Wednesday, October 27, 2010

About that Biden visit

The vice president of the United States will be in Delaware County this morning.


Joe Biden, our old friend from Delaware, is making a political jaunt to boost the candidacy of Democratic 7th District Congressional candidate Bryan Lentz.


Make no mistake. This is not about policy or some other official business. This is about politics.


Lentz is involved in a bitterly contested, razor-thin margin of difference race with Republican Pat Meehan.


Still, it’s a little troubling to see a visit from Biden become part of the conflagration.


The vice president was supposed to appear at a rally at Radnor High School.


The Lentz team thought they had signed off on a deal last Friday. They announced the event Friday afternoon. Which is why they were taken aback when the rug was pulled out from under the vice president – and the rally – on Monday.


The Lentz camp sees politics. They believe the Republican-controlled Radnor School Board pulled the plug. The school district is citing the partisan nature of the event and other logistical problems.


You can read the full story here.


It’s not like candidates have not appeared at Radnor High before.

Hillary Clinton was there when she was running for the Democratic nomination. Of course, she was running herself, not simply stopping by to push someone else’s candidacy.


These kinds of questions are raised in almost every big campaign when an event is scheduled for a public school. Both Barack Obama and John McCain held events at Strath Haven High in the last presidential eelction. Those opposed see the kids being used as political pawns.


And my reaction is almost always the same.


Regardless of the party, I almost always think the events are a good thing, for the schools, for the community, and most important for the kids.


We worry constantly about whether our children are losing interest in civics and the workings of our democracy. What better way to teach them than with an up-close and personal touch with the process.


Joe Biden is vice president of the United States. But today he was not welcome at Radnor High School.


And I think that’s just sad.


Maybe Kathleen Seaton, mother of a Radnor High student, said it best.


“I’m profoundly disappointed that my child has missed the opportunity to see and hear” Biden.


She’s not the only one.

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