Biden is keynoter for big IDP fall fundraiser

News out this morning: 1988 and 2008 presidential candidate Joe Biden — the nation’s current vice president — will be the keynoter for the IDP’s fall fundraiser.  Biden did not speak at the 1987 Iowa Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner, as he had dropped out of the race before the event was held.  Biden was the keynote at the 1985 Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner according to online accounts of the ’86 dinner which featured then-Congressman Richard Gephardt as the keynoter.  I can find no reference online to the Biden speech in ’85.  The Iowa Democratic Party’s internal records on Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinners only go back as far as 1998.)

Biden served as the keynote speaker at the 2000 Iowa Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner.  In 2007 — the biggest night ever for Iowa Democrats’s annual fall fundraiser — Biden opened his speech at that J-J Dinner with a slap at the Obama supporters in the room.  Here’s the text from my blog post that evening:

“Hello folks, how are you?” Biden said when he reached the stage and then he turned to the Obama fans in the audience.  “Hello Iowa and hello Chicago.”  A direct shot at the Illinois senator, suggesting his legions of supporters in the hall are not Iowans.

Biden was last in Iowa in September of 2008, campaigning as Obama’s running mate. 

Read today’s news release from the Iowa Democratic Party below.


DES MOINES – Vice President Joe Biden will headline the Iowa Democratic Party’s 2009 Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, to be held Saturday, November 21 in Des Moines.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have the Vice President back in Iowa,” Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Michael Kiernan said Thursday.  “There is a great deal of admiration for Joe Biden among Iowa Democrats.”

The Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner is traditionally the party’s largest fundraising event.

In his role as the nation’s 47th Vice President, Joe Biden has a broad and critical portfolio, dealing with some of the most important issues on the president’s agenda. This includes oversight of the implementation of the $787 billion stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; chairing the White House Task Force on Middle Class Families; and overseeing the administration’s Iraq policy.

As a Senator from Delaware for 36 years, Biden was a leader on some of our nation’s most important domestic and international challenges. As Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 17 years, Biden was widely recognized for his work on criminal justice issues including the landmark 1994 Crime Bill and the Violence Against Women Act

As Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since 1997, Biden played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. foreign policy. He has been at the forefront of issues and legislation related to terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, post-Cold War Europe, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia.

Ticketing information for the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner can be found at

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. […] Much ado today about reports that Joe Biden is thinking, seriously, about running for president in 2016. That’s surely the signal he meant to send by agreeing to keynote the Iowa Democratic Party’s fall fundraiser this year. The thinking is that candidates looking to stay in the good graces of the Iowa Party for future caucuses take up otherwise thankless assignments like this. […]