Former Vice President Joe Biden Announces His Candidacy           ... 1 of 6 >
"We choose hope over fear, truth over lies, and, yes, unity over division."

May 18, 2019 - About three weeks after announcing his candidacy, on April 8, former Vice President Joe Biden held a kickoff rally at Eakins Oval in Philadelphia.  Biden selected Philadelphia as "the birthplace of our democracy" for the event; he has also established his campaign headquarters here. 

It was a fine sunny day, and security estimated a crowd of about six thousand people attended the event.  By virtue of of his service as vice president under President Obama and his long tenure in the Senate, Biden is seen as the frontrunner among the 23 Democrats seeking to challenge President Trump.  Still it is early—there are more than eight months until the first votes are cast—and with the large field anything could happen. 

After an introduction by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, the former vice president spoke for about 29 minutes, emphasizing the need for unity (prepared remarks/reactions).  At the same time, Biden mentioned Trump by name far more than any of the other Democratic candidates who have done a formal announcement speech.  One attendee described this as "gutsy." 

Charlie Lavine and his wife drove from Lawrenceville, NJ to attend.  Lavine, who supported Biden when he ran in 1987, cited Biden's "40 year record of getting something done, of being in the center of the action."  Shawn Halley, a computer programmer from Trumbull, CT, took the Amtrak down from Bridgeport.  Pointing to Biden's character, he described himself as "a big Joe supporter," and said Biden could "bring us back to a time of normalcy."  Thiess Baugh cited Biden's track record and added "he is so daggone genuine."

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