Pulse: Chatter: Politics: Biden Time
During the cold, endless winter of the Democratic presidential nomination process, many of Philadelphia’s power players chose to ignore the state’s “third senator” and put their stock — and resources — behind presumptive front-runner Hillary Clinton. But after Clinton’s implosion, the stars aligned for -Scranton-born Delaware Senator Joe Biden—and for a handful of his loyal supporters scattered about Philly. While one can imagine the calls flooding Wilmington from the old Clinton cadre (“Really, Joe, I was pulling for you all along”), even they needn’t worry: With local roots as deep as Biden’s — and with the Obama-Biden ticket needing to carry Pennsylvania to win — by now all’s surely forgiven.
The Philadelphian: Ed Rendell, Governor
Biden Ties:Though Rendell threw his considerable heft behind Hills, he didn’t formally endorse a candidate until after his old buddy Biden dropped out following his dismal performance in the Iowa caucuses. The opportunities — personally, politically, and for the state — of a Biden vice presidency could be considerable for our good Guv.
The Philadelphian: Ronald Rubin; developer; shopping-mall mogul; chairman and CEO of Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust
Biden Ties: Rubin and Biden met 35 years ago when Rubin was doing a big real estate project in Delaware; the two have been friends ever since. Rubin, 76, has donated thousands to Biden’s various campaigns over the course of decades. “He’s like us,”
The Philadelphian: Alan Kessler; Philadelphia attorney and Wolf Block partner; chairman of Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service
Biden Ties: Kessler and Biden both grew up in Wilmington, but met as adults, under professional circumstances. When Kessler was nominated for the U.S. Postal Service, Biden introduced him to his colleagues at the Senate hearing; afterward, the two ate sandwiches in Biden’s office. Kessler formally supported Hillary, but any damage done appears to have been healed — he’s now a vocal Biden supporter.
The Philadelphian: Wayne Kimmel; Managing partner, ETF Venture Funds
Biden Ties: Lifelong family friend of Biden and his two sons; a prominent ally who notes that Biden’s a “strong supporter of the Jewish community,” he threw a series of fund-raisers for the Senator’s presidential bid, including a $2,300-per-couple party and a $1,000-a-head Biden birthday fete.
The Philadelphian: Richard Vague; Co-founder and CEO of Energy Plus; former CEO of Barclays Bank Delaware; founder of First USA
Biden Ties: Met Biden when Vague relocated his company from Texas to Delaware in 1987; what was initially a professional relationship blossomed into friendship. An -independent-minded conservative, he’s donated thousands to Biden’s campaigns over the years; calls the potential VP “pragmatic, not an ideologue.”
The Philadelphian: Ira Lubert, Co-founder of Lubert-Adler Real Estate Funds and Independence Capital Partners
Biden Ties :The powerful bajillionaire (who serves on the boards of directors for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, the Franklin Institute and the Wistar Institute, to name but a few) got involved with Biden’s run via Vague; offered up his penthouse office for a successful packed-house fund-raiser last fall, which he co–hosted with Vague and Eckert Seamans law partner Bernie Munley.
The Philadelphian: Peggy Amsterdam, President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance (shown)
Biden Ties :Amsterdam’s son and Biden’s daughter were in preschool together in Wilmington before his first presidential race; prior to moving to Philly, she worked with him as director of the state division of the arts in Delaware. (“He’s always been an arts supporter.”) Also a friend of Biden’s wife Jill.