Joe Biden’s route to White House, like Barack Obama’s, traveled through Park City
He made an appearance in 2019, months before coronavirus and George Floyd’s death
Joe Biden’s road to the White House traveled through the Park City area.
Similar to the one Barack Obama took to reach 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. 12 years earlier.
As the former vice president is sworn into office as the commander in chief, the Park City area, again, played a small role in a White House campaign. Although Park City lies within one of the nation’s most reliably Republican states, Democrats as well as GOP candidates have enjoyed fundraising successes in the community in recent presidential-campaign cycles.
Biden in the fall of 2019 visited the Park City area on a fundraising trip as the 2020 Democratic nominating contests approached. Amy and Barry Baker, longtime Democratic supporters, hosted Biden at their place in Glenwild. The event drew upward of 200 people in what was the most notable local appearance by a candidate during the election cycle of 2020.
The trip occurred months before the spread of the novel coronavirus and the ensuing economic havoc, as well as long before the police killing of George Floyd ignited a social justice movement. The complexion of the campaign in the time after the appearance in Park City would shift amid the suffering caused by the sickness and the nationwide racial tensions. But the Biden stop at this point offers a look back at the early days of a campaign that would ultimately unseat an incumbent president.
Biden in his remarks to the people at the fundraiser especially covered President Trump’s response to the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. Even two years after the Unite the Right rally, the candidate remained outraged with the president’s comments about Charlottesville.
Trump “said something no president has ever, ever said. He said there were very fine people on both sides. He made a moral equivalence between those peddling hate and those opposing it. It’s been his modus operandi since the day he’s become president,” Biden said at the fundraiser, according to a report from a press pool that was assigned to cover the event.
He also said Charlottesville “made me realize the history of this nation is not a fairy tale. … If you give oxygen to prejudice, it comes out from under the rocks. If you give oxygen to hate, it moves. It continues to come back. We’ve been here before,” the pool report said, indicating Biden said the opportunity for Trump ended with Charlottesville.
Biden, meanwhile, touted the nation’s research universities, the nation’s wealth and U.S. productivity, recalling President Kennedy’s 1960s speech about the moon mission.
“I refuse to postpone any longer the opportunities we have. … So let’s get the hell up, remember who we are, take back the country and make America the envy of the world again,” Biden said, according to the pool report.
Biden emerged from a strong field of Democrats seeking the nomination at the time of his appearance in the Park City area. Biden on Election Day easily won Summit County, long one of the only reliably Democratic places in Utah after years of arrivals from places like California and New York, but expectedly lost the statewide vote by a wide margin.
The fundraising haul from the Park City appearance is not known. Financial reports show Biden received a series of campaign contributions from the Park City area in the weeks around the event, though.
Prominent Democratic and Republican candidates in recent presidential-election cycles have visited the Park City area, drawn by the community’s wealth. Park City has proven it can be a lucrative fundraising stop for both the Democrats and the GOP even in a place where the electoral votes are not in question.
Some of the well-known names that have made local appearances include Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney. Obama’s appearance in 2007, months before he would secure the Democratic nomination and then his first term, found him in front of a large crowd in the Snyderville Basin for a hastily arranged campaign stop on the same day he held a private fundraiser in the Park City area.
The 2019 visit by Biden followed more than seven years after a 2012 fundraising trip to Park City as the vice president. At that time he was campaigning for Obama’s reelection. He appeared at a private residence in the Snyderville Basin during the 2012 trip. Biden arrived in a large, fast-moving motorcade protected by the Secret Service and local law enforcement agencies, and the motorcade route drew supporters and opposition demonstrators.
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Daniel Lewis, an Old Town resident who unsuccessfully sought a spot on the Park City Council in 2019, said this week he will mount another campaign this year.