Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Proctors

November 20, 2017 11:19 PM

SCHENECTADY - Former Vice President Joe Biden took the stage at Proctors Theater in Schenectady Monday evening to the sound of the audience singing him happy birthday.

He had a lot of fans in the room of more than two-thousand people, including 20-year-old Alex Evans.

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“I said if I would ever get the opportunity to shake the vice president's hand tonight, I would be clean-shaven and I would look good doing it,” Evans said. 

“I am very excited about Joe Biden being here because he is the voice of some sort of a community in Schenectady,” said Ray Legere, co-owner of the Schenectady Armory Center.
The former vice president spent his 75th birthday in the Capital Region as part of a speaking tour for his new book, 'Promise Me, Dad."

The book captures his time as vice president after his late son, Beau Biden, was diagnosed with brain cancer.

“His ability to go on and take whatever really tough moments in his life and work them into being a solid leader,” said Congressman Paul Tonko (D-Amsterdam). “And I think it's what makes him unique.”

The discussion was moderated by Washington Post writer and MSNBC Contributor Jonathan Capehart. 

While bearing some very personal moments of his life during the event, Biden talked about his early life, his family and the death of his son, beau, in 2015.

With 45 years of public service experience, Biden also highlighted his 36 years as a U.S. Senator from Delaware and his time serving as Vice President under former President Barack Obama, whom he calls a friend. 

But its Joe Biden's ability to connect with the average "Joe" that seems to fuel his popularity.

“I think it's a human touch on the fact that he really is somebody that empathizes with the working class,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. 

“He seems to connect,” Legere said. “When he speaks to people he connects with them he's not pontificating. He's not lecturing. He's reaching out and communicating.”

Biden’s new book also touches on the time he considered running in the 2016 presidential election.

Its release comes as rumors swirl about a possible 2020 run for office. 

“He'd have my vote,” Evans said. “And I think I would love to see him swing it out with President Trump on the debate stage.”


WNYT Staff

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