Update: Joe Biden made another gaffe during his stop on election day by introducing his granddaughter Finnegan as his son Beau Biden -who passed away in 2015- to a crowd of supporters in Philadelphia.
“This is my son, Beau Biden who a lot of you helped elect to the Senate in Delaware,” he said as he put his arm around her shoulder.
While attempting to correct himself, he made another gaffe by calling her by her sister’s name.
‘This is my granddaughter, Natalie,’ he said, before saying: ‘No wait, we got the wrong one.”
Beau Biden joined the military in 2003 and attended The JAG School at the University of Virginia as a member of the Delaware Army National Guard.
He attained the rank of Major in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps as part of the 261st Signal Brigade in Smyrna, Delaware.
In 2015, he passed away from brain cancer at the age of 46.
Joe Biden left Scranton in the fourth grade but the city never left him.
On the morning of the historic election in the United States, the Democratic presidential nominee stopped “home” to thank supporters of his bid for president and tour the Election City for possibly the last time as a nominee for the highest office in the nation.
The former vice president, who’s running against Republican nominee and President Donald J. Trump, stepped out of a black SUV onto Pear Street in South Scranton around 9:15 a.m. He stayed at the voter activation center for about an hour, addressing the crowd alongside Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti before spending time in the office of the Carpenters Local Union 645.
Biden, using a megaphone and through a blue surgical mask, began a morning of nostalgic anecdotes about the first 10 years of his life in Scranton. He brought along his granddaughters, Natalie and Finnegan Biden, their first time visiting his hometown.
On Pear Street, he told the masked crowd of around 50 people he was born in Mercy Hospital in Scranton and even after he moved to Delaware with his family, still would come “home” almost every summer. Of the seven groomsmen in his wedding party when he married his first wife, the late Neilia Hunter Biden, five were friends from Scranton.
He reiterated the reasons he ran for president.
“I said when I announced I wanted to restore the soul of the country. I wasn’t being melodramatic,” he said, adding he wants to rebuild the middle class and unite the country.
He addressed the sacrifice of running for president of a divided nation.
“It’s the greatest honor of my life,” he said.
Biden moved onto a new stop on his usual tour of Scranton — the North Washington Avenue childhood home of Casey, where Casey’s mother, former state first lady Ellen Casey, still lives. He chatted with Bob and Ellen Casey in the driveway before his motorcade drove four blocks to his childhood home at 2446 N. Washington Ave. His friend and homeowner, Anne Kearns, along with more than 100 people, waited to greet him.
Biden introduced his granddaughters and they went inside to “see the kitchen.” In his autobiography, Biden talks about learning the foundation of his politics at the home’s kitchen table from older relatives.
Kearns’ son, Martin Kearns, 50, of Rockville, Maryland, said Biden showed his granddaughters around the downstairs, pointing to the window through which his mother watched him play in the back yard.
“He just recounted his roots and how … this is the yard where he fought his first bully,” Martin Kearns said.
Biden used a black marker to sign the walls inside his childhood home: “From this house to the White House with the Grace of God, Joe Biden, 11-3-2020.” His words now graffitied twice on the walls of the home. During the 2008 campaign, he wrote “I Am Home, Joe Biden, 9-1-08” on the wall of a second-floor bedroom.
Fearing COVID-19, Anne Kearns, 85, declined to speak to reporters, but her niece, Mary Clare Kingsley, 71, of Scranton, said Kearns felt “very fortunate.” Kearns’s husband always urged her against selling the home because Biden would go places politically.
“She’s waited her whole life for this,” Kingsley said.
After Biden exited the home, he stood on the pathway waving at the crowd, which continued to grow.
“He’s right there! Oh my God! That’s my future president,” shouted Mardan Daurilas, 19, a first-time voter who cast his ballot Friday.
Biden spotted neighbor Marge Grady and charged across North Washington to say hello, the crowd parting to let him pass.
After her conversation with Biden, Grady, 95, said she moved into the neighborhood when the former vice president was 6 or 7 years old. Biden, now 77, drops by when he’s in town, she said.
He thanked her for watching out for him when he was little.
“Oh, he was a nice little fella,” she said.
Biden’s motorcade next climbed Woodlawn Street at 10:30 a.m., approaching his favorite city sandwich shop, Hank’s Hoagies.
The narrow street erupted in cheers as Biden and his granddaughters got out of their black SUV.
At least 55 people crowded in front of the shop, many carrying signs and flags that show their support. All wore masks including some in dark blue masks with the word “vote” stamped on the front. One man’s mask said “I miss Barack.”
Jennifer Hessling, 21, drove to Hank’s from Carbondale for a chance to see Biden. A family friend told her that the former vice president often stops there during his visits to Scranton.
This is the first general election in which she could vote. She worried what could happen to her and her loved ones should Trump win reelection. She woke up early and waited in line for 45 minutes at her polling place to cast a vote for Biden.
Her civic duty finished, she was relieved.
The Bidens spent a few minutes inside the sandwich shop before they left. As the Biden supporters cleared out, a few Trump supporters in their vehicles honked their horns.
Biden then briefly went inside St. Paul’s Church on Penn Avenue before departing Scranton for Philadelphia around 11:20 a.m.
Wherever he went Tuesday, crowds followed. Supporters held signs and cheered “We Love Joe.” Biden even took a “Scranton Loves Joe” sign home with him from the South Scranton stop.
Outside Biden’s childhood home in Green Ridge, Martin Kearns and Kingsley said they expect Biden to win.
“He’s going to bring Scranton with him,” Kearns said.
©2020 The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.)
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