At a Washington, D.C., fundraiser Monday night, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., compared American voters skeptical of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., to jilted lovers reluctant to risk getting hurt again. But Biden guaranteed they would find a way to "love" Obama enough to elect him president come November.
"They like him," the Democratic vice presidential nominee said of voters. "They really want to believe. But their cynicism has been tweaked so much by the last eight years and even before that.
"It's like, 'God, I don't want to fall in love again,'" he assessed, continuing with his love-scarred electorate analogy. "'I don't want to fall in love again, because last time I did that, I really got hurt.' I'm telling you. I'm telling you. They love him. They just, they're just holding back because they know they better get it right this time. We better get it right this time.
"We get this wrong, man, we get this wrong, we end up with John McCain -- who's a fine guy, personally -- we end up with John McCain and his philosophy of governance, his foreign policy philosophy, his notion of national security, his economic template that he operates from," Biden told supporters who had gathered at the Georgetown mansion of former ambassador to Portugal Elizabeth Bagley. "We're in serious, serious, serious trouble.
"Everybody loves this guy," Biden said of Obama. "They just don't want to be –- they don't want to be fooled. They want to know more."
Biden admitted that even he wanted to know more about Obama before he accepted the number two spot, going so far as to fly out for a secret Minnesota meeting with Obama on Aug. 6.
"We sat up late one night when they smuggled me out to the Twin Cities for three hours and we talked," recalled the Delaware lawmaker. "And the central question I wanted to know is, does he believe as much as he appears to, does he really believe that we're going to be able to make some substantial, considerable change? Is he willing to take a chance, a chance on changing the nation?
"The nation is literally poised, even with the crisis on Wall Street," observed the loquacious Blue Hen. "Even with the crisis on Wall Street, they're poised, They're ready to stand up. They're ready to get up."
And that is why, promised Biden, burned by love or not, voters will find a way to love again and enable a Democratic victory come Nov. 4.
"We're going to win this," he assured the crowd. "I promise you we are going to win this. Our fears. Think about it -- sounds corny -- think about your hopes, because the American public's ready."
Predicting that voters aren't "really going to decide to lay down their cards until you get to the middle of October," Biden preached patience and optimism for Obama.
"Things are actually good out there," Biden said. "Average people get it. They're just not ready to put their nickel down yet. They're gonna wait a little longer. They want to be reassured because they don't want to fall in love again and it not be the real deal. He is the real deal. He is the real deal."
-- Jake Tapper and Matt Jaffe