanted to come in and campaign for Carolyn earlier this past year and do a fundraiser for her then,” Biden said. “But I was told were I to come in she would only get 75 percent of the vote so we put it off until today.”
Saujani ran an aggressive campaign against Maloney but surprised many local political observers by only getting 19 percent of the vote.
Biden noted that even in 2008, when he was on the ballot for Senate and on the ballot as President Obama’s running mate he only garnered 66 percent of the vote. “We have to get some of this New York spirit down in Delaware,” and added, “In my 36 years in the Senate… I didn’t think about 70 percent let alone 80 percent.”
Both Maloney and Biden mentioned Maloney’s Creditcard Holder’s Bill of Rights, which they cited as a reason for Saujani’s challenge.
“Winston Churchill once said that there was nothing more joyful or exhilarating than being shot at and missed,” Maloney said. “And in this last election a lot of Democrats were shot out and I had a very nasty campaign and it was great to win with 81 percent of the vote.”
Biden made the case for the Obama administration’s efforts to invest in the economy rather than simply focus on deficits, and argued that the opinion of the Obama administration would rise now that Republicans had to put forth their own vision.
Several local pols made appearances at the fundraiser, including Congressional members Jerry Nadler, Charlie Rangel and Yvette Clark, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, council members Dan Garodnick and Jessica Lappin and Assembly member Jonathan Bing.
Biden spoke mostly extemporaneously, and stopped midway through his speech and asked that the teleprompters flanking the podium come down.
“I am not using this thing. If you want to put it down, it’s ok by me,” he said. “You know Barack said, excuse me, the President said, ‘Joe is learning to make a speech with a teleprompter and I am learning to do one without a teleprompter.”‘