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Biden and the Industry

During his presidential bid, Joseph Biden raised just over $111,000 from the entertainment industry — far behind Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.

But Biden’s lack of show biz pizazz may be just what Obama needs.

Producer Joe Pichirallo, who raised money for Biden’s presidential bid this cycle, says that the Delaware senator is “an amazing retail politician.”

“Whereas Obama has an image of being ‘cool,’ Biden perhaps will never be considered ‘cool.’ He’s a man of passion.”

Throughout the 2008 race, Biden lagged other candidates in overall fund-raising, a fact that he attributed to his decision to back away from a national profile after running for the Democratic nomination in 1988. Instead, he concentrated on foreign policy and the judiciary. Pichirallo, who is producing the upcoming pics “The Secret Life of Bees” and “Lakeview Terrace,” got to know Biden in 2006 and travelled with him in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Donors who met Biden liked him, but doubted that he could win against star candidates.

“I’m really pleased and excited,” Pichirallo says. “I’m impressed Barack Obama had the wherewithal and confidence to pick him.”

Pichirallo says that Biden, with working class roots and Irish Catholic upbringing, will prove an asset on the campaign trail. A champion of law enforement issues and civil rights, Biden also will prove to be a “strong ambassador” to Clinton supporters, he says.

“I always have to think he and Hillary Clinton get along very well,” he says.

He has a record of championing women’s rights issues and opposing candidates to the Supreme Court who would restrict Roe vs. Wade, he added.

Biden does have a strong record for support of Israel, which could help Obama as his campaign tries to tamp down e-mail rumors questioning his backing of the Jewish state.

Biden was in Los Angeles 10 days ago at a fund-raiser for his Senate re-election bid. The event was at the home of Democratic activist Carmen Warshaw, a longtime donor to Jewish causes, with former Secretary of State Warren Christopher among those present. (Warshaw also hosted a gathering in June of Obama’s Jewish outreach committee).

Talk was swirling then about an Obama-Biden ticket, and Pichirallo says that he “could tell there was something serious about their conversations.”

Corrected version.

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