Archives For joe biden

Perhaps it was not merely a coincidence that on the week I turn the big 3-0, I interviewed a gentleman that gave me one of the biggest breaks of my young career.

Of course at the time, he wasn’t trying to throw some 20 year-old know-it-all living in Scranton, Penn. a bone; rather he was attempting to help elect Barack Obama to the White House. And we all know how that story ends.

David Plouffe re-wrote the history books and how-to manuals on elections in the 21st century as President Obama’s Campaign Manager in 2008. He now serves as the Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy for the car service Uber. On the app’s fifth anniversary of existence, Plouffe made the media rounds, including a phone call on “Ralphie Tonight,” to chat about the present state of the company and what the future holds for it.

“UberPOOL, our car pooling service, is only in four cities now,” Plouffe explained. That particular feature allows different users to share the same car as opposed to calling separate cars; benefits to the consumer include lower rates. “We want to bring that to as many cities as possible because it’s cheaper transportation, the driver makes more money because they’re always on a trip and it really can help reduce congestion and reduce emissions and pollution.”

Of course in addition to expanding services within the cities in which Uber already operates, the company also has its eyes set on breaking in to new markets, both domestically and internationally. The app can be used in 58 countries – yet many major cities in New York State don’t have Uber.

“One good example is Upstate New York,” Plouffe said (born in Niagara Falls, N.Y., I was quick to refer to my neck of the woods as Western New York). “We’d love to get in to Binghamton and Buffalo and Syracuse and Albany; places by the way that don’t have a lot of public transportation options. We think we can help cut down on drunk and distracted driving.”

Another stated goal of Plouffe’s is to break up the monopolies that taxi and black car companies have in certain cities. Las Vegas was a topic of conversation; both Uber and Lyft will be allowed to operate in Vegas starting next month.

“(Monopolies) don’t foster innovation. They don’t serve the public,” Plouffe lobbied. “But what you see is most people who use Uber are making a choice not to drive themselves. So it’s not that it’s a small pie that’s now going to be divvied up between Uber and taxi; the overall pie grows.”

Regarding Vegas, Plouffe said he believes Uber will see business from not just The Strip but the surrounding suburbs; people that he claims can’t access a taxi as easy because they’re all located in one central place.

Oh, and regarding that big career break: I lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania and covered both the Democratic Primary and General Election for my radio station. My perseverance at the campaign rallies paid off: then-Senator Obama’s camp began throwing a number of celebrity surrogates my way. Suddenly this kid who had been in Scranton for just over a year had the likes of Cynthia Nixon, Fran Drescher, Adam Levine, Maggie Gyllenhaal and more calling in to his show. Those interviews gained me national press, which led to my show entering syndication. That set the groundwork for my eventual move to the biggest media market in the country.

“Well that’s a great story,” Plouffe responded when I filled him in. “I’m glad we could provide that opportunity.”
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And you can say that the Wilkes Barre/Scranton market has been good to Plouffe. This past Febraury, over seven years after NEPA helped elect President Obama and Scranton’s own Vice President Joe Biden, the area became the latest to join Uber.

In honor of #ThrowbackThursday, here are a few of the aforementioned interviews from 2008!

An Internet hacker is reminding everyone this week that no matter how famous or not you are; your personal information can be compromised on the World Wide Web. A website believed to be operated or hosted out of Russia is alleging to have gone public with personal information on celebrities and political figures alike, including First Lady Michelle Obama.

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TMZ.com first reported of the page’s existence Monday. Initially, 12 public figures were singled out. Credit reports, Social Security numbers, and phone numbers are published that allegedly belong to such stars as Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Kim Kardashian. Varying levels of information are also available about public figures, including Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Attorney General Eric Holder.

A Los Angeles Police Department source confirmed to the Daily News that Police Chief Charlie Beck’s info was posted to the page. The FBI would only confirm that the agency knew of the website’s existence.

Late Monday night, the list of targets grew to include Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and pro wrestler Hulk Hogan.

Then Tuesday morning, information purported to be that of Michelle Obama’s was uploaded to the page.

Little is known publicly about the website. The “.su” suffix suggests it may emanate from Russia; the site’s Twitter page is written in Russian. We will link to neither on our page.

UPDATE: The list has grown exponentially since this article was written. Recent targets include R. Kelly, Mitt Romney, Tiger Woods, and

As politically active as Young Jeezy was last fall, it only made sense that last week, he felt right at home in what the pundits called, “The Ground Zero of the Presidential Election.”

“I appreciate Scranton for standing behind (President Obama),” Jeezy told me backstage at the first stop on the “America’s Most Wanted Music Festival.” Obama won both Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties. “We here now, we’re trying to make the world a better place.”

The Atlanta-rapper is both realistic and patient – he believes it’ll take President Obama two terms to fix the various big ticket issues our country faces. But he also recognizes the other half of the winning ticket.

“Joe Biden! What up homie!” he cheerfully shouted when I reminded him that Vice President Biden is from the Electric City.

The conversation quickly turned to music, as Jeezy is working on his fourth studio LP: Thug Motivation 103. No release date is set – and the rapper is rather evasive on details. Jeezy did tell me that fans can expect, “a little bit of everything,” referring to a conglomerate of material that people grew accustomed to between Thug Motivation 101 and The Recession.

“Everything still pretty much in the can right now,” Jeezy revealed. “It’s gonna be a very special album, but at the same time, the streets gonna love this, Scranton are gonna love this, people are gonna love this album.”

Still, Jeezy would not as much as divulge any type of timeline for the record’s release, simply stating that he’ll drop it once it’s finished. You would think that if it’s already in production, it’ll be released by the time fellow Atlanta rapper T.I. leaves jail. Young Jeezy told me that through their respective camps he keeps in touch with T.I.P.

“He’s gotta pay his debt to society and get back on it. We here for him though.”


01.15.09 : The Academy Is… – About A Girl
William & Adam talk about the track with Ralphie:

The guys chat about the Presidential Inauguration, Warped Tour, & Cancun:

how cannot you not appreciate the genius that is will.i.am.?

it seems as if chris matthews mentions scranton in every show. so you’d think the “hardball” host wouldn’t get soft with the local media, while visiting the city… right?

the pennsylvania-born tv host interviewed sen. joe biden after sunday’s rally with former president bill clinton and senator hillary clinton. listen to the audio and figure out what really went on.

i would be blown off another time – and not granted an inning or two of “hardball.”

matthews did have plenty of time to sign autographs and take photos with adoring fans at the rally, so it wasn’t as if i bothered him while he was prepping for a segment/interview.

from the mccain-palin camp:

“Angry Joe Biden today riled up his crowd with fictitious claims about John McCain. For an Obama-Biden campaign spending more money on negative advertising than any campaign in history, red-faced Joe Biden shouted and cursed but couldn’t shake Obama’s job-killing prescription of higher taxes and bigger government. Like most of ole Joe’s pitches and tall tales, Biden’s claims for energy independence through clean coal are at odds with his record.  It was just last month that he adamantly claimed an Obama-Biden administration would say ‘no’ to clean coal plants in America. His reversal today on clean coal is one more fib from ole Joe.” – Ben Porritt McCain-Palin spokesman.

not sure if i would characterize biden as angry… definitely loud and adamant though.

about to leave the riverfront sports complex now… chris matthews and his producers have blown me off a solid three times. the tv host is currently chatting it up with sen. bob casey – who i did speak with and who you’ll hear from tomorrow night on the ralphie radio show.

just said hello to nbc’s ron allen… music is fading… sen. bob casey is here as well… looks like the program is getting underway. last i checked, we were priming for a 3:15 start… by golly – it’s 2:36 and we might actually start on time.

“prayer/blessing” just ended… really weird… people were cheering during the speech… aren’t we supposed to remain solumn for it?
pledge just ended as well… i’m going to roam around…

just spoke with sean smith, obama’s spokesperson for pennslyvania. despite my audience of 100,000 people and my connection with him as a syracuse alum, it appears i won’t be speaking with sen. joe biden this afternoon. 

in all fairness, i will say the obama camp has accomodated me more so than the mccain camp. let’s put it like this – david letterman wasn’t the only person duped by mccain’s media people.

anywho, more updates on the way. btw, the clintons are staying at the radisson downtown, saw a number of armored SUVs and state troopers outside en route to the sports complex.