Don O’Day’s Joe Biden Story

Every 4 years, Don O’Day spends February in New Hampshire.

The former Board of Education (and, more recently, Coleytown Middle School reopening committee) chair is not there to ski.

A political junkie since 1968, he takes a first-hand look at the men and women who — early in the presidential campaign — crisscross the Granite State before its first-in-the-nation primary.

O’Day is there as they speak to small crowds, mingle afterward, and engage in the type of retail politics that the rest of the country only dreams about.

Eleven months ago he was there, up close and personal with Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.

And very, very personal with Joe Biden.

Don O’Day, with Joe Biden. At left: Don’s son Mike O’Day and his fiancee Nicole Sockett.

O’Day attended a small campaign event. Afterwards, he spoke to the former vice president.

I attended a small Biden campaign event in New Hampshire and spoke to him afterwards.

O’Day said he had used the former vice president’s words several years earlier, when he delivered a eulogy for his brother-in-law.

Biden stopped the rope line, and listened.

Speaking personally, and listening intently.

“He only seemed interested in how my sister was dealing with the loss of her husband,” O’Day recalls.

“His New Hampshire opponents didn’t seem to matter. When I told him it’s still a day-to-day thing, even though several years have passed, he took her number and said he would would call.

“I wasn’t sure he would.  But the next day — in the middle of a primary campaign — he called. They spoke for 15 minutes. No politics — just family, grief, joy and life. ”

O’Day’s sister was “overwhelmed.”

Two days later, he went to another Biden event. O’Day thanked him. They spoke about again — about his sister, the call, and Biden’s approach to dealing with loss.

“He took the time,” O’Day says about America’s new president.

“He’s the real deal.”

Joe Biden in New Hampshire, with Don O’Day’s wife Toni and son Donny.

 

2 responses to “Don O’Day’s Joe Biden Story

  1. Don has always worked hard to support his beliefs. Going to New Hampshire doesn’t surprise me. Look, also, at what he has done for Westport spending all those nights for years on the Board of Education and more recently getting Coleytown Middle School open. Don is a gem and a gift to Westport.

  2. Thank you to John O’Day for sharing this personal encounter with Joe Biden. This story is a perfect example of why I think Biden is the BEST person to lead us through this time in our nation. Although I have only met John briefly when he assisted the LWVs by doing a wonderful job moderating the 2020 debates, I have heard many good things about him since that time. He is indeed an asset to our community — and I bet Biden saw his goodness as well.

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