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  • Staff Photo by Grant Morris


    Vice-President Joe Biden delivers a speech to New Hampshire Democratic Party's McIntyre - Shaheen 100 Club Dinner at The Radisson Hotel in Nashua, Wednesday evening.
  • Staff Photo by Grant Morris


    Vice-President Joe Biden greets attendees of Wednesday evening's New Hampshire Democratic Party's McIntyre - Shaheen 100 Club Dinner after his remarks.
  • Staff Photo by Grant Morris


    Vice-President Joe Biden pauses in the middle of his speech, Wednesday evening during the New Hampshire Democratic Party's McIntyre - Shaheen 100 Club Dinner at The Radisson Hotel in Nashua.
  • Staff Photo by Grant Morris


    Vice-President Joe Biden is seen reflected in a mosaic of mirrors on the wall of the Radisson Hotel Nashua, wednesday evening while delivering an address at the New Hampshire Democratic Party's McIntyre - Shaheen 100 Club Dinner.
  • Staff Photo by Grant Morris


    Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech to New Hampshire Democratic Party's McIntyre - Shaheen 100 Club Dinner at The Radisson Hotel in Nashua, Wednesday evening.
  • Staff Photo by Grant Morris


    Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech to New Hampshire Democratic Party's McIntyre - Shaheen 100 Club Dinner at The Radisson Hotel in Nashua, Wednesday evening.
Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vice President Biden in Nashua for fundraiser

NASHUA – Vice President Joe Biden, a two-time veteran of the New Hampshire primary, has seen the seasons change before in the Granite State. And he knows it’s ready to happen again, he told a gathering of state Democrats on Wednesday at the Radisson Hotel Nashua.

Speaking to a crowd of more than 300 at a Democratic Party fundraiser, Biden, who took part in the 2008 primary before joining President Barack Obama’s ticket, assured the audience that the 2012 elections are shaping up to resemble the 2008 race, in which Democrats took the White House and both houses of Congress as well as sweeping the New Hampshire elections.

The economy is turning around slowly, Biden said. More Americans are returning to work, and the death of Osama bin Laden has reinforced the strong leadership of Obama, who will drive Democrats to victory down the ballot in next year’s elections, he said.

“You can feel the change,” Biden noted, speaking before a crowd that included Gov. John Lynch, as well as former congressmen Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter, among other party leaders who lost their seats during last year’s elections.

“The American people get it, and they’re getting it more profoundly than ever before,” he said, his voice hushed to a dramatic whisper. “We have a leader with the backbone of a ramrod, and now the real Barack Obama … is coming into focus.”

Faced with some of the most difficult fiscal challenges in the country’s recent history, Obama has made bold decisions since he took office in 2009, said Biden, who visited a Manchester auto dealership earlier in the day. Bail-outs of the automotive and financial industries, strongly criticized by Republican leaders, are now starting to prove their merit, helping repair the struggling economy, he said.

But it wasn’t until this month, Biden said, when Obama ordered the raid on bin Laden’s Pakistan compound, that Americans acknowledged the strength of his leadership.

On the eve of the raid, Biden sat around a table with Obama and other political and military leaders while they debated the move. Nearly everyone around the table wavered, including Biden.

“I said ‘wait another seven days for (more) information,” he acknowledged. “(Obama) said ‘go.’ … The American people now have a crystal clear picture of how strong and decisive our president is, and that’s the last piece of the puzzle that had to be put in place.”

Republican lawmakers and candidates alike have set many of the pieces themselves, Biden and state Democratic leaders said throughout the evening.

On Capital Hill, congressman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, which went to the Senate floor Wednesday, threatens to destroy the federal Medicare program and to strip funding for education and renewable energy, among other services, Biden said. “This isn’t your father’s Republican Party. This is a different breed of cat.”

And in Concord, the Republican majority is pushing a budget that would devastate vital social services, as well as a proposal to invalidate unions by preventing them from taking dues from non-union members.

“You see, in New Hampshire … we stand with our teachers, police officers, firefighters and all our public workers,” said Lynch, who has vetoed the bill, drawing raucous applause. “These are the same people certain House Republicans call thugs. … (They) are our everyday heroes.”

Such votes have already isolated voters across the state and around the country, Democratic leaders said, citing Democratic wins in a New York congressional race Tuesday as well as in the New Hampshire Legislature. In a special election earlier this month, Jennifer Daler, D-Temple, defeated Peter Kucmas, R-New Boston, in GOP House Speaker William O’Brien’s district.

“With Jen Daler’s victory, and everything that’s happening, in 2012 it’s all going to change. … New Hampshire is going to be blue again,” said Kathy Sullivan, a former chairwoman of the state Democratic Party.

“Folks, I think we’re ready, I really do,” Biden said, concluding his speech. “Presidential elections are about strength in leadership. … When the Republicans are honest about what they will do when they get into power, that creates a crystal clear choice for the American people. … We are in good shape.”

Jake Berry can be reached at 594-6402 or jberry@nashuatelegraph.com.