"I guarantee you that Pennsylvania is coming back; I guarantee you that America is coming back," said Biden, who also guaranteed that Democrats would hold their majority in the House, with Lentz as a member. "Don't let him down."
About 25 flag-waving protesters organized by the Independence Hall Tea Party PAC gathered outside the hotel. They mocked Pelosi with a symbolic pink slip and schoolyard-style chants - "Naaan-cccyy, come out and playyy!" - as Democrats inside prepared to munch on chicken satay and mixed greens with Boursin cheese.
"Nancy Pelosi represents the biggest government we've ever had in the United States, and along with that comes higher taxes and more spending," said Don Adams, a founder of the local tea-party chapter. "Bryan Lentz represents that as well."
Meehan and Republicans in Harrisburg and Washington had a field day with the fundraiser, practically salivating at the opportunity to portray Lentz as a "rubber stamp" for Pelosi in a district where Republicans outnumber Democrats.
"We can't afford another Pelosi disciple like Lentz in our Congress," said Meehan campaign manager Bryan Kendro.
Lentz is trailing Meehan by about $340,000 in the money race, according to campaign-finance reports filed last week. After the fundraiser, Lentz dismissed Republicans' attempts to tag him as a limousine liberal and other "phony" names.
"I was an airborne Ranger in the Army. I volunteered to serve as a reservist in Iraq," Lentz said. "I ain't no limousine liberal."
State Sen. Daylin Leach, who attended the fundraiser, said afterward that he doubted that the Pelosi connection would hurt Lentz in November.
"I think it's silly to try to tie him to Pelosi," Leach said. "Who is Mr. Meehan going to have campaign with him that is so popular? Sarah Palin? Dick Cheney?"
Meehan was expected last night to join former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani at the Union League on Broad Street for a small event that was part-fundraiser, part-dinner-and-cigar session.