Biden Takes Obama's Hard Sell to Voters

The Vice-president has been the designated traveling salesman for the President as he tries to drum up support for Democratic candidates

(Bloomberg) — He's flown 330,000 miles since taking office, the equivalent of circling the globe 13 times, much of it campaigning for Democrats and telling anxious voters that the $814 billion stimulus measure is working. Vice President Joe Biden knows it's a hard sell. "Less bad is never good enough," Biden said in an interview on board Air Force Two on Oct. 8, the same day that Labor Department figures showed the jobless rate held steady at 9.6 percent in September, the last yardstick before voters in the Nov. 2 elections determine which party controls Congress. "Voters want to be told the truth," Biden said on the way to Madison, Wisconsin, jacketless, kneeling against the back of an airplane seat and holding gold-trimmed aviator sunglasses. "They want to know, 'Tell me, man, do I have a shot?'" he said, his enthusiasm undeterred by a cold. With unemployment topping 9.5 percent for 14 straight months, Biden is having difficulty trumpeting the 3.3 million jobs created or saved by the White House's economic stimulus. "It's just really hard to convince people that when there weren't, up until the first of the year, when there weren't net new jobs it's awful hard to say, 'It's working,'" he said at the end of a three-state campaign swing Oct. 7-8 for four Democratic candidates in Wisconsin, Missouri, and Washington. "It's counterintuitive."

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