Larry Bulman implored Vice President Joe Biden to pay a visit to the Capital Region during U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy’s swearing-in ceremony in late April.
Biden assured the chairman of the Saratoga County Democrats that he would try to make an appearance sometime this year. Lo and behold, the vice president’s office has announced that Biden will speak at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
“He told me he was going to try to make a trip to New York’s 20th [Congressional District],” Bulman said Tuesday. “But I never thought it’d be this quick.”
His Clifton Park appearance is open to the public, but seating is limited. Tickets will be available today on a first-come, first-served basis from noon until 1 p.m. at Shenendehowa High School East. Any remaining tickets will be distributed from 5 to 7 p.m. at the same location.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Bulman said of Biden’s appearance.
Biden will be the first vice president to speak in the Capital Region in nearly a decade. Vice President Al Gore spoke at Albany’s Wilborn Temple First Church of God in Christ in February 2000 while on a campaign stop with then-first lady Hillary Clinton as she ran for the U.S. Senate .
But instead of stumping for a politician, Biden will talk about the Obama administration’s $787 billion federal economic stimulus bill. The vice president will be joined by Gov. David Paterson and Murphy as he discusses “how the recovery act is building a 21st century economy in Saratoga County and across the nation,” according to a news release from his office.
Biden’s appearance comes less than two months after Murphy hosted a workshop on the Shenendehowa campus aimed at helping small business owners obtain government-backed loans with federal stimulus funding. The stimulus package is providing money to the Small Business Administration that is aimed at bolstering credit lines for expansion projects.
Shenendehowa was also among the Capital Region schools that were aided by an immediate influx of stimulus funding, which prevented cutbacks in state aid from decimating local school budgets. Still, the district needed to trim nearly four dozen jobs —including 19 instructional positions.
State Assemblyman Bob Reilly lauded Biden for appearing in the Capital Region to talk with area residents. He said the vice president’s appearance will help drive home the importance of the stimulus bill.
“It is important that elected officials and even the vice president come down to speak to the people personally,” he said Tuesday. “That face-to-face contact puts a whole different dimension to the program.”
The vice president’s appearance will also help local Democrats as they prepare to launch their campaigns for office in Clifton Park.
Biden is also scheduled to appear in Cincinnati, Ohio, Thursday, according to a news release from his office. He is expected to speak about the Recovery Act during a late morning address at the city’s American Can Building, a formerly abandoned factory that is being converted to a multi-use economic development project.