Biden defends hyperaction at Committee of Seventy breakfast

Biden at Seventy breakfast edit
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the annual breakfast for political watchdog group the Committee of Seventy on Nov. 23, 2009 inside the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue Stratford. Photo by Christopher Wink

Gov. Ed Rendell walked onto the stage in front of several hundred guests at the Committee of Seventy‘s annual breakfast and made a joke at the expense of the political oversight group’s president, Zach Stalberg.

“Don’t you think Zach was a lot more fun when he at the Daily News?” Rendell asked of Stalberg, who was an editor at the Philadelphia tabloid before departing for a gig at Seventy in 2005.

The featured guest of the affair was Vice President Joe Biden and, like Stalberg before him, Biden seemed all business.

His 30-minutes worth of remarks after being welcomed by a standing ovation of business leaders and Seventy supporters inside the swanky Park Hyatt-Bellevue Stratford, were focused on defending his administration’s heady list of priorities.

“What would you say can wait?” he said rhetorically to critics, listing the economy, health care, two wars, educational standards, and energy policy.

“It’s not that a new energy policy has been tried,” he said. “It’s that it’s been found difficult and left untried.”

He went on to make a case that the stimulus is working to create jobs.

Aside from a five-minute Phillies-themed opening, the only break from dour policy defense and occasionally raising his voice to a near shout got the laughs many seemed waiting to give out.

Of President Obama winning a Nobel Peace Prize, Biden said: “Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t get one too.”

“That’s a joke,” he said.

Stalberg Seventy breakfast
Zack Stalberg speaks at the annual breakfast for political watchdog group the Committee of Seventy on Nov. 23, 2009 inside the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue Stratford. Photo by Christopher Wink