There may be no “Ready for Biden” campaign here, prodding the vice president to launch a third bid for the presidency, but he received an enthusiastic welcome Thursday by the nation’s largest gathering of liberal activists.
The voluble Biden – who gets eclipsed by Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton in the hearts of many of the activists – got love for his “candor,” and a salute for prodding President Barack Obama into endorsing gay marriage.
“Those of us who hold marriage equality near and dear to our hearts and our homes, we know Joe Biden spoke first,” said Arshad Hasan, the executive director of ProgressNow, as he introduced Biden to the stage. “I give Joe Biden credit for changing the dialogue in the White House.”
Biden, who arrived late after consulting with Obama and the national security team over the downing of a plane over Ukraine, demurred only a bit.
“I’m flattered,” said Biden, who beat Obama to the punch in 2012, saying on Meet the Press that he supported same-sex couples getting married. Three days later, President Obama announced that after “evolving” he would back gay marriage.
Biden said his remarks on Meet the Press weren’t planned, “but when I get asked a direct question, I give a direct answer. I come out of civil rights movement, there’s not a way I could sit there and be asked about the civil rights issue of our day and not be silent.”