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Online Extra: Biden makes quick stop in Oakland on Super Tuesday

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Former vice president Joseph R. Biden Jr. was surrounded by the media during a stop at the Buttercup restaurant in Oakland Tuesday morning. Photo: Cynthia Laird
Former vice president Joseph R. Biden Jr. was surrounded by the media during a stop at the Buttercup restaurant in Oakland Tuesday morning. Photo: Cynthia Laird  

Former vice president Joseph R. Biden Jr. spent part of Super Tuesday morning at a diner near Oakland's Jack London Square, hoping to hustle up some votes as Californians head to the polls.

Biden arrived at about 10:45 a.m. at the Buttercup restaurant at Third Street and Broadway and was warmly greeted by customers. Owner Ben Shahvar told the Bay Area Reporter that the Biden campaign contacted him to see if they could hold a meet and greet there.

"I said sure," Shahvar said.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, District 3 City Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney, and state Senator Steve Glazer were on hand. McElhaney told the B.A.R. that she did not endorse Biden. Schaaf previously said she was not endorsing a candidate after her first choice, Senator Kamala Harris (D-California), dropped out in December.

Also on hand was retired hero pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who landed an American Airline flight in the Hudson River after a bird strike disabled both engines in 2009.

A Biden campaign spokeswoman said that he was headed to Los Angeles after the short Oakland stop. Biden did not make a speech at the event, though he did purchase some pie, which he paid for in cash.

Biden is attempting to coalesce moderate support in the 14 states and the territory of American Samoa that vote Tuesday. California is by far the biggest prize, with 415 pledged delegates at stake, though due to mailed in and provisional ballots it could be weeks before a final vote count in the state's nominating contest is known.

On Monday, Biden was endorsed by two former rivals: gay former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Buttigieg ended his campaign Sunday night, Klobuchar dropped out Monday. They threw their support to Biden at an event in Dallas in an effort to blunt the surge of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who has surged in recent weeks and is poised to rake in delegates Tuesday.

Voters in California have until 8 p.m. to cast ballots at their polling stations.

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