Vice President Joseph Biden is visiting the Hancock tower in Boston this evening for a pair of events, including one that Governor Deval Patrick says is a "friend-raiser" ahead of the 2012 presidential election.
One of the two meetings is taking place in the personal offices of Jack Connors, the local advertising executive who has been spearheading the fundraising effort for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, according to a Connors assistant and a top local Democrat who saw the invitation.
"Massachusetts has been good to the Obama-Biden ticket, and was the last time around, and the administration has been good to Massachusetts, and the vice president is here to refresh those relationships and rally some of the organizers for the coming election," Patrick told reporters at the State House.
The trip is coming almost exactly two weeks after President Obama visited the city for a fundraiser on behalf of the committee charged with helping elect Democrats to the US House of Representatives.
The back-to-back visits underscore the party's emphasis on strengthening itself in the aftermath of the mid-term election, when the Democrats lost their House majority. Obama and Biden also are gearing up for what The Washington Post projected in December could be the first $1 billion presidential campaign.
Obama himself met last week with top donors in Washington, although he did not directly solicit contributions at that time.
Instead, the president told the group: "As 2012 unfolds, I expect that we’re going to have a lot of questions and there are going to be vigorous debates, but I don’t want us to lose sight of the huge opportunities we have to seize the moment and make sure that America is not just changed, but is changed for the better."
He added: "And my hope is that the same spirit that helped change this country in 2008, that that spirit is still in each and every one of you.”
Massachusetts was one of former President Bill Clinton's most reliable fund-raising states, but two area Democrats who helped him raise money Steve Grossman and Alan Solomont are now in different roles.
Grossman was elected state treasurer in November and just started his term in January; Solomont is serving as US ambassador to Spain and Andorra after an appointment from Obama himself.
"My understanding is it's a 'friend-raising' meeting getting ready for the 2012 elections," said Patrick.
Earlier in the day, Biden joined US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, US Senator Chris Coons, and other officials from his home state of Delaware to tour the Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington.
According to a pool report, "they visited a classroom of students who were learning about physical science."
Biden told reporters he is hopeful that Howard High School's turnaround plan will help students, saying that "part of it is believing in them and setting the bar high," the report said.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.