In his Sunshine State swing, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., stopped this afternoon at a Campaign for Change office in Titusville, Fla., placing phone calls to voters encouraging them to support the Democratic ticket.
Perhaps because Biden is staying on-script on the stump these days, reading closely from his teleprompter, the Delaware lawmaker didn’t feel the need to use a script when calling potential voters from the campaign office.
“Do you need to go through the script?” asked volunteer Gabriello Banks.
"I got it," replied Biden.
But Banks did outline how Biden should ask people if they might be able to volunteer at the call center.
“Good, got it, all right, and if they say no, ‘We’re sending police for you!’" kidded the loquacious Blue Hen. "Only joking, only joking."
Before calling potential voters, Biden warned other volunteers, “All of you getting ‘yeses,’ I’m going to say, ‘I’m Joe Biden.’ They’re going to say ‘Who?’"
But the first person Biden talked to, a woman named Vicky Hudson, not only knew his name, but had also already voted for the Democratic ticket.
“Oh, God love ya,” said a relieved Biden. “You just saved me — all the press is looking at me."
"No, it really is me, I promise,” the senator said, thanking Hudson. “Well, I’m speechless that you’d go out and vote for us. Thank you very much.”
If “God love ya” is one of Biden’s favorite expressions, “ladies and gentlemen” is surely another. And it was just that trademark Biden line that he used to convince a second call recipient that it was really him on the line.
"This is Joe Biden, Senator Biden. How you doing? Ladies and gentlemen,” Biden began, laughing. “This is Joe Biden — you can tell by the way I say ladies and gentlemen!”
The next name on his list of people to call: Jared McCain.
"I’m calling Jared McCain. He’s John’s cousin,” Biden quipped. “I’m joking — that’s a joke. I don’t know who he is, OK?"
McCain didn’t answer, so the senator left a message:
"Hey Jared, this is Joe Biden. Running for vice president with Barack. I’m down in 312 Palm Avenue making calls. And hoping that, obviously, you know there’s only seven days left. And you know they’ve extended voting now from seven to seven…
"I also was calling to see if there’s any possibility you would consider helping us out. We have some shifts down here we need folks making the calls, knocking on doors. Three o’clock and 11 o’clock, earlier in the morning. Any way you can help, that’d be great, Saturday and Sunday. Or if you can help on Nov. 4…"
Biden left a number for McCain to call. "We sure can use your help, old buddy. Thanks a lot for taking — listening to the call."
The veep nominee then took the time to thank supporter Dolores Mitchell for her help in making calls. With the cross-state Tampa Bay Rays battling the Philadelphia Phillies for the World Series, Biden employed a baseball analogy.
"You know, in baseball, if you hit one out of three, you win the batting title," explained the avid sports fan. "I was sitting here listening to you, you were four out of four. You’re batting a thousand, kid."
And with that, Biden wrapped up his short stop at the office with a brief address to volunteers.
"Look, here’s the deal," he told the crowd. "The guy at the top of the ticket, he’s got to do the heavy lifting. So he’s up in the snow in Pennsylvania. I’m down here in the sunshine, you know what I mean? That’s the way it should be. I oughta tell him, when we’re vice president and president, that’s the deal. I go to the sunny places, he goes to the snow."
– Jake Tapper and Matt Jaffe