by Ted Manna
AR Political Correspondent
October 29, 2011
FLA. DEMOCRATS HEAR IT LIKE THEY WANT IT
ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 29, 2011 -- Vice President Joe Biden brought his attack-dog style to the Florida Democratic Party State Convention Friday night, snapping viciously at Republican Presidential candidates and snarling at a Republican-controlled Congress more bent on defeating President Barack Obama, he said, than doing anythng about our country's problems.
Addressing delegates at the Legacy of Leadership Dinner at Disney Contemporary Resort Convention Center, Biden accused Republicans of "standing in the way of progress” and being out of touch with an American public battered by high unemployment, plummeting home values, record number of home foreclosures and ever-increasing gap between the rich and the middle class.
"I think they just don't know what the American people are going through,” Biden hissed. "I think they just don't know the people I grew up with,” referring to his own working class background
Biden and his Democrats have a much tougher campaign this cycle than in 2008, with public confidence in Congress and the President at all time lows, and two opposing political movements, the conservative Tea Party and the upstart Occupy Wall Street, at each other's throats.
Biden is not deterred however. When asked by the American Reporter how he hoped to recapture the fervor and enthusiasm of the grassroots support he and Obama enjoyed in the previous campaign, he gestured to the cheering crowd surrounding him and observed calmly, "Just look.”
Biden reproached the Republican Congressional leadership for being "obstructionists,” chiding Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Majority leader Eric Cantor, for congratulating French and English allies in the victory in Libya, and ignoring American involvement.
"These guys have zero credibility, zero,” Biden sneered. "This ain't your father's Republican Party.
"I have serious supporters say to me 'why don't you sit down with Republicans.' We sat down with them for two and a half years,” he growled. "They can't remember their own party.
"We cannot wait. The American people cannot wait. They cannot continue to be subjected to what they are doing.”
Waiting on the monorail going to the Resort where Biden was slated to speak, there was a security delay, uncomfortable for some folks here at the resort getting ready to enjoy a Halloween party.
"They had to pick a day when the resort is having a party,” grumbled Dagney Proctor (a Republican named after a character in Ayn Rand’s novel, "Atlas Shrugged”) as she and her husband John, both Herman Cain supporters, struggled with two tired but happy children in their arms after a long day at Epcot . Madison, 2, was sleeping in her arms, and Jackson, 4, was anxious to get his costume on and go the party at Magic Kingdom.
"They could have picked a better weekend,” she said despairingly.
This was Florida's Democrats time to shine, however, and not even the grey, rainy day could really dampen spirits.
"This is one of the great nights for Democrats, so let's get started,” exhorted Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith.
Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) challenged the delegates to get "fired up,” echoing the campaign slogan from Obama's 2008 run for the Presidency.
"As a mother I believe it's more important for my kids to have a good education rather than giving the rich tax breaks.
"We can't afford not to tell the truth. Americans don't settle. Americans don't quit. Let's make 2012 personal. On to victory” she urged..
While some delegates remain dissatisfied with progress made during Obama's watch, they are still optimistic about the upcoming election.
Escambia County State Committeeman Lynn Laird, a Pensacola resident, commented, "We need a lot more accomplishments.
"There are a lot of Democrats who are not enthused right now because our President had to give in too much, so we're wondering why he had to cave in. I am a Chicago Daley Democrat. Daly wouldn't be givin’ in, he'd be kickin’ ass.”
Jane Chapman, a precinct leader from Boca Raton, Fla., observed companionably, "Joe is such a regular guy and Debbie is absolutely fabulous, doing an awesome job.
"The biggest problem we have right now is that the Republican Party doesn't care about America They care more about beating Barack Obama then they do about America, and it's time that we care about America. It's as simple as that.”
Chapman does community outreach for assisted living facilities and nursing homes and claims that cuts to Medicaid and other programs are hurting the elderly.
"These people are hurting and they're worried,” she said, "and when you're in your eighties and in ill-health, you shouldn't have to worry about stuff like that.”
Characteristically, she was not complimentary to the Republican presidential candidates, but encouraged about the upcoming contest.
"If people listen and pay attention and learn we are going to be fine,” she advised. "The prospect of any of those people becoming President scares me to death."