Vice President Joe Biden was in Minneapolis Thursday night for a private fundraiser in Edina, and MPR’s Tom Scheck posted a pool-report of the visit on Polinaut.
The $7,500-per-plate dinner raised almost $250,000 for the Democratic National Committee and Organizing for America, the Democrats’ grassroots campaign arm. It was held at the home Robert Pohlad, son of late Twins owner Carl Pohlad and the CEO of PepsiAmerica.
Among the 30 people attending were former Vice President Walter (Fritz) Mondale; Alida Messinger, the sister of Sen. John Rockefeller, D-W.Va.; and state Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul.
Half of Biden’s speech was about his relationships with Mondale and the late former Vice President Hubert Humphrey,who both helped him stay in the Senate after his wife and daughter were killed and two other children were critically injured in a car accident in 1972, the report said.
“All I could do is think how to get the hell home…I did not want to stay,” Biden said. Mondale, Humphrey and a few others made it possible for him to stay in the Senate, he said.
Mondale, he said, had confidence in him and that gave him confidence in himself.
Biden called Mondale the “single most prominent vice president in American history” and the father of the modern vice presidency.
Addressing Mondale, he said, “Your shoes are awful big to fill.”
The vice president said he understands the criticism that the Obama administration has taken on too much all at once. But, he said, the issues of energy, education and health care were too urgent to lay aside.
“We don’t have a choice,” Biden said. “We are not in this for incremental change. Incremental change will not work.”
He told the donors that they are going to “take a lot of heat” but that the administration will succeed.
Scheck includes the Republican response to the Biden visit:
“Rather than holding a closed door fundraiser for the DNC, Vice President Biden should convene a public forum with Minnesota’s medical technology companies to explain why the Administration wants to tax them out of existence. Minnesota’s medical device industry develops the newest in innovative medical breakthroughs, and Vice President Biden should explain why he wants to impose a $4 billion tax on them that will kill jobs. Instead, the Vice President will quietly fly in, have a nice dinner, raise cash for the Democrats, all while trying to pay for a government-run health care experiment at the expense of Minnesota jobs,” said LeRoy Coleman, RNC Spokesman.