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Joe Biden update: Opposes domestic violence but favors shiny shoes

March 31, 2010 |  5:42 pm

Democrat Vice president Joe Biden in Peoria 3-31-10

About 13 months ago, loyal Ticket readers will recall, a brand-new President Obama went back home to Illinois, to East Peoria to be precise, to tout the bounteous job-making attributes of his then-proposed, now-passed $787 billion economic stimulus bill.

There he was at the big Caterpillar plant proclaiming that if only the Congress so totally controlled by his own so divided Democrat party would pass the bill, the Caterpillar plant would start rehiring some of its 22,000 recently laid-off workers.

But moments later Caterpillar's CEO Jim Owens, told reporters: "I think, realistically, no. The truth is we're going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again." D'oh!

The other day Caterpillar announced that like many other large corporations it was going to have to take a large write-off ($100 million) in the second quarter to cover hidden costs of another prized piece of Obama legislation, his beloved healthcare bill.

Oh, well, at least it tastA Shoeshine Standed good going down.

Anyway, Wednesday was another busy day for Vice President Joe Biden. He visited that effing epicenter of perceived middle America to take on another subject, understandably not the economic stimulus plan he's been in charge of driving.

Alongside Transportation Secy. Ray LaHood and Sen. Dick Durbin, Biden came out unequivocally in favor of reiterating his long-standing opposition to domestic violence and sexual abuse.

 "No man, no man, no man," the vice president told 1,100 in the audience, "under any condition other than self-defense, has the right to raise his hand to a woman. No condition. None. Zero."

After the Civic Center event, Biden went by a place that's been a downtown Peoria institution for decades, George's Shoeshine.

Owned by George Manias, the stand is a regular stop for visiting pols to be seen mingling with regular folks. Joe's boss Barack got his footwear worked on there, as did George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.

"I never thought he would stop by my shop," said George, who put in about five minutes' work on the shoes of the ex-senator who first walked into that body when Obama was wearing sixth-grade sneakers. "He’s a real nice man. He talks just like an ordinary person, a nice guy."

Biden's visit, however, did nothing to stimulate the heartland economy. George would not accept payment.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune