Politics & Government

Biden to rally Democrats in Tacoma for Washington Sen. Murray

Vice President Joe Biden is getting to know Tacoma.

The then-senator spoke to 12,000 people at Cheney Stadium on the campaign trail in 2008. He stayed overnight downtown in November before speaking at a Fort Lewis memorial ceremony for seven Stryker brigade soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

Today, Biden will address an outdoor crowd at the University of Washington Tacoma at a rally that begins at 10:30 a.m. for Sen. Patty Murray’s re-election campaign, his second appearance in the Puget Sound area on her behalf this year after a February fundraiser in Seattle.

Democrats hope he will fire up their liberal base a week before ballots for the Nov. 2 election are mailed to voters.

“He’s kind of a sparkplug,” said Ron Dotzauer, who has run statewide campaigns for Democrats. “He’s a great guy to bring in because he’s a real sort of political motivator.”

Lately, he has been brought in just about everywhere. Politico reported that Biden has campaigned for 18 candidates over the past three weeks, visiting 23 cities in 16 states.

Few could be more important to national Democrats than the Washington Senate race, which could be a key piece of a Republican takeover of the Senate or a bulwark against that takeover.

Reflecting the race’s significance, President Barack Obama raised money for Murray in Seattle on the day of the primary. His wife, Michelle, will make an appearance on Murray’s behalf this month, and former President Bill Clinton will be in Everett on Oct. 18.

Shifting polls offer little insight into whether Murray or Republican challenger Dino Rossi will prevail. State Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser said the visits show Democrats think Murray is vulnerable.

The Democratic heavyweights could bring their party faithful some of the excitement that already seems present among conservatives.

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