Talker declares Biden to be election winner; Joe joins the Presidential Visits to Rochester series

Talker declares Biden to be election winner; Joe joins the Presidential Visits to Rochester series

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.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 30 Jan 2014. (top caption p. A1) Vice President Joe Biden poses for a photo with MCC students Andrew Delorme, right,and Torrey Holmes. JAMIE GERMANO/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER (middle caption p. A6) Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, meet with Monroe Community College student Robin Angevine-Funderburk during a tour of the college’s precision machining lab on Wednesday. JAMIE GERMANO/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER (bottom caption p. A6) Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with student Bob Krest during his visit to Monroe Community College in Brighton on Wednesday. Krest says he was laid off by Eastman Kodak Co.after working there for more than three decades. JAMIE GERMANO/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

In 2015, Biden made a brief stop at Rochester’s new Photonics Hub.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Jul 28, 2015 (left caption p. A1)Vice President Joe Biden talks with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday at Canal Ponds Business Park, where he announced the arrival of the new firm AIM Photonics. Biden ,Cuomo,officials laud photonics hub in Rochester. SHAWN DOWD/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER  (left captions p. A6) Vice President Joe Biden announced federal funding for a photonics institute on Monday at SUNY Poly Canal Ponds. JAMIE GERMANO//STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERA car is redirected to another area of Canal Ponds before Biden’s visit, which was short and tightly choreographed. He was due in New York City for an appearance Monday afternoon. Unlike when President Barack Obama stopped in town in 2013, there was no time for lunch. TINA MACINTYRE-YEE//STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER 

On February 10th, 1988 then Senator Biden (De) spoke at the University of Rochester.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Thu, Feb 11, 1988 · Page 15

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.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Thu, Feb 11, 1988 · Page 15

Joe Biden speaks on the River Campus in 1988, shortly after dropping out of the presidential race that year. (University of Rochester photo / University Archives)

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

Fri, Feb 12, 1988 · Page 5

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.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Thu, Sep 10, 2009 · Page 11 Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Middle Class Task Force meeting on college access and affordability held at Syracuse University on Wednesday. The panel included the treasury and education secretaries. JEN RYNDA/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER 

In November, 1972 then Senator-elect (DE) Biden made a visit to Syracuse.

Tue Dec 19 1972 The Post-Standard (Syracuse) U.S.-Sen.-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Mrs. Biden as they appeared at Hancock Field when the couple visited the area in November [1972]. Along with her daughter, Neilia Biden was killed in a car crash on 12/18/72.


Nighan comments:

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.


The Presidential Visits Series in its entirety: James Monroe to Donald Trump

Why I voted for Adam Bello and a trip down Talker political memory lane, 2015 – 2020

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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