Vice President Joe Biden told Democrats today that losing their 60th vote in the Senate to GOP Sen.-elect Scott Brown in Massachusetts may, in fact, be a blessing in disguise for the party.
"The reports of our demise are premature," Biden said at a meeting of the Democratic National Committee's National Finance Committee/National Advisory Board in Washington. "It's time everybody take a deep breath, take a deep breath, let's put this in perspective."
Biden said losing the Massachusetts Senate seat to Republicans has a practical impact, and that the loss was more frustrating given that the seat belonged to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
"But I'm not so sure what a blessing 60 votes was," he added.
With more than 10 million people unemployed, he said it is understandable that people are frustrated with leaders in Washington. But now that Republicans have the ability to block legislation with the filibuster, he said, they will be accountable for the state of the nation as well.
"Republicans are betting that obstruction will trump leadership," Biden said.
Democrats, however, are still "energized by the possibilities that came with a strong majority," he said, and President Obama remains committed to his agenda.
"We can't get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent after this great recession in two years, but you're going to see come the spring net increases in jobs," he said. "We're not backing off a single thing we believe in."
"Some of you wonder whether Barack really meant it when he said real change," Biden added. "We meant real change."