Nevada Today

Nevada Today is a nonpartisan, independently owned and operated site dedicated to providing up-to-date news and smart analysis on the issues that impact Nevada's communities and businesses.

News and information

“It’s Time to Vote!”: Biden and Friends Rally Nevada Democrats on First Day of Early Voting

Today marks the first day of in-person early voting here in Nevada. To celebrate the occasion, former Vice President (and possible 2020 Presidential candidate) Joe Biden came to Las Vegas to rally Nevada Democrats right before the first polls opened. As President Donald Trump returned to Nevada to rally Republicans in Elko, it was a battle royale to determine “who has the momentum” in the final days of this election cycle.

While U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R ) stood with Trump in Elko, Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Henderson), Gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak (D), and other top Democrats stood with Biden as they implored upon supporters to get out and vote.

“We need your votes, now more than ever, if we are going to fight back against the chaos, corruption, and cruelty in Washington.”
– Billy Eichner
Photo by Andrew Davey

Some 515 people gathered outside the Culinary Union hall in Downtown Las Vegas for what the Nevada State Democratic Party called a “#RiseNVote rally”. Several Democratic candidates, a full Mariachi band, and famed comedian Billy Eichner were on hand to warm up the crowd on a crisp Saturday morning.

Eichner utilized his signature humor to explain the importance of voting this year: “Voting is like seeing Britney Spears perform live. […] There may be no singing, but it will change the course of your life.”

On a slightly more serious note, Eichner stressed how only Nevadans’ votes can rein in the madness of Donald Trump’s presidency: “We need your votes, now more than ever, if we are going to fight back against the chaos, corruption, and cruelty in Washington. Yes, they’re the three new Kardashians.”

“He still wants to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. I say we need to repeal and replace Heller.”
– Rep. Jacky Rosen
Photo by Andrew Davey

After the mariachi band performed, the crowd heard from Nevada’s current Democratic Senator and the Representative who wants to join her on the other side of Congress. First off, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D) listed her many disagreements with Trump, from immigration reform to workers’ rights, then told the crowd, “It’s time for us to take back the agenda and show we lead with our morals and our values.”

Cortez Masto then echoed Rep. Jacky Rosen‘s (D-Henderson) pounding of Senator Dean Heller (R) over his recent health care flips and flops. According to Cortez Masto, “You shouldn’t be susceptible to these junk plans that don’t cover anything. No one should die or go bankrupt because you couldn’t afford health care.”

Later on, Rosen herself expanded upon Cortez Masto’s remarks in saying, “Heller is guilty of the greatest broken promise made in our political history. He voted against our health care.” She continued, “He still wants to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. I say we need to repeal and replace Heller.”

“A job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about respect. It’s about decency. […] It’s about being able to look your child in the eye and say, ‘It’s going to be OK.’”
– Former Vice President Joe Biden
Photo by Andrew Davey

After Rosen finished her remarks, she turned the podium over to Biden. After thanking the Culinary Union for their early support for him and former President Barack Obama, he urged union members and other Democrats in the crowd to “spread the faith” by making sure everyone they know gets out to vote and casts a ballot for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.

While Biden praised Republicans like the late Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) for standing up for American values, he lamented the vast majority of Republicans in Congress now (Heller included) for their fealty to Trump. Biden then turned his attention to his own party as he called on Democrats to draw a clear contrast between their agenda and Trump’s: “It’s not enough to tell the American people who [Trump] is. We need to tell them who we are and what we stand for.”

Biden eventually began to explain what he calls the “basic bargain” of restoring the protecting the American middle class. For Biden, “A job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about respect. It’s about decency. […] It’s about being able to look your child in the eye and say, ‘It’s going to be OK.’”

While Biden’s comments fit well into the theme of economic justice that has largely defined Rosen’s campaign, his remarks also hinted at a possible platform for 2020. With Nevada again likely to host an early caucus, Biden gave the kind of barnburner of a speech that might help him move past the controversies of his past and present himself as the “Middle Class Joe” who can best debunk and defeat Trump’s nativist “populism”.

“It’s time for us to remember who we are and what we’re made of. It’s time to vote!”
– Joe Biden
Photo by Andrew Davey

While it remains to be seen whether Biden runs in 2020 and how he runs if he makes that choice, he’s currently traveling across the country to help 2018 Democratic candidates like Rosen hammer home their points. On that end, Biden reminded the crowd of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s (R-Kentucky) recent comments on the social safety net in reminding them what’s at stake in this election. According to Biden, “If [Democrats] don’t win back the House and the Senate, they’re going to cut our Social Security, our Medicare, and our Medicaid.”

Biden then had these final words of wisdom for his 515 fellow Democrats at Culinary Union headquarters: “It’s time for us to remember who we are and what we’re made of. It’s time to vote!”

From there, some in the crowd began to make their way to Clark County Government Center (a permanent early vote site for the next two weeks) to cast their ballots while others made plans to knock doors and make phone calls to get out the vote. In the coming days, we’ll get a better sense of how much Biden’s pep talk helped Nevada Democrats. And in case Biden’s and Eichner’s visit wasn’t exciting enough, they’ll get none other than former President Barack Obama himself holding a rally at UNLV on Monday to drive home the point of how much our votes matter.

About Author

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.