We're getting the pool report out of a Creigh Deeds lunch fundraiser with Vice President Joe Biden, where the VP (called the VPOTUS is the text) says that Virginia's race for governor remains winnable for Democrats.
Here's the text:
About 70 supporters of R. Creigh Deeds, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Virginia, gathered at the home of Ray Mahmood in Alexandria, Va., for a private fundraiser featuring VPOTUS.
Donations ranged from $1000 - $2400 a plate, and lunch in a dining room overlooking the Potomac River consisted of chicken tikka, beef kebab, spinach, yogurt with eggplant, rice. Dessert included French pastries, baklava, and gulab jamun. Among the attendees were Rep. Jim Moran, state Sen. Toddy Puller, Del. Jennifer McClellan, Del. Mark Sickles.
VPOTUS arrived around 1:15 pm. He posed for pictures in a "salon" or "side room" on the main floor of Mahmood's elegant, gated mansion, according to a spokesman. He then descended the stairs with Deeds and Mahmood to begin the program. Mahmood opened the remarks by introducing Deeds, whom he said would be devoted to quality education, fixing transportation, being pro-business and "pro-family," as well as keeping taxes low and the state's bond-rating high. "The thing about Creigh is, what you see is what you get," he said to laughter and applause.
Deeds spoke for about 10 minutes and warmly welcomed the vice president, calling him a "working class hero."
"He's from Scranton, I've been through Scranton," Deeds joked. He said he, President Obama and Biden have a similar vision and face similar obstacles. He spent most of his time talking about his record on fiscal stewardship and education, and recent polls that show him running behind Republican Robert F. McDonnell. "These next 26 days -- I appreciate your help so much. But I will tell you that this is not enough. We've got to be committed to driving every single vote out that we can to make sure we get the right results on Nov. 3, because it's all going to come down to who's going to work harder."
Biden spoke for more than 30 minutes. He opened his remarks with a joke about Mahmood's lavish home. "I want you know there is a law in Delaware that I don't know if you're aware of. It says you are able to adopt someone older than you. I'm available."
He spoke highly of Deeds, describing him over and over again as sincere and authentic and a pragmatist in the tradition of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.
"You know, there's real and there's the other thing. The other thing sometimes wins. Real always wins," he said. "The fact of the matter here is that, of all the people over the years that I've had the honor of campaigning for, the ones who always turned out to be the best leaders are the ones who had two things. My dad used to say I don't expect the government to solve my problems, I expect them to understand them. I expect them to understand them. This guy with his background in his [inaudible] neighborhood, and who he is, understands what tens of thousands of Virginians and communities in America are going through right now. It's not just cerebral."
Then: "When he gives you his had, you know he's going to do it. That's not a currency in overabundant supply."
He attacked Deeds' opponent on two fronts: McDonnell transportation proposal, which Democrats have said will take money away from education, and what Biden perceived from news reports as McDonnell's failure to repudiate Bush's "neoconservative" economic agenda.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the state of Virginia and every other state in America inherited a god awful situation as a consequence of 8 years of absolutely failed, overwhelmingly failed economic and public policy," he said. While there were other contributing factors, he said, "the rapidity with which we declined was completely thoroughly attributable to a set of economic policies that were born out of -- we don't even use the word anymore -- a neoconservative attitude about how you make an economic policy."
"Unless, as we Catholics say, your opponent's had an epiphany," he told Deeds, "I don't know that I see much -- maybe it's there -- to indicate that he rejects the basic premises underlying what has been the neoconservative notion of economic growth and stimulation."
Here's a second update:
"I hope to god you understand this race is winnable," Biden said toward the end of his remarks. "I was told another good friend of mine running for governor in another state. They declared him dead two weeks ago. He is now ahead. We are going to win that race."
He added that he would come back to Virginia to support Deeds multiple times if necessary before Election Day.