Firm hosts Biden for Obama fundraiser

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Former justice Dennis Archer introduced vice president

By John Minnis
Legal News

Vice President Joe Biden and his granddaughter were the guests of honor at a private fundraiser Aug. 22 held in the elegant and historic Hecker-Smiley Mansion, home of Charfoos & Christensen P.C. at 5510 Woodward Ave.

Co-hosts for the event were former Detroit Mayor and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Dennis Archer, formerly of Charfoos & Christensen, and Richard Lenter, of counsel with Charfoos & Christensen.

Some 60 invited guests, including WDIV-TV’s Carmen Harlan and many young people who got the opportunity to talk with Biden’s granddaughter, attended the fundraiser, which brought in some $250,000 for the Obama Victory Fund.

Biden told the attendees about how when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 1972 against an entrenched Republican incumbent, he was given virtually no chance to win. His victory celebration, however, was cut short when his wife and 1-year-old daughter were killed in a auto accident while Christmas shopping. The Bidens’ two sons were critically injured.

Biden was devastated and bitter. He decided not to take office in order to care for his two sons. However, six senators paid him a visit at his Wilmington, Del., home and urged him to take his Senate seat. “We are your new family,” they said. Biden went on to be re-elected to the Senate six times, serving for 36 years in the U.S. Senate before becoming the 47th vice president of the United States.

When asked by Barack Obama to be his running mate, Biden said he initially declined. But Obama was persistent. Finally, Biden said he would serve as vice president under one condition: That he be the last one in the room when a decision is being made.

One such decision, Biden said, was to bailout the U.S. automakers. The decision, though greatly opposed by many, saved a lot of American jobs. Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney’s idea to let the automakers go through bankruptcy’s normal course would have cost the country some 2 million jobs, Biden said, when those of suppliers are included. Further, recovery of the automakers may have then been impossible without suppliers.

Another key decision of the Obama administration, Biden said, was to send Navy SEALs to take out Osama Bin Laden. Biden said Obama’s decision to send in SEALs rather than use missiles or drone strikes went against the advice of the president’s advisors. “We want to be sure we get him,” Biden said was the president’s reason for sending in the SEALs.

Prior to the fundraiser, all Charfoos & Christensen employees, guests, caterers and valet parking personnel had to be vetted by the Secret Service. The vice president spent two hours at the event.

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