Vice President Joe Biden watches as a Benny Marconi's employees cuts… (Matt Rourke / Associated…)
ROANOKE, Va. – Vice President Joe Biden, conceding he’s always been the optimistic sort, nonetheless predicted a strong victory for President Obama that would “send a message” to the nation, helping to break the recent gridlock as Washington faces a fiscal cliff.
In between two scheduled campaign rallies, Biden made a trio of unscheduled local stops Monday, the kind he’s made for months in small towns throughout battleground states. Though he was hurried in the final hours, Biden’s mood was light as he repeatedly said he felt good about the final outcome on Tuesday.
As he delivered pizza to volunteers at the campaign’s field office in this southwestern Virginia town, Biden also spoke hopefully of what could be accomplished in a second term, calling the past four years’ stalemate an “aberration.”
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The bipartisanship on display as local and state officials collaborated with the administration after Hurricane Sandy was a hopeful sign of what is to come, he said.
“It’s time to put this hard-edged ideology behind us,” Biden told volunteers. “Americans have always done best when they’ve come together in a crisis. And I look at these last couple years, the last four years, as sort of an aberration. Because I think the fever’s going to break here.”
Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) shared the sentiment of an Australian leader who said that the United States was “one budget deal away from American preeminence for the next 25 years.”
“And it’s true,” Biden said. “It’s literally true. It’s going to take principled compromise. That’s what the president is. He’s principled.”
Reflecting on his role in the campaign, Biden noted he’s spent most of his time campaigning in the “so-called firewall,” Midwestern states like Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin that could alone hand Obama a second term if he carries all three, along with other states seen as already leaning his way.
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“We’re going to win all three of those states. We’re going to win Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado. [And] we have a chance not just to win but actually to make a real statement about unifying this country,” he said.
Earlier, even after saying he stood by his prediction of a significant win, Biden told reporters that he’d be happy with even just a “one-vote majority.”
“You’ve been with me long enough to know that I’m always optimistic. But I really do feel good,” he said.
And he offered, as is his trademark, a family expression: “My grandfather would say, by the grace of God and the good will of the neighbors.”
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