The vice president gave an impassioned, 36-minute stumper this afternoon to about 150 people crowded into the basement of the Kansas City, North, home of Charles and Patty Garney.
Garney, of course, was the driving force behind the development of the upscale Briarcliff retail and office district.
The “basement,” which was a little nicer than most living rooms your pool reporter has visited, afforded luncheon diners an expansive view of Kansas City’s downtown skyline.
Diners, who paid a minimum of $500 to support the re-election of Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill were served their choice of fish, beef or vegetarian.
The McCaskill campaign declined to release a figure for how much was raised.
Biden described McCaskill as the “toughest, most principled person in the United States Senate.”
“I’m a strong, strong ally of hers,” Biden said.
“She knows who she is and what she believes in, and she’s willing to take risks to fight for what she believes in.”
Biden’s voice rose as he described the Republican Party, which is a different GOP than the one he knew as a young Delaware senator in the 1970s.
“It’s not your father’s Republican Party,” he said. “It’s a different Republican Party than the one I grew up in.”
Republicans today oppose even legislation they believe in, Biden said.
“This is the first group of Republican congressmen who will not vote for things I know they are for,” Biden said. They even oppose bills “they know would help the economy along.
“They are voting against things they absolutely, specifically voted for in the past.”
Biden only mentioned Mitt Romney a couple of times. He said Romney, like other Republicans, are decent people who simply don’t understand what it’s like to be unemployed or hold a job that doesn’t match one’s qualifications.
“The new Republican Party, they don’t get it,” Biden said. “They’re not bad guys, but they don’t get it.”
The key, he said, is for the middle class to thrive. When that happens, the lower and upper classes thrive, too.
Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver introduced McCaskill, who then introduced Biden. Both McCaskill and Biden mentioned Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, who was in the crowd, and said that they hoped she would one day run again.
Carnahan lost the 2010 Senate race to Republican Roy Blunt.
Oh, Jill Biden also was in town. She was at Park University meeting with Missouri National Guard members and their families.
Republicans said it was no surprise that President Obama would dispatch Biden to Missouri.
"After all, McCaskill was one of the president's earliest and most vocal supporters, and she has been a reliable rubberstamp vote for his job-killing liberal agenda," said Lloyd Smith, the Missouri GOP's executive director.