To celebrate his 100 days in office, President Joe Biden held a drive-in rally in Duluth with supporters in more than 300 cars in attendance.
He paid tribute to the Georgia voters who sent him, and Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to Washington, sealing a narrow majority for Democrats in the Senate.
“You know Georgia, we could not have passed the American Rescue Plan without you,” Biden said.
“Had we not come back and you elected them, those two votes made the difference. And that means we owe a special thanks to the people of Georgia. Because of you, the rest of the world, because of your two Senators, the rest of America was able to get the help they got so far.”
Biden pitched voters on his next ambitious policy goals, including infrastructure, childcare, pre-K and community college funding.
“I’ve never been more optimistic about the future in America,” Biden said. “America’s on the move again. We’re choosing hope over fear. Truth over lies. Light over darkness. And we’re working again.”
Biden chose the 7th Congressional District for the visit, one of the few to flip to the Democrats in 2020 thanks to an influx of new Georgians and immigrant communities who have become politically engaged.
“Georgia has really become this pivotal state in the country and I’m really glad he’s in the 7th District which is the pivot of Georgia,” said Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, who represents the 7th. Bourdeaux flipped what had been a Republican stronghold in 2020.
“This is the place where we saw huge change in voter turnout and voter engagement and a lot of immigrant communities really coming into their own politically. So it’s the hinge district in the hinge state of the country,” she said.
And the focus on Georgia from Democrats is not likely to lessen, said Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison.
“Georgia is the center of the political universe, and it probably will be for a while,” he said, predicting Georgia will become “the next Virginia” and “the gateway to the emergence of this New South.”
Before the rally Biden traveled to Plains, Ga. to pay a visit to an old friend: former President Jimmy Carter.
In 1976, then-Sen. Biden was the first U.S. senator and first elected official outside of Georgia to endorse Carter’s White House bid.
“Mr. President, I’ll never forget March 25, 1976. That was the day I traveled to Wisconsin and became the first United States Senator, the first elected official outside of Georgia to endorse you, Gov. Jimmy Carter for president of the United States,” Biden said in a video message to Carter featured in a new documentary about the Georgian, “Carterland.”
“Some of my colleagues in the Senate thought it was youthful exuberance on my part. Well, I was exuberant. But as I said, then, ‘Jimmy is not just a bright smile. He can win, and he can appeal to more segments of the population than any other person,’” Biden said.
Carter would return the favor when he endorsed Biden in 2020.
In a tribute at the Democratic National Convention, Carter called Joe his “first and most effective supporter in the United States Senate.”
“For decades, he has been my loyal and dedicated friend,” Carter said calling Biden “the right person for this moment in our nation’s history.”
“They are such a powerful reminder that serving our country isn’t limited to the office you hold. The Carters continue their work making our country stronger every day and we are grateful and honored for their friendship,” said first lady Jill Biden of the Carters when opening the rally in Duluth, after the Plains visit.
Joe Biden said Carter has had “some argue, the most inspiring post-presidency in which he worked to eradicate disease and conflict, promote free and fair elections throughout the world, house the homeless, and still found time to teach Sunday school. And did it all with a smile and with grace.”