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    • Join Date: Aug 2007
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    #1

    in Obama's speech

    I have a question in the sentence underlined below.

    I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

    Does the sentence mean that Obama got into the train bound for Joe's hometown with Joe during his campaign or Joe has left for his hometown?

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    #2

    Re: in Obama's speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazar View Post
    I have a question in the sentence underlined below.

    I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

    Does the sentence mean that Obama got into the train bound for Joe's hometown with Joe during his campaign or Joe has left for his hometown?
    No, not quite. Argh, the pedants will hate that sentence!

    Note that hanging with, used twice: a schoolbook "error", "never end a clause with a preposition", but of course everyone does.

    So:

    men and women he grew up with = men and women with whom he grew up.

    men and women he grew up with and rode with = men and women with whom he rode... on that train home to Delaware.

    So Obama wants (present tense) to thank Biden: Biden the man who advocated the interests of the people with whom he, Biden, grew up; those same people with whom Biden rode (past tense) on the train home to Delaware.

    This is incomprehensible unless you know the back story.

    Delaware is a state that borders the District of Columbia (Washington, DC). Biden was the senator from Delaware for many years. Senators usually move to Washington. Biden, however, chose to continue living in Delaware and for many years took a daily 90-minute train ride from home to his workplace (the Senate) and back. This was presented as an example of refusing to become one of the "elite": many ordinary people work in Washington but cannot afford to live in that city.

    So: Obama thanks his partner, the man who so well represented the interests of the common people that he rode the same trains with them.

    Note as well that the "journey" in which Obama and Biden were partners IS NOT the daily "train ride" to Washington that Biden and the "men and women he grew up with" took together. This "journey" is the successful campaign for the White House.

    Politicians and their bad rhetoric. :)
    Last edited by abaka; 13-Jan-2009 at 19:40.

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