Thursday, March 19, 2009

Amy Klobuchar.... "This is a difficult time, but our determination will get us through this."

Senator Klobuchar introduced Vice President Joe Biden to the crowd at 11:47am.

The company New Flyer Bus, Co, employs 650 in St.Cloud. They are a leader in transit innovation and low-emission transportation.

Each bus manufactured here has 20,000 individual parts that come from across the U.S.

Last year, New Flyer delivered 2,164 new buses, up 8 precent from the year before. The company has 2,500 employees, with 1,000 in Minnesota. (Source: St.Cloud Times)

12:03pm...Vice President Biden: "We're standing here under the roof of a true American success story." He went on to detail the highlights of the growth in the New Flyer Bus Company.

"We want to lay a foundation for the 21st Century." Biden went on with additional details of how the recently-passed Recovery Act is helping the economy right now.

12:19...Vice President Biden wrapped up his introduction speech and is now bringing members of the President's Cabinet to the podium to give the crowd a little background from each of them.

Sec of Ag Tom Vilsack spoke at length about plans to help the nation's ailing dairy industry. (It's about time!)

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development said that the average American family has 60% of their paycheck eaten up by housing and transportation costs.

12:31pm...Two important websites that were announced by Cabinet members: One of them is and another is

On to the audience participation and the Town Hall format:

12:34...A member of the audience from Apple Valley talked about a Light Rail project, a $176 million project, with 2,100 employees in the first phase of construction. She spoke of how they want to buy from Minnesota companies for the project.

Vice President Biden replying to a person who asked about opportunities for recent immigrants to the United States.

12:45...Vice President Biden emphatically stated, "Health care is no longer just a moral issue... it is an economic and a budget issue."

He talked about the Health Care Act, which has a $630 billion down payment over 10 years. It's paid for in the budget, as well.

12:55pm... The Cabinet members highlighted opportunities for women in the work force, women owning businesses, and also child care issues. (Items my girlfriend will be interested to hear about!)

12:59...Ag Secretary Vilsack mentioned that there are 8,800 parts in a windmill. He also bragged about renewable energy in Minnesota.

1:01...Vice President Biden called Veteran's issues a "sacred" issue, and that promises made to them must be kept. His own son is a veteran of the Iraq war.

1:09...Vice President Biden states, "I'm kind of a nut on rail." (When talking about the Northstar Rail Corridor, and other rail projects around the country.

By around 1:30, the event wrapped up and Vice President Biden got busy walking along a line of well-wishers and members of the public who wanted a photo opportunity with him.

More video clips will be posted today and on Friday. I have plenty to review and decide what to post.

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