Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks with Oprah Winfrey and 94-yr-old Mildred Madison during a virtual get-out-the-vote event. (Photo: AP)

Associated Press, Defender News Service

Joe Biden is getting a boost from Oprah Winfrey in the final days of the presidential campaign.

The Democratic nominee made a surprise appearance Wednesday on a virtual get-out-the-vote event hosted by Winfrey that focused on voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio.

While President Donald Trump won all but Minnesota in 2016, Democrats are increasingly optimistic Biden can win at least Michigan and Pennsylvania back, and he’s making a play for Ohio as well.

During the event, Biden spoke to Mildred Madison, a 94-year-old Michigan resident who drove over 600 miles to cast her vote in person after her absentee ballot never arrived.

He told Madison that her story “gives me that extra boost of hope and energy and optimism for the country.” Referencing his stump speech slogan that “we’re in a battle for the soul of America,” Biden told Madison, “You are the soul of America.”

Winfrey was an early high-profile endorser of Barack Obama, and her support helped boost him in the 2008 Democratic primary. But while she endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, she largely sat out of the campaign that year.

In other Election 2020 news, the presidential campaign shifted west as Trump visits an Arizona town across the Colorado River from Nevada. Biden gave remarks on the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday before he and his wife, Jill, went to cast their ballots.

Senator Kamala Harris, Biden’s choice of Vice President, addressed Trump’s criticism of her while campaigning in Arizona, calling herself a “proud, patriotic American” in the spirit of the late Sen. John McCain.

Harris, an HBCU graduate and member of the Divine Nine, said Wednesday during a car rally in Phoenix that “there’s been a lot of talk from the current occupant of the White House about my values.”

Trump has criticized Harris as a force of the “radical left” and a “socialist.” He’s also said it would be an insult for her to be the nation’s first female president.

Harris says one of the values Americans share is the knowledge that the commander in chief’s first priority should be the health of the nation’s people. She’s calling Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic “the greatest failure” of any administration in history.

She says, “I know that we are all prepared to stand for the democracy of our country and to stand for the country we love.”

Trump promised to release his taxes while campaigning for the presidency in 2015 and 2016. He also promised to unveil a GOP healthcare plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and to build a wall on the U.S./Mexico border and make Mexico pay for it during his 2015-16 campaigning. He remains o-for-three on those promises.