VP Biden Employs ‘the Old Mubarak Excuse’ to Explain Tardiness at Fundraiser in ‘Obamaha’

By MichaelJames

Sep 30, 2010 8:08pm

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports:

After showing up 40 minutes late for a fundraiser today in Omaha, Vice President Biden hoped his audience would be understanding. He told the crowd of nearly 300 people at an event for congressional candidate State Sen. Tom White that his delay was caused by a dropped phone call with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak while aboard on Air Force Two.

After landing, Biden said he regained the signal and continued his talk with the Egyptian leader.

"I know you hear that excuse a lot, the old Mubarak excuse," joked Biden.

Biden made a sports prediction and a political prediction -– that Nebraska’s football team will make a run for the Big 12 conference title and Democrats will hold the majority in the House and Senate.

"We’re going to pick up some House seats nobody expected us to get, just like this one here [in Nebraska]," said Biden.

White is running against six-term Republican Rep. Lee Terry in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. That district may ring a bell from the 2008 presidential election when it became part of the Obama campaign’s all-out push to expand the electoral map.

Nebraska and Maine are the only states that award Electoral College votes by congressional district instead of by a winner-take-all system.

The Obama campaign saw an opportunity to pick up one electoral vote in the district that includes Omaha and its surrounding suburbs in case the Electoral College went down to the wire. It sent staff and resources there to get out the Democratic vote and in the final days of the 2008 campaign, Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., dubbed the district “Obamaha.”

Ten days after Election Day, Obama was declared the winner in the 2nd district. This was the first time since Nebraska began splitting its electoral votes that the statewide winner, McCain in 2008, did not win all five of the electoral votes.

–Karen Travers

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