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Updated: July 19, 8:57 p.m.

Clarification Appended

Vice President Joseph Biden has nothing but praise for Speaker Nancy Pelosi. So much so, in fact, that he declared the California Democrat the most powerful person in American politics — except for President Barack Obama — during a Philadelphia fundraiser Monday.  

Biden and Pelosi attended a campaign event for Bryan Lentz, the Democratic candidate running to replace Rep. Joe Sestak (D), who is running for Senate. During his remarks, Biden expanded on previous comments by Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), who referred to Pelosi as “the most powerful woman in American politics.”  

“I would rephrase that: the most powerful person in American politics,” Biden told the crowd, according to pool report coverage of his remarks, which were not televised.  

An updated pool report later clarified that Biden added: “With the exception of the president of the United States. And I mean that sincerely.”  

The vice president continued, “The single most successful, the single most persuasive, the single most strategic leader I have ever worked with is Nancy Pelosi.”  

Biden also lavished praise on the Speaker for her role in the health care debate, referring to her as “the mother of health care.”  

Clarification: July 19

An updated pool report clarified that Vice President Joseph Biden gave exception to President Barack Obama when calling Speaker Nancy Pelosi “the most powerful person in American politics.” An earlier version of this story was published before the clarification was issued.

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