Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., Thursday came to Williamsport, Pa., home of the Little League World Series, just a day after his favorite baseball team, the Philadelphia Phillies, won their first title since 1980.
He also came just hours before his Republican rival Gov. Sarah Palin addressed voters in the same town.
In Florida the past few days, home of the Phils’ Fall Classic opponent the Tampa Bay Rays, Biden made no mention of the Series (unlike the man at the top of the ticket, who shaded his advocacy for the Whiz Kids when he was in Tampa), but back in Phils country, Biden sounded off on it.
While Biden missed the Fightin’ Phils victory due to his late night flight from Ft. Lauderdale to St. Louis, he told the crowd at Lycoming College that his wife Jill was there at Citizens Bank Park to witness the Phils’ triumph in person.
"My wife Jill is from suburban Philadelphia," said the Democratic vice presidential nominee. "She is the most rabid Philly fan, most rabid Flyer fan, most rabid — any team in Philadelphia. I gotta tell ya, my wife, I’m on the campaign trail, she says, ‘Joe, I’m going to the Series.’
"So, on Monday night, in the rain, hair matted down, sitting outside soaking wet, she sat through the whole deal," testified Biden. "And went back, she went back to, uh, to the game last night and was there."
Game 5 started on Monday evening but was suspended in the sixth inning due to torrential rain in the Philadelphia area, the first suspended game in Series history. It resumed last night with the Phils tied 2-2 with the Rays in the bottom of the sixth.
"And my, my wonderful wife, who has her doctorate in education, is a school teacher, is, looks like — I mean, you wouldn’t expect her to be a great fan," said Biden of his spouse, who teaches English at Delaware Technical and Community College.
"My wife was on — if you know anything about Philadelphia radio, WIP radio in the morning, sports talk," Biden said of 610 WIP, Philly’s well-known sports talk radio station, known for its opinionated hosts and call-in shows for the City of Brotherly Love’s vocal fans. "Turn on, I hear today, my wife is on WIP this morning on sports talk.
"And she’s talking about Brad Lidge," Biden said, noting Phillies closer Brad "Lights Out" Lidge, who was a perfect 48-for-48 this season in converting save opportunities, finishing off the Rays in the top of the ninth last night with a strikeout of Eric Hinske.
"Worries me a little, Sister," quipped Biden to Sister Anne, Biden’s former grade-school teacher, who was at the rally. "That must have given her an idea, because when I called her to say, ‘look,’ she said, ‘Joe, you have to do what this campaign needs, what Brad did that night. Lights out tonight. Lights out. Lights out Lidge.’
"Well, let me tell you something, I’m not going to be able to live up to that," Biden warned Keystone State supporters on a more serious note. "But I tell you what, here we are in Pennsylvania, in a battleground state. And let me tell you this — the truth of the matter is this state is going to make the gigantic difference in who the next president of the United States of America is."
– Matt Jaffe and Jake Tapper