Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the critical role community colleges play in filling high-demand jobs during his visit to Monroe Community College’s Applied Technologies Center in Rochester, N.Y., on Jan. 29, 2014 Joining him on stage were Mike Mandina, president of Optimax Systems and MCC alumnus, and Dr. Jill Biden, who teaches at Northern Virginia Community College (Annandale, Va.). Photo by Monroe Community College/Vasiliy Baziuk.
As seen in The Presidential Visits Series in its entirety: James Monroe to Donald Trump, over the last five years, Michael J. Nighan and myself have chronicled the visits of American presidents, and other notable political figures, to Rochester.
Today, we first go out of a limb. Talker of the Town declares that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has won the 2020 election and will be inaugurated as the 46th president on January 20th, 2021.
Furthermore, barring any tragic event between now and inauguration or a successful Trump coup, we are adding Biden to the series. In official vice presidential capacities, Biden was in Rochester on January 29th, 2014 and July 28th, 2015. In 1988, when a Delaware senator, Biden spoke at the University of Rochester.¹
If Biden does not visit Rochester during his presidency, he will join Calvin Coolidge as the only person to visit Rochester as vice president but not as president. Like Biden, Lyndon Baines Johnson was a senator, vice president and president. Johnson did visit as a senator and president, but not as vice president. Theodore Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush visited as both vice president and president. Hubert Humphrey visited Rochester as a senator and vice president. So too did Al Gore, as senator in a Democratic presidential nomination debate at the Eastman Theatre with Michael Dukakis and Jesse Jackson and as vice president in address on education at the University of Rochester. Andrew Johnson visited as president, but not when he was a senator later in his career.
In 2014, Biden toured Monroe Community College’s Applied Technologies Center where he highlighted federal efforts for “middle skills” training For example, MCC’s Applied Technology program provides skills not gained in high school but not requiring a four year education.
In 2015, Biden made a brief stop at Rochester’s new Photonics Hub.
On February 10th, 1988 then Senator Biden (De) spoke at the University of Rochester.
Among other topics, Biden discussed his failed 1988 presidential bid. Biden says he lacked self-control when he gave a hostile response to a question about his academic background.
The next day, February 11th, 1988, Biden was scheduled to speak at the Rochester Institute of Technology, but cancelled due to illness. On the 12th, Biden underwent surgery to repair an aneurysm in an artery supplying blood to his brain at Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Biden graduated from Syracuse Law School in 1968, and may well have visited Rochester during his time in Central New York. On Sep 10th, 2009, Vice President Biden spoke at his alma mater.
In November, 1972 then Senator-elect (DE) Biden made a visit to Syracuse.¹NOTE
On a related note, one set of Biden’s great-grandparents, James and Catherine Roche Finnegan, lived in Rochester in the late 1860s before moving to the Scranton, PA area. Apparently James was a musician.