PETERBOROUGH — Former Gov. John Lynch made the case for a Joe Biden presidency in Peterborough Thursday, arguing the former vice president can beat President Donald Trump and bridge the country’s political divides.
“I think what’s going to happen with Joe Biden is he’s going to restore a sense of order and stability to the world, which is clearly what is needed. I trust that Joe Biden is going to unite us as a country,” Lynch told the nine people, mostly older area residents, gathered mid-morning in the home of Janine and Rick Lesser.
Central to Lynch’s argument, which he’s making across the state in a five-day “Live Free, Vote Joe” tour, was the claim that Biden can pull together a cross-aisle coalition to defeat Trump in the general election.
“He can appeal to the more moderate Republicans who don’t like the current occupant of the White House,” said Lynch, who served in Concord’s corner office from 2005 to 2013 and endorsed Biden on the first day of his campaign last April.
Many strong Biden supporters in the group Thursday based their support in a belief in Biden’s electability.
“He has more of a centralist, moderate mindset that can bring the country together at a time when we’re so divided and it’s uncomfortable to talk to family and friends about politics,” said Cheryl Seifert, who is in her 50s and originally backed U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, but said she turned her support toward Biden after the Garden Stater dropped out earlier this month.
Several argued Biden can not only win the election, but also has the experience to govern effectively once in office.
“You have to look at people’s record and what they’ve done, not just what they say,” said host Janine Lesser, 67, citing Biden’s positions as head of several high-profile committees when he was a U.S. senator from Delaware and his help in working across the aisle to pass the Affordable Care Act.
After Thursday’s house party, Lynch was scheduled to head to Franklin Pierce to participate in the Rindge university’s Pizza & Politics series before continuing to an event in Claremont.
In introducing Lynch at her home, Lesser — a former employee of the state Department of Health and Human Services — called on the attendees to vote Biden.
“A lot of people seem to be getting enthralled by shiny objects in the environment, but I think Joe is the real thing,” she said.
Most supporters at the event also spoke of Biden’s “character” as a salve that could heal the country’s wounds.
“He’s the right person to bring compassion back to the country, which we’ve lost,” said Michael Desmarais, 52, a sales manager from Peterborough.
For Gene Faltus, a Swanzey resident and former Republican who has terminal cancer, the kindness he said Biden showed him at a Keene event over the summer solidified his support for him.
Faltus added he’s grateful for Biden’s leadership of the Cancer Moonshot initiative, which was inspired in part by the illness of Biden’s son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015.
“Joe Biden has personally reached out to me, and the campaign has embraced me and given me strength and purpose to carry on,” said Faltus, 67, a retired radio broadcast engineer, who said he’s knocked on 554 doors for the candidate since Jan. 1.
Not all in the group were sold on Biden, however, including Janine’s husband, Rick, 69, who said he’s concerned Biden’s candidacy would be tarred in the general election by the Ukraine controversy involving Biden’s son, Hunter, which is at the center of the impeachment trial in the Senate.
In August, a whistleblower alleged Trump used the powers of his office to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation into a theory that Joe Biden, while vice president, called for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating the head of a Ukrainian company of which Hunter Biden was a board member. There is no evidence Hunter was ever under investigation.
At this point, Rick said he plans to write in Michael Bloomberg, whom he said has strong management skills from his time revitalizing New York City as mayor.
Fellow Peterborough resident Bill Macduff, an 81-year-old retired air traffic controller, said he’s concerned Biden, at the age of 77, is too old to complete two terms.
Recounting his answer to state residents who ask what a Biden presidency would mean to the people of New Hampshire, Lynch said he returns to the basic desire for a more stable president who does not send out late-night tweets and spur disconcerting news stories.
“It means we can go to bed at night and have a good night’s sleep and not worry about what’s going to be in front of us first thing in the morning,” Lynch said.