News

Tech leaders meet with Vice President Joe Biden

Palo Alto dinner follows San Francisco fundraisers

Vice President Joe Biden dined with an A-list of tech business leaders at Zibibbo restaurant in downtown Palo Alto Wednesday night to discuss the economy, part of what the White House said is its "ongoing dialogue with the business community on working together to strengthen the economy, support entrepreneurship, and put the American people back to work."

A White House official said those scheduled to attend the evening event included Apple CEO Tim Cook; Netflix Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings; DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg; Zynga co-founder and CEO Mark Pincus; Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello; Symantec President and CEO Enrique Salem; Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg; Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt; and University of California, Berkeley, Professor Laura Tyson, who was President Bill Clinton's chief economic adviser during his administration's first four years.

The private event followed a San Francisco fundraising luncheon held in the Bently Reserve in the city's Financial District, which itself was followed by a more exclusive fundraiser -- with only about 10 or 20 donors -- at the same site.

Tickets to Wednesday's luncheon cost $2,500 per person, or $5,000 for admission to both the luncheon and a photo reception; $7,500 got a couple into both events, while $10,000 got all that plus a pre-reception clutch with Biden. Or, donors were encouraged to pony up $10,000 now for a package that got them not only this luncheon but also one with First Lady Michelle Obama in March and a third event with President Barack Obama sometime within the first quarter as well.

The first $5,000 from each donor goes to the Obama Victory Fund 2012 -- $2,500 each for the primary and general elections -- and anything above that goes to the Democratic National Committee.

The main event raised somewhere between $275,000 and $1.1 million; the campaign declined to give a more specific number.

Also Wednesday, Jill Biden, the vice president's wife, visited the VA Palo Alto Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, hearing from patients, staff and caregivers about care for wounded troops. After that, she and U.S. Chief Information Officer Aneesh Chopra took part in an "Apps for Heroes" event at the San Francisco office of Code for America, a nonprofit that pairs tech workers with local governments in need of innovation.

The vice president was scheduled to spend Wednesday night in San Francisco, before traveling Thursday to Reno and Los Angeles.

Press pool reporter Josh Richman of the Bay Area News Group was the only media allowed at the San Francisco fundraiser. He filed the following report:

Vice President Joe Biden was only slightly late arriving at the fundraising luncheon in the Bently Reserve, a former Federal Reserve Bank building converted into a conference center in the city's bustling Financial District. He spoke from 1:05 p.m. to 1:35 p.m.; the pool reporter was ushered out as he stepped away from the podium to start taking a few questions from the audience of about 110 campaign contributors.

Biden gave a shout-out to Rep. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, who was seated at one of the dining tables.

"He is soon to be back in the majority, we are soon to have Speaker Pelosi. … All we need is 25 seats, and we never expected to get so much help from the Republicans," Biden said.

Not only did President Barack Obama's administration inherit a "near-bankrupt economy," he said, but also a nation in which the "fundamental bargain" with its middle class had been broken: a bargain that promised those responsible for increased productivity would be rewarded, and that their children's prospects would be as good as or better than their own. The deal was that if you played by the rules, you could look forward to owning a decent home in a safe neighborhood, your kids could go to a good school and afford a college education, and you could comfortably afford your retirement.

"That all changed," he said. "It really changed with incredible rapidity starting in the year 2000."

Incomes fell and income disparity grew to levels not seen since 1921, with 1 percent of Americans now making more than 23 percent of the nation's income, Biden said.

Instability grew with "policies of giving free reign to Wall Street," he said. "We saw all the reasonable restraints taken off, there was no longer much accountability and the result was obvious." Something as basic as a home mortgage became an incomprehensible paper trail, he said, as most people's main sources of wealth -- their homes' value and their 401(k) retirement accounts -- shrank or evaporated entirely.

The nation had lost 8 million jobs by the time the Obama administration was in place and able to act, he said.

"We started in a pretty deep hole," Biden said, recalling the first time President Obama sat down behind his Oval Office desk. "He said, 'You know, Joe, we bought in too high."

"And so we acted, and when we acted things began to happen," the vice president said.

Forcing the auto industry to reorganize not only has meant the return of some jobs, but also a public opinion -- the first in decades -- that U.S. cars are better made than foreign cars, he said.

The nation has seen 22 months of private-sector job creation -- "not enough," he said, but a gain of 3.5 million jobs. And the administration has pulled "160,000 troops out of Iraq," he said, an observation that brought applause from the audience.

A Republican wave in the 2010 midterm elections slowed that progress, he said. Rating agencies have estimated the nation's unemployment would be closer to 7 percent than 8.5 percent had the Administration's job bill not been sunk by House Republicans.

Biden's only gaffe came as he reached for a football metaphor and spoke of "the Giants on their way to the Super Bowl," bringing good-natured boos. He quickly apologized, saying he's used to talking about the San Francisco Giants' baseball victories, and went on talking about the "49ers on their way" to the big game.

Sometimes, he said, it takes one big event to crystallize the nation's political feelings. "(Hurricane) Katrina catalyzed everything about the Bush presidency -- it was a metaphoric as well as an actual disaster."

Republicans aren't bad, he said: "They just have a fundamentally different view of America than we do. … It's absolutely basic." GOP presidential nomination frontrunner Mitt Romney is "not a bad guy, he just has a fundamentally different view."

Romney believes the government should let foreclosures happen so the market can bottom out before recovery begins, Biden said, noting that stance doesn't address the tens of thousands of families that would be out on the street as a result. Biden said some Republicans even believe the U.S. should sent troops back into Iraq.

"The American public has figured out who these guys are and what their priorities are," he said. "The notion of income disparity for them is 'class warfare,'" while government support of renewable energy is "anathema to their notion of what is needed." And they favor tax cuts for the richest Americans, he said.

"These guys are just very, very different than we are," Biden said. "This is going to be the clearest choice the American public has had … probably since the late '20s or early '30s."

He cited former Boston Mayor Kevin White, who once said, "Don't compare me to the Almighty -- compare me to the alternative." On that basis, he said, he predicts "not only are we going to win, but we're going to win back the House of Representatives."

"We owe you a great deal," he told the crowd, recalling the 2008 campaign. "We caught lightning in a jar, and you guys were the jar and the lightning."

Super PACs will spend an estimated $250 million to $350 million this year on advertisements attacking President Obama, he said, but donors like those present Wednesday will let him fight back with "the most incredible ground game in the country," fielding tens of thousands of volunteers. "That is the single best asset any campaign can have."

He praised the donors not only for giving the campaign money but for lending it their good names in convincing friends, neighbors and others to support President Obama.

"It's one thing to write a check; it's another to put yourself out there and say, 'Yeah, they're my guys.'"

He and the president are "not so cocky that we think we can't be beat … but we have no intention of being beat," he said.

He recalled his father telling him "a job is about a lot more than a paycheck; it's about your dignity, it's about your self-respect, it's about your place in the community." He recounted his father's decision to leave him, his siblings and his mother with relatives in Scranton while going to find work in Wilmington, Del.

"My father was a graceful, dignified, proud man, and it had to be an incredibly hard thing to do."

Biden said that's why he's "so damn proud to work with Barack Obama. ... This guy feels it in his bones."

Attendees dined on a salad of baby arugula, dried apricot and goat's milk cheese topped with candied cardamom pistachios and pomegranate vinaigrette; and either an applewood-smoked bacon, wild mushroom, herb and shallot grilled chicken breast with white cheddar polenta and sautéed rapini, or a roasted Portobello Wellington with mushroom duxelles, sautéed spinach, chevre, tomato and roasted red pepper coulis, with petits fours for dessert.

--Josh Richman, Bay Area News Group

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by liberty
a resident of University South
on Jan 18, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I was expecting some news about the Zibbibo event, but all I read was a summary of Joe Biden's speech.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 18, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Well, I think Zibbibo has gone hill a bit. Hopefully, though, they had the mussels - that's a great dish there. Perhaps a trip after to Empire Clothing for some vintage shopping?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tell-It-As-It-Is
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2012 at 8:08 am

The headline should have read: "Silicon Valley Democratic '1%ers' Buy Access To Obama's Inner Circle."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2012 at 8:39 am

Poor Joe Biden.

In his latest gaff, Biden stood before a crowd in San Francisco and stated emphatically that the "Giants are going back to the Super Bowl!"

Web Link

After some boos, he realized his mistake and claimed that it was because of the San Francisco Giants.

Oh well.

Go 49ers!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 19, 2012 at 10:48 am

Guess that means Zuckerberg must be a Republican?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Biden is an idiot. I hope the White House has childproof locks. Baseball my butt. He wasn't thinking about our baseball Giants. Probably a shiny dust mote had just flown by and caught his attention. Next time someone should put a picture on the palm of each hand to remind him where he is...but what pic? The GG Bridge? He's think it was the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and that he was in NY (Go 9ers), and if you put Coit Tower he would think it's the Leaning Tower of Pizza (Pun intended) and that he's in Italy, or the Transamerica building, he would think he's in...Vegas.

And, Zuckerberg has Obama on speed dial, why would you think he's a Republican?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Drugs for Rush
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Enough! is insanely jealous of an accomplished individual, considering what he has accomplished in his life (i.e. nothing). Typical drivel from the Rush "I want my drugs" Limbaugh crowd.
Get a life, Enough!.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by geek
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

If not knowing sports teams is an important issue, many of us computer geeks are in real trouble.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Julian
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm

If not knowing sports teams is an important issue, many of us who want to run a business are in real trouble.


(That's sardonicism, in case it's not obvious.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm

@Drugs for Rush says: Enough! is insanely jealous of an accomplished individual, considering what he has accomplished in his life (i.e. nothing). Typical drivel from the Rush "I want my drugs" Limbaugh crowd.

Get a life, Enough!.

THIS IS WHY I DESPISE THIS AREA SOMETIMES, it's populated with narrow minded sheep...most of 'em suffering from anal cranial inversion syndrome (seriously, we should take up a fund or start a support group) ... do you know the old adage about to ASSume is to...well, hopefully you know the rest. I choose to be optimistic today, so I'll figure you know how it goes. Just FYI: I haven't listened to Rush Limbaugh since 1991, or FOX news or whatever other conservative media that has you currently frothing at the mouth. I DID however, listen to CNN today, and was amused by the bias I heard on there.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm

It's not about knowing SPORTS, it's about knowing your AUDIENCE. A savvy politician knows how to tailor his pitch to the demographic he is trying to appeal.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stuart JR
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm

"do you know the old adage about to ASSume is to...well, hopefully you know the rest. "

Of course. I heard it from Sen Franken, errrrrr, Stuart Smalley first, I believe.

Because when you assume, you make an ass out of Uma Thurman.

So, "Enough!" what do you think of Rush supporting Mitt Romney because Mitt/Bain own him, errrr, Clear Channel and Rush's $400 million contract?

Think Rush will comment on the news today about Mitt and his dozens of Caymen Island tax shelters?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Joe Biden only takes his foot out of his mouth long enough to switch feet.

BTW, what's with this obsession with Rush Limbaugh? I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh...or Glenn Beck...or Keith Olbermann...or loudmouth pundits at Fox, CNN or MSNBC...or most other talk radio hosts. It is silly to try and tie those who disapprove of Biden with some pundit.

However, I have to say that I believe that Joe Biden is an arrogant and condescending <insert choice word here> who is more of a liability to Obama than he is an assistance.

Of course, what do we expect from a guy who once defended his position on trade because he claimed that he was "smarter" than his opponents.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stuart JR
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Love the Biden haters who have been waiting for three years for Joe to misspeak a couple times!!!!!!!!! Yes, you're a hater if you write crap like this: "...Joe Biden is an arrogant and condescending <insert choice word here>"

His "misspeaks" in three years equal the number of misspeaks by George Bush in about three days.

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" —GWB, Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000

I'll match ya for any Biden misspeak with a FAR BETTER one by Dubya.

I mean, seriously folks, the best ya got is Biden on trade negotiations?!?!?!?!?!?!?


"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." —GWB, Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

How short some memories are.....

So how about those Cayman Island tax shelters? Veeeeeeeeery Presidential!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stuart JR
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Match this Bush quote... a shrink would have a great time with all the layers here!!

"Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." — George Bush, Sept. 6, 2004

btw: what do you think of today's news that Newt told his 2nd wife (who he was cheating with when trying to impeach Clinton, and divorcing his cancer stricken, hospitalized first wife), told his 2nd wife that he wanted an open marriage so he could keep <insert choice word here> Callista, his office "aide" at the time?

Do you think Newt has told Calista that she had to agree with an open marriage in order to be his third wife?

Who do you think Newt is cheating now, behind Calista's back? He's a proven serial adulterer, heck, his 2nd wife was on the teevee machine today telling us all about it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm

@ Stuart JR:

First of all, people who disagree with Biden should not be called "haters." I don't like watching clowns, but I don't "hate" people who dress up like them either.

Secondly, Biden has gaffed more than a "couple of times." Just go to YouTube and look them up. Some of them are hilarious -- even Bush-esque. The media spent plenty of time highlighting those Bushisms, so why shouldn't you expect the same about Biden?

The funny thing about your comparison between George W. Bush is that no one ever accused Bush of being a capable speaker -- including Bush. Bush knew that he had a funny twang and flubbed words. However, if you spent time watching Biden, it almost seems like he thinks that he wrote the book on public communication.

I guess that Biden is interesting to watch though. It is almost like we are waiting to see what he will say next.

:-)

BTW: Here are a few links to some funny Biden gaffs.

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stuart JR
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Nayeli - "First of all, people who disagree with Biden should not be called "haters.""

Your words: "I have to say that I believe that Joe Biden is an arrogant and condescending <insert choice word here>"

Hmmmmmm................................. should not be called haters.................those that "disagree.........

"I have to say that I believe that Joe Biden is an arrogant and condescending <insert choice word here>"

Choice between whatever and hater? I'm going with HATER.

C'mon back and take the high ground, tell everyone you're a moderate, blah, blah, blah....

"I have to say that I believe that Joe Biden is an arrogant and condescending <insert choice word here>"

Yup. Hater.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stuart JR
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm

btw: how about dem dudes that want Joe's job?

Newt "open marriage" Gingrich - DADT is his policy on MONOGAMY

Mitt "Cayman Islands" Romney - loving America so much he hides his money offshore in dozens of accounts, took all those years of running for president (7?) to hide it all over there so he can release a single year of tax returns in a couple months.

And to top it off, he lost Iowa today! What a bad day for the frontrunners.

Looks like it's Senator Santorum.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2012 at 6:30 pm

@ Stuart JR:

I do think that about Joe Biden -- and I provided an anecdotal example why. However, I don't "hate" the guy.

I think that Newt was a nasty, unfaithful husband -- but I don't hate him either.

So...no.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stuart JR
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Vive la différence.

"I have to say that I believe that Joe Biden is an arrogant and condescending <insert choice word here>"

So if there are folks who think that about most of the GOP field (sans Santorum) I guess they're not haters either. Or "obsessed".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2012 at 6:59 pm

@ Stuart JR:

I have to say that your rhetoric sounds quite "hateful" and "condescending" too. I don't "hate" you for it though.

:-)

Personally, my vote is still to be determined. I almost certainly will NOT be supporting another four terms of Barack Obama. He has had too many broken promises on what was right and too many bad decisions on what was wrong.

Right now, I am leaning toward Governor Mitt Romney. If he chooses for his running mate someone like Dr. Condi Rice, Governor Chris Christie or even Senator Marco Rubio, I will be sold.

All of your repetitive rhetoric is simply reinforcing this for me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ag
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jan 19, 2012 at 7:26 pm

A political system in which the views of the ultra-wealthy are heard because they have access due to their ability to donate massive amounts of money is not conducive to a healthy democracy. Campaign finance, specifically robust public financing that keeps up with campaign costs, is desperately needed at the state, congressional, and presidential levels. Both Democrats and Republicans should support it; of course, they won't, and so citizens must organize to force them to do it. The VP's choice to listen to these folks over ordinary Americans is emblematic of this.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 19, 2012 at 7:41 pm

@StuartJR: How the hell would I know what Rush Limbaugh wants or doesn't want? I don't listen to him. At all. Ever. As I stated. The only time I hear about him is when someone is squawking about something he said. I stopped listening to him when he became obsessed with the Clintons. Very boring.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 20, 2012 at 6:14 am

Anyone who takes Rush seriously (from either side of the aisle) needs to get a life.

It is pure schtick. An act. It says extreme things to get the ratings a d to get his name in the press.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bleezy
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:15 am

I don't have anything to add to the political discussion here. I just want to say that my southbound commute on 101 was awful on Wednesday, and that I blame Biden for it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stuart JR
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:20 am

Nayeli: "I have to say that your rhetoric sounds quite "hateful" and "condescending" too. I don't "hate" you for it though. "

My rhetoric? You mean highlighting your statement: "I have to say that I believe that Joe Biden is an arrogant and condescending <insert choice word here>" ???

If you called him arrogant or condescending, that's one thing; but to add this: "is an arrogant and condescending <insert choice word here>", is quite telling. I guess you thought " <insert choice word here> " was so clever.

...

Mitt has poisoned himself with his dozens of Cayman Islands accounts and not releasing the last ten years tax record, if not in the primary, surely in the general. A weak candidate in the general could lead to a loss of the majority in the house.

Newt's hypocrisy, on unveiling public official's private lives and reveling in it, makes him unelectable. Suddenly Newt thinks his open marriage lifestyle choice should be private.

Senator Santorum.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

@ Stuart JR:

I do find Biden to be arrogant, obnoxious and condescending. When he used "because I'm smarter than you" as a defense for his particular views during a televised debate, the man lost any sympathy from me.

However, I have already made it clear that I don't HATE the guy. I am disappointed with his attitude, views and rhetoric. I wouldn't ever vote for him. I find him obnoxious. However, I don't "hate" him.

I think that we need to stay away from such bipolar rhetoric. I am not planning to vote for Obama, but I wouldn't mind him coming over for dinner and watching the 49ers game either.

Now, you can argue about Mitt all you want. However, an attack on Mitt is a terrible defense for Obama or Biden.

Besides, you are operating under some misguided view that Governor Romney did something wrong when you obviously have NOT seen his tax records.

Unless, of course, you work for the IRS.

Dr. Gingrich doesn't have my vote. I think that he is an intelligent guy, but his conduct during his marriage matter as much to me as John Kerry's (during his first marriage), Bill Clinton's (after numerous affairs) and John Edwards's (even though the media brushed it under the carpet).

Still, I am not supporting any of them. I do think that Mitt Romney is a much more viable option for this nation as a whole.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stuart JR
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Your "I think that we need to stay away from such bipolar rhetoric. "

conflicts with: "I have to say that I believe that Joe Biden is an arrogant and condescending <insert choice word here>"

Can't have it both ways. Admit it was a typo or mistake and I'll believe your bipolar reference. Or I'll believe you're, ahem, bipolar. ;-)

"<insert choice word here>"

re: Mitt and his tax records: "Besides, you are operating under some misguided view that Governor Romney did something wrong when you obviously have NOT seen his tax records. "

No, I haven't, but I take it on authority from the Massachusetts Moderate himself, on Fox today: "I'll release those on April 15, and the reason is very simple: I want to beat Barack Obama. I don't want to give the Democrats a nice little present of having multiple releases. We're going to have one release."

Mitt knows his tax returns are a problem, and infers such in his interview. That's why he won't release them until the primaries are over - it'll kill him with Americans that want their President to support Americans and American companies, to pay their fair share of taxes, to not have dozens of Cayman Island accounts.

Mitt's stalling under the assumption he would wrap up the nomination by then.

releasse them Mitt, so conservatives know who they're voting for!!!

He needs to do what his father did - release his returns for the past ten years. What's he got to hide? After all, he claims to be unemployed all these years!

"I'm also unemployed," Romney replied, with a smile. Web Link

Ten years, Mitt. Follow your daddy's lead.

Unless he's just another spoiled rich kid with daddy issues, like the last president who told us he was a conservative.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stuart JR
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm

"but his conduct during his marriage matter as much to me as..."

I didn't say anything about his conduct. It's the HYPOCRISY of claiming Clinton should be publicized, investigated, impeached while he was cheating on either his first or second wife (it's so hard to rack all his cheating and affairs.)

Or telling his second wife he wanted a three way or an open marriage with them and Calista, his office worker.

HYPOCRISY HYPOCRISY HYPOCRISY HYPOCRISY HYPOCRISY

The 69 year old Newt can do three ways all he wants <ugh!>, it's his life. But he can't claim privacy and victimization when he gets it all printed in the paper after what he has said all along.

HYPOCRISY HYPOCRISY HYPOCRISY HYPOCRISY HYPOCRISY

Hypocrisy is not a Conservative Family Values plank.

Probably not open marriage either, I'll leave that for you to look up.

Senator Santorum.


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