They came for the free gifts, for the chance to be on TV, for Barbara Walters. Vice President Joe Biden? Not so much. The New Republic’s Laura Bennett spoke with audience members as they filed into Tuesday’s live taping of The View, and she discovered that Biden was less popular than a bag of sweet potato chips:
Most of the crowd gathered at the studio yesterday hadn’t come to see the veep. They were diehard “View” fans who’d entered the ticket lottery months in advance and had no idea who the guest would be until a few days beforehand. “When I found out it would be Biden, I thought, ‘Well, at least it’s somebody,’” recalled 69-year-old Mary Ellen from Allentown, PA. “It could’ve been some singer I’ve never heard of. At another taping I went to, it was Avril Lavigne.”
The crowd then listed guests they’d much rather see such as Jon Bon Jovi, Ben Affleck, Ozzy Osbourne or Adam Levine and explained that the free swag was very enticing:
“To be honest, I was more excited that Nene Leakes was here on Friday,” one twenty something woman said. Two friends named Lori and Patty, both wearing spangled sweatshirts, had taken the train in from New Jersey for the occasion and were thrilled at the prospect of winning free gifts. Less so about Biden.
Among those presents were a bottle of apple juice, a bag of barbecue flavored sweet potato chips, and a DVD of the film Nebraska.
But, then Biden emerged, and the ambivalent audience seemed to have a change of heart:
From the moment he nestled on the couch amid the ladies of “The View,” it was clear that he had won the room.
Walters increased Biden's confidence by calling him a "superb vice president" and giving him a kiss on the cheek. The veep then told mothers to encourage their children to sign up for Obamacare, denying the health care law was a jobs killer despite the atrocious CBO report and hinted that he has not ruled out a 2016 presidential run.
After his “charming” appearance, Bennett goes on to relate how the audience cheered wildly for him - this time presumably without any prompting from the stage manager. Then, they turned full groupie. Some screamed, “We love you!” and one lady named Rose, who declared it was her fifth time as an audience member, said she’s “never washing her suit” again after Biden hugged her, calling him her “favorite guest of all time.”
The studio audience may have experienced a 360 on Biden during his time on the show, but it’s not hard to understand their hesitation prior to filming. After all, the VP has come to be remembered more for his gaffes than any policy achievements. Tell me, what exactly would he run on in 2016?
If he does throw his hat in the presidential ring, I think Biden’s going to find out the hard way that schmoozing four talk show hosts and an ABC studio audience is a lot easier than winning over a nation.