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Joe Biden update: Investing in a N.Y. congressman

October 28, 2009 |  2:16 am

Democrat vice president joe Biden does something while the president speaks

As he has on many recent days, Vice President Joe Biden was talking at another Democratic fundraiser last night, this one at a private home in New York City.

It was to benefit Democratic Rep. Steve Israel, who doesn't represent New York City. Israel's 2nd District seat (once held by Republican Rick Lazio) covers much of Long Island. About 100 donors attended.

Some people might think the presence of the vice president of the United States at a Steve Israel fundraiser could have something to do with payback for Israel bowing to the White House suggestion five months ago that he probably really shouldn't pursue a political challenge to New York's appointed Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in a party primary next year.

That kind of bargain would be silly, of course. And political.

Biden spoke for about 30 minutes. The usual stuff about taking care of the middle class and what an awfully deep hole he and Barack Obama found the country in last January after their successful $750- million campaign. It's a terrible hole that will take a long time to exit, he said. Maybe two terms. Who knows?

Biden, who was already a senator learning to gaffe way back when Obama was a sixth-grader, also praised Israel, saying the five-term congressman didn't really need Biden's help.

Then, the vice president made a rather pointed and candid admission, even for modern America's moneyed politics. He told the crowd of insiders, each of whom had paid $2,400 to access the event:

I just want you to know that supporting him is a smart investment.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Joshua Roberts / Bloomberg News