Vice President Joe Biden was in town this afternoon. Here's The Bee's pool report from the event:
Vice President Joe Biden arrived before 3 p.m. - a bit earlier than expected - at a fundraiser at the Sutter Club, near the state Capitol in downtown Sacramento.
Pool was ushered into the hall about 3:17 p.m., just in time to hear Gov. Jerry Brown at the podium ahead of Biden. Biden started speaking about three minutes later to a crowd of about 130 people.
"Nothing has changed," Biden said of Brown, who was governor before from 1975 to 1983. Biden said he met Brown in San Francisco in the 1970s. He said, "He was the smartest guy in American politics then. He's still the smartest guy in American politics."
"He speaks his mind," Biden said, and the crowd laughed when he said, "I like guys like that."
Biden said the fundamental question of the campaign is, "Are we going to restore the American middle class?"
"It's a simple proposition: When the middle class does well, the poor have a shot, and the wealthy do very well. When the middle class is not doing well, and atrophies, the poor, they're in trouble, and only a certain part of the super-wealthy do very well."
Biden said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm all for people being wealthy. It's a good thing; it's not a bad thing. I come from the state of Delaware, one of the wealthiest states in America, and I have never played this populist card because I don't believe it. Wealthy people are just as patriotic as poor people. But the truth is it doesn't trickle down."
Biden said on environmental policies that Mitt Romney is "an anathema to things that the Republican Party used to stand for."
Talking about the slumping economy, he said, "We believe that the way to deal with this God awful recession we've inherited is that everyone is in on the deal."
Biden predicted $800 million in super PAC spending against Obama.
"Rooms like this all over America, you are enabling us to do the only thing that will allow us to counter $800 million spent on carpet-bombing of the president of the United States, my friend, scurrilously attacking him with these super PACs, because that's what they're going to spend. Remember I said it. They're going to spend about $800 million unaccountable dollars attacking my friend. There's only one way to counter that. That's to put together the single most consequential ground game in the history of American politics. We did it last time. It's got to be better this time."
Biden said Democrats are at an advantage in part because, for the first time he could recall, "Republicans aren't hiding the ball," but are "saying exactly what they believe."
He said, "They're just saying flat-out what they believe."
Biden finished after about 18 minutes. He wore a dark suit and tie and spoke at a podium before a black backdrop. Two large tapestries hung on one side of the hall. Guests ate meats and cheeses and stood around white tablecloth-covered bar tables. There were shouts of "Four more years!" as Biden ended.
Before Biden spoke, Brown, who walked into the Sutter Club with senior adviser Nancy McFadden, encouraged attendees to raise "a lot of money" for Obama in what Brown called a "watershed election."
He said, "We're either looking forward, we're looking at investment, inclusion for all of us, or we pull back to a rather narrow perspective of what America could be."
State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson were also in the audience.
Biden said Johnson has a bright political future. Not only can he play basketball, Biden said, "He knows how to play politics, too."
From a campaign official:
On Tuesday afternoon, the Vice President will attend a fundraising event at the Sutter Club in Sacramento, California. Ticket prices start at $500. All proceeds will go to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.
Holding area was lavish for a one-person pool - including 20 bottles of Dasani, 10 cans of Coke, three Sprites, three 7-ups and one large tray of ice.