Jill Biden campaigned Sunday in Seattle on behalf of her husband, former Vice President Joe Biden, urging a return to civility in politics while avoiding mention of the explosive controversy over President Donald Trump’s effort to enlist Ukrainian officials in an investigation of the Biden family.
Speaking at a pair of private fundraisers, Biden asked donors to imagine the summer of 2021.
“You’re sipping your coffee. You pick up the morning paper, and the headline isn’t about some late-night tweet storm,” she said during an appearance at The Riveter, a coworking space in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Instead, Biden conjured future headlines about funding universal prekindergarten and the U.S. rejoining the Paris climate accord — and “someone finally standing up to the NRA” — a mention that drew enthusiastic applause from the crowd of about 120.
Biden asked the audience to visualize a president speaking on TV without making them want to switch the channel, and even calling in the kids to watch. “We can be proud of a president that brings families together instead of tearing them apart. A president who believes our best days are ahead of us. That’s Joe Biden,” she said.
Without naming Trump, Biden said she and her husband were motivated to launch another campaign after seeing the rise of divisive rhetoric, and by white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. “We all feel it. The hatred, the bigotry marching through the streets,” she said.
Biden spoke at a second private fundraiser Sunday at the home of Jennifer McCausland, a former deputy state insurance commissioner and public-affairs firm owner, who is active in animal-welfare causes.
McCausland praised Biden for her career as an educator and for earning multiple postgraduate degrees, all while being married to “a significant politician.”
“That’s been the hard part!” Biden joked, drawing laughs from the audience of about 100 supporters, who sipped white wine and drew close to hear her at the luxury Mount Baker home overlooking Lake Washington.
After her speech, state Sen. Marko Liias, D-Everett, made a pitch for donations. He said the former vice president has stood for working people, such as Liias’ parents, Finnish immigrants who raised a family as a carpenter and school-lunch server.
As a public servant, Liias said he’d already “dug deep” to write a check with “more digits than I was ready to do.” He urged those attending to “add a zero” and max out their contributions to Biden’s campaign ahead of a Sept. 30 fundraising deadline.
The visit by Biden came two days after a Seattle campaign swing by California Sen. Kamala Harris, a rival for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, who attended fundraisers and a gun-safety discussion.
On Monday, another Democratic candidate, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, is scheduled to campaign here, holding a 9 a.m. “meet and greet” at Zoka Coffee near University Village, as well as a private fundraiser.