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Biden Touts “Real Hockey Mom” in Detroit

DETROIT, Mich. — Addressing a boisterous crowd of 28,000 that filled the street in front of the Detroit Institute of Arts on Sunday, Sen. Joe Biden touted the support of a “real hockey mom.”

Biden, as well as Sen. Barack Obama, was introduced by Denise Ilitch, former president of a company that managed the Detroit Red Wings. She is “the first lady of Hockey,” Biden told the crowd. Ilitch gave both Biden and Obama Red Wings jerseys, and said the Democratic ticket would be as successful as the local team — which won the Stanley Cup last year.

After warming up the crowd, Biden went from jocular to scolding. He blasted Sen. John McCain for being disingenuous and out of touch on the economy. “John didn’t see the light, John saw the polls,” Biden said, recounting how McCain lurched from pushing deregulation to supporting stricter financial regulation and oversight on Wall Street.

Turning to national security, Biden knocked McCain for pledging to follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell. “He does not live in Iraq,” Biden said. He promised that an Obama-Biden administration would target bin Laden in the mountains of Pakistan — and actually “send him to hell.”

Pursuing terrorists in Pakistan is an issue for both campaigns this weekend. Sen. John McCain walked back a statement by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin that appeared to support Obama’s aggressive stance on crossing the border to pursue terrorists when Pakistan will not.

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Obama with Sen. Carl Levin (MI) on a trip to Michigan this month. (Credit: Obama Flickr)

When Obama took the stage, he reprised the hockey theme, asking supporters if they had any extra tickets for the coming season. Then, leaning forward over the lectern, Obama emphatically waved a voter registration card, urging the crowd to register their friends in a push for the final week of registration in Michigan. The Obama campaign indicated that it had 20,000 registration forms on hand.

Speaking from a teleprompter, Obama delivered his post-debate stump speech, which hammers his priorities for the bailout plan and chastises McCain as a latecomer to Democratic solutions to the financial crisis. “You can’t make up for 26 years in 26 days,” Obama said, urging voters to scour McCain’s record serving the causes of deregulation and corporate America.

Rebutting McCain’s debate line about Obama’s inability to understand the issues, Obama boiled down the point. “No I understand — you want more of the same.” The Democratic nominee continued, “eight years of this* nonsense *is enough,” relentlessly pressing his case that McCain is a Bush clone.

McCain’s response to the financial crisis, Obama added, was “Katrina-like” — reflecting a stunning lack of awareness, let alone urgency, in tackling a crisis for regular Americans.

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