Biden to grads: Don't get cynical
June 4th, 2012
09:26 PM ET
11 years ago

Biden to grads: Don't get cynical

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden encouraged high school graduates to dream big and avoid cynicism, recounting in a commencement speech Monday his memory of the president's inauguration day as an example of progress.

Speaking to graduates of Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Florida - a key swing state this November - Biden threaded his speech with standard graduation language and strongly urged students not to settle for the status quo.

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"Don't give in to the cynicism, the pettiness and the negativity that so often pervades our public discourse. Believe in yourself, and believe in the promise of this country," he said, with Marlins Park in Miami as the backdrop for the ceremony.

The vice president told the story of waiting for President Barack Obama to pick him up in Delaware on the way to the presidential inauguration in January 2009.

As Biden stood on the train platform that day – Obama was retracing part of the route taken by Abraham Lincoln to his inauguration, going from Philadelphia to Washington – Biden said he looked out at the city of Wilmington and remembered civil rights riots taking place 40 years prior.

At that moment, he said, he paused to reflect on the change that had taken place.

"I was being picked up by a friend, an African-American friend. Barack Obama. We were taking - regardless of your politics, this is not a political comment. It's about transition in America," Biden said.

He continued: "We were taking that short ride to be sworn in as president and vice president of the United States of America. Not only can and do we live together. We now govern together. That much changed in 40 years. Just think what's going to change in the next 40 years of your life."

Democratic National Committee Chair and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz also spoke at the ceremony Monday, as the school is in her congressional district in South Florida. She praised the vice president for "rearranging (his) entire life" and making the trip to the school one day after his daughter's wedding.

With Florida to be a hotly contested state in the general election this year, Biden and Obama have frequently traveled to the Sunshine State this year on both campaign and official business.

Obama won Florida in 2008 with 51% of the vote, but Republicans have since made big gains, and the state is widely expected to be tougher battleground for Democrats this cycle.

Also see:

Poll: Romney's favorable rating jumps, but Obama still more popular

Romney backer offers soft Obama praise

Barrett on a presidential visit: Obama's busy

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Joe Biden
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Rooferxxqw

    You have a really good website. Very interesting read. I will be back to look for more posts, keep it going.

    June 4, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  2. gthog61

    no can't do that because democrats are never ever cynical are they?

    June 4, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    In the Wisconsin recall, Barrett will have a 15,000 vote lead, and Waukesha County will manufacture 17,000 republican votes to overcome the will of the people.

    June 4, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Romney was a failure in MA, and promises more of the same for America, if he gets elected.

    June 4, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I give Romney an F for failure in job creation, fiscal responsibility, and foreign policy. It is becoming obvious that Ann is the brains in the Romney household.

    June 4, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  6. Leroy lopez

    What cynical means?

    June 4, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  7. Wiley

    "If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, there's still a 30% chance we're going to get it wrong." –Joe Biden – Williamsburg, Va., Feb. 6, 2009

    June 4, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  8. Sydnium S. Washington

    Make a word out of cynical and it will blast you off to Dover, Delaware. Cyanide = Dinamite = DYNAMITE. Ka-boom.

    June 5, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  9. Living in the REAL world

    Biden threaded his speech with standard graduation language and strongly urged students not to settle for the status quo.
    Well I hope not! The Obama/Biden "status quo" is astronomically high unemployment. If they ever hope to have a job in the next four years, they need to be voting for Romney and not the failure in chief we have now.

    June 5, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  10. Gurgyl

    GOP is bad for this nation as wars are bad, shipping job are bad, so is illegals.

    June 5, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Don't get cynical is there will always be paper or plastic

    June 5, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  12. Really?

    "Don't give in to the cynicism, the pettiness and the negativity that so often pervades our public discourse."
    BIDEN said this!?! Wow, when will he take his own advise. He must be banking on them having never heard him open his mouth before this speech.

    June 5, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  13. ClemVinson

    I can remember graduating high school. I had "the american dream" firmly implanted in my conscious. I truly believed if you worked hard and played by the rules that you would be rewarded. 25 years later, look at where we are now...
    The rules have been skewed in favor of big business, no reward for the workin man there. Our hard work has been either shipped overseas or reduced to the point where only desperate outlaws seeking asylum will work for the slave wage offered. What ever happened to a fair day's pay for a fair day's work?
    I feel sorry for today's high school graduates. Their best case scenario is they will be left cleaning up the mess big business, special interest, and cronyism has created...
    sorry kids, but don't get (sigh...)

    June 5, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  14. Jerry

    Mr. Biden, more cynical than you?!

    June 5, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |