Dr. Jill Biden. File photo

In Atlanta, Jill Biden asks donors to imagine a president who makes them ‘proud’ 

Standing in a cramped Sandy Springs living room, Dr. Jill Biden asked the crowd to engage in a thought experiment: Imagine it’s the summer of 2021 and the day’s newspaper was hot off the presses.

“And the headline isn’t about some late-night tweet,” she said, to laughter. “Instead it’s about the children who will benefit from universal pre-K, how the United States is leading an international coalition against climate change.” 

That was the heart of Biden’s message Tuesday to donors who crammed into the house to support her husband, former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic front-runner in the race for president. 

More than 100 people attended the fundraiser, held in the well-appointed home of Dr. April Speed, a physician who recruited many other medical professionals to the event.

Among the other faces in the crowd were familiar Democratic figures, including two politicians who recently endorsed Biden: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and state Rep. Calvin Smyre, the longest-serving lawmaker in the Georgia statehouse.

(Bottoms praised Smyre for the endorsement – which came earlier Tuesday – by telling him he is on “the right side of history.”)

Also in attendance was former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, a U.S. Senate candidate; former Georgia 6th Congressional District candidate Kevin Abel; and state Rep. Billy Mitchell, a prominent legislator. 

Dr. Jill Biden peppered her speech with praise for her husband and his supporters. But what seemed to resonate most with the crowd came when she urged them to envision a time when a TV anchor says the president is about to speak and “you don’t turn the channel.” 

After laughter subsided, she continued: “Instead, you call in the kids from the other room ... because you want your kids to hear what he has to say. A president we can be proud of ... That’s Joe Biden.” 

When the applause died down, she told the crowd – without mentioning a name – of the person she met at the fundraiser who told her she’s a Republican that “recently converted to a Democrat.”

“These are the people we want to pull into the process - new people,” she said. 

“We are here today because we believe in the darkest times we can be a light for each other,” she said in closing, “and we know we can’t write the next chapter in our nation’s story unless we come together.”

About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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