President Joe Biden delivers an address on making essential drugs more affordable
President Joe Biden makes the case for a plan that would actually address the cost of living in the United States by lowering the cost of essential drugs (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Accom­pa­nied by out­go­ing Wash­ing­ton State Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee, Pres­i­dent Joe Biden tonight spoke to a crowd of sev­er­al hun­dred sup­port­ers at the first of two Seat­tle area events orga­nized by the Biden Vic­to­ry Fund to sup­port the Pres­i­den­t’s reelec­tion cam­paign. Accord­ing to pool reports, the event was held in the Sanc­tu­ary Grand Ball­room at the Lotte Hotel. It’s in what was once the old­est church in down­town Seat­tle, a Beaux Arts-style land­mark with orig­i­nal 1908 stained glass win­dows and a full-wall pipe organ.

The pool report esti­mat­ed that about three hun­dred peo­ple were in atten­dance in total. Most were seat­ed, but some guests stood in the balconies. 

Gov­er­nor Inslee pro­vid­ed the intro­duc­tion, say­ing that “Don­ald Trump may have tak­en away a woman’s right of choice in the Unit­ed States but he’s not tak­en away our choice to mak­ing sure that this incom­pe­tent, vain­glo­ri­ous los­er nev­er gets a foot back in the White House.” Inslee also said of Biden that “with all his decades of ser­vice, when they look back on his pres­i­den­cy one hun­dred years from now, his work on cli­mate will be his finest hour.”

Biden rec­i­p­ro­cat­ed the praise, say­ing of Inslee: “He ain’t stay­ing in Wash­ing­ton State.”

The reporter observ­ing the remarks on behalf of the White House press corps said that it was unclear what Biden meant exact­ly — and flagged that lat­er in his remarks, the Pres­i­dent said that he often called Inslee for advice on tough deci­sions. Said Biden: “Jay, there’s no place to hide. I’m seri­ous, you’re the best in the country.”

The crowd gave the Pres­i­dent a stand­ing ova­tion from ear­ly on and applaud­ed loudly.

“Please keep it down,” Biden said. “Don­ald Trump is sleep­ing. Sleepy Don, I kin­da like that.”

(“Sleepy Don” is a moniker that the Pres­i­dent and his cam­paign have begun using on an increas­ing­ly fre­quent basis since Trump’s hush mon­ey tri­al began a few weeks ago.) 

Biden talked about the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act and his cli­mate poli­cies. He rec­og­nized sev­er­al dig­ni­taries in the crowd includ­ing for­mer Gov­er­nor Gary Locke (who served with Biden in the Oba­ma-Biden admin­is­tra­tion as Sec­re­tary of Com­merce and Ambas­sador to Chi­na), Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Prami­la Jaya­pal, and Inslee’s wife, First Lady Tru­di Inslee. Of Tru­di, Biden joked: “No pur­ga­to­ry, go straight to heaven.”

With respect to the prospects for his reelec­tion, he echoed com­ments he’d made at pre­vi­ous recent cam­paign recep­tions, includ­ing two in Cal­i­for­nia ear­li­er today. 

“The press doesn’t write about it,” he said. “But num­bers are clear­ly in our favor.” 

As before, how­ev­er, he char­ac­ter­ized polls as hard to con­duct, and observed that ear­ly polling in par­tic­u­lar has its lim­i­ta­tions. Many vot­ers are just not ful­ly dialed in yet. 

“Peo­ple real­ly don’t get juiced until the end of the sum­mer, the start of the fall,” the Pres­i­dent said. “But we’re real­ly optimistic.”

He repeat­ed a joke he’s been telling at cam­paign events about Trump need­ing mon­ey, about how he should have inject­ed bleach, and how he wrote “love let­ters” to Kim Jong Un. And he urged the audi­ence to read the recent Time mag­a­zine interview.

Biden made use of a teleprompter, but deliv­ered remarks that dif­fered at times from those he gave in the two Bay Area fundrais­ers that took place ear­li­er today. 

Gun safe­ty got par­tic­u­lar empha­sis dur­ing the speech. 

Biden raised his voice at one point and talked about ban­ning assault weapons again, say­ing: “The idea of stu­dents going to school learn­ing to duck and cov­er is just sick!”

And he knocked Trump for say­ing peo­ple liked when he said he would be a dic­ta­tor on day one. Biden banged on the podi­um, say­ing: “Well, I sure as hell didn’t, and I’m going to make sure it doesn’t hap­pen.” The crowd rose for a stand­ing ovation.

“Let me ask you, are you with me?” he said at the end. “I need your help.”

The crowd rose to its feet again, and the Pres­i­dent began con­clud­ing remarks that last­ed approx­i­mate­ly eigh­teen minutes.

Biden depart­ed the Lotte at 7 PM for his overnight lodg­ings. A lid was called short­ly there­after. (That means the Pres­i­dent is done mak­ing pub­lic appear­ances for the day).

Tomor­row, the Pres­i­dent will par­tic­i­pate in a sec­ond Seat­tle area cam­paign recep­tion, then will return to Seat­tle-Taco­ma Inter­na­tion­al Air­port to fly back east. 

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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