Election Day: Joe Biden is heading to the battleground state of Pennsylvania today (20 electoral votes) before he is expected to give election night remarks back here in Wilmington, Delaware.
Happy Election Day!
I’m your print pooler for today. Your pooler took a covid test at 1a here in Wilmington — negative — and the pool met in the lobby of the Westin at 6a ET.
The campaign hasn’t provided any guidance on timing for today’s events in Scranton and PHL, though your pooler has asked multiple times and will be sure to send a note updating you all (whether FPPO or reportable) when I get more details from them. Figured it will be helpful for everyone to be aware of timing and when they might expect to see/hear Joe Biden today.
As aforementioned, we’ll be heading to the battleground state of Pennsylvania today (20 electoral votes) before Biden is expected to give election night remarks back here in Wilmington, Delaware.
At 6:06a we started rolling to the cutout to get swept before travel.
Arrived at the cutout at 6:23a and it was 43 degrees out. Got swept and left 7:07a when the sun started to emerge. It’s a lovely fall day here in Wilmington. We are rolling to St. Joseph’s church now.
Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, as well as two of their granddaughters (Finnegan and Natalie), entered St. Joseph’s church at 710a. We expect they’ll be in mass for 45 mins to 1 hour from that time. The pool is back in the van.
Joe Biden left St. Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church earlier than the pool expected: 7:27a. He exited to the right, walking around the side of the church, and then across the street to a cemetery where his late son Beau, his first wife, and his daughter are buried. Biden and his family walked around for a few minutes (we started rolling at 736a), but the pool held in the van during their visit, so we could only see from a distance through the windows.
We are heading to the airport now for our trip to PA.
We arrived at the airport 7:52am. Biden asked by pool how he’s feeling today. “Good!” he said with a thumbs up, and then climbed the stairs to his campaign plane. Will attach a pic if I can to this email and tweet videos/photos (@alexi).
Before entering the plane, Biden turned around at the top of the stairs and faced us, staring out just past us for a few moments but didn’t say anything. We are wheels up to Scranton now.
The flight was a short 40ish minutes. The pool was provided bagel breakfast sandwiches on the plane to Scranton. We had a choice between bacon and sausage (with egg and cheese), and your pooler got the obviously better choice (bacon).
After deplaning Biden approached the pool before getting into his motorcade.
“These are the only two of my grandchildren who have never been to Scranton. So we’re going home,” Biden told reporters. He then walked away and got into his car. His two granddaughters (who were mentioned in an earlier report) were in the motorcade already — they went straight in after deplaning.
We are rolling to the local event in Scranton. Still no word on where.
Not including full remarks because most was familiar themes and poor ability to hear clearly outside.
Joe Biden greeted about 50-60 supporters outside of Local Union 445 here at 314 Pear Street in Scranton. He gave brief remarks via a megaphone with a Biden/Harris sticker on the side and at first fumbled finding the button on the side of the megaphone. Once he got it working, Biden hit on familiar themes like restoring the soul of the nation, rebuilding the middle class, and uniting the country.
“It’s good to be home,” Biden said. After telling folks he unanimously won Dixville Notch, New Hampshire — the first town in the US to count its votes — he joked: “Based on Trump’s notion, I’m going to declare victory tonight.” People laughed.
“Thanks for stepping up,” yelled one man to Biden. Others sporadically yelled things like “We love you Joe!” And “Thank you!” A “let’s go joe!” chant broke out as he was leaving.
The site served as a canvass kickoff/Democratic mobilization site for the campaign where their volunteers and staff congregated to get pumped up before knocking on doors today for Biden.
“What’s next?” Biden asked (seemingly rhetorically, in response to a yelled Q from a supporter) as he was walking away after his remarks. “We’re gonna go make some steel.”
Biden spotted giving some elbow bumps to folks — a preferred physical greeting during this global pandemic.
Sen. Bob Casey of Biden: “Today is the day that we show how much we appreciate what he’s done.”
After Biden’s brief remarks a man approached him, but far enough away that pooler could only make out that he was talking to Biden about an “obituary” and asking if he would make a phone call to someone. Pooler saw the man extend his phone with a contact on the screen ready to be dialed. Biden redirected the man to his nearby staffer who appears to take down info to set up a call.
Your pooler followed up with the man, Joe Gilbooley who lives in Scranton, after. He relayed that Susan Corbett, a family friend who is dying of cancer, is a big Biden supporter. She comes from a big Irish Catholic family like Biden, Gilbooley said, and unfortunately, he said she “probably has a couple of weeks” left to live. In spite of that, he said she desperately wanted to make it through Election Day in the hopes of seeing Joe Biden elected as president.
“He’s going to call her,” Gilbooley said. He shared with Biden that in anticipation of an untimely passing before today, she has already written her obituary and in it included a line imploring others to vote for Biden.
I’ll tweet photos and videos. Lots of white signs that say “Scranton loves Joe”
Biden made a brief stop at Sen. Bob Casey’s mother’s home at 10a for 5 minutes. The three chatted outside on the driveway.
A person at one of the houses next door (directly in front of the press van) was being carried by stretcher into an ambulance during this brief visit when Biden was outside. One person accompanying gave a thumbs up in our direction.
At 10:06 We made a stop at Joe Biden’s childhood home, where Anne Kearns currently lives. “I watch ya all the time,” Kearns told Biden outside during their brief public exchange. “I’m so proud of you.” Biden introduced his granddaughters briefly before that, mentioning as he has today that they hadn’t been to Scranton before today.
Biden’s and Kearns’ public exchange only lasted a couple of minutes before Biden went inside the house to “go see the kitchen” at 10:08a. I’m told from a person familiar with the house that the kitchen hasn’t been remodeled or anything to warrant a closer look, but that Biden “just loves the kitchen.”
At one moment before going inside, Biden pointed to an older woman standing across the street in front of her house, wearing a purple coat. “She’s lived there since I was a kid!”
Asked by pooler if he’s spoken with President Trump or his team today, Biden said he has not. He misheard me and thought I said “son” – have you talked about your son today – to which he said he has, but didn’t elaborate because I clarified my question.
At 1021 went across the street to the neighbor’s place.
This moment felt like a real campaign moment. Biden was completely surrounded by screaming supporters and press shoving each other to get the best access.
At one point your pooler was standing next to a young man who yelled: “He’s right there! Omg! That’s my future president.” -Mardan Daurilas, 19, who’s a first-time voter and told your pooler he cast his ballot last Friday.
There were lots of people lining the street across from his childhood home, like 130 probably, roughly all in masks (lots of Biden/Harris masks), a couple of Biden/Harris signs, and spotted at least one supporter wearing the blue tie dye Biden campaign t-shirt, as seen on Hailey Baldwin Bieber.
Biden got in the motorcade at 10:25. We’re rolling 10:26 and arrived at Hank’s Hoagies for another impromptu stop at 10:32 am.
Pooler spotted a man in a red Trump 2020 hat.
“From this house to the White House with the grace of God. Joe Biden 11-3-2020”
Joe Biden signed one of the living room walls in his childhood home today.
Biden exited 1037 and we are moving elsewhere. I’ll send more quotes from brief Biden remarks in a bit.
We were wheels up to Philly 11:23 am. We were greeted by giant hoagies on the plane wrapped in aluminum foil sitting atop white paper plates. Just landed here at 11:44. We’re hanging out for a bit before heading to the next stop
Previously promised quotes from his brief exchange with the pool after leaving his childhood home. I will also tweet a video of the exchange and you’ll hear the crowd erupt into a “Scranton loves Joe!” chant when he’s talking with us. He was accompanied by his two granddaughters who stood nearby.
Q: What’re you thinking about on the day you could be elected president?
“I’m thinking about my mom. Grandfather Finnegan had this home for years. Then Mrs. Kearns bought it from him and has owned it — there’s only been two families here — for I don’t know how many years now. So they had me sign years ago, up in the third floor … they had me sign my name. I just signed behind a picture in the living room.”
Q: Have you talked with President Trump today?
“No, I haven’t talked to President Trump today.”