Biden rallies enthusiasm in SuperiorVice President Joe Biden — or Jill Biden’s husband — as he introduced himself to about 1,100 people in Superior Friday afternoon was greeted with an enthusiastic welcome from supporters at Superior Middle School.
By: By Shelley Nelson, Maria Lockwood, Emily Kram and Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
Vice President Joe Biden — or Jill Biden’s husband — as he introduced himself to about 1,100 people in Superior Friday afternoon was greeted with an enthusiastic welcome from supporters at Superior Middle School.
“He’s got rock star status,” Michael Sabyan, a retired locomotive engineer said of the vice president.
“Joe’s my hero,” he said. “After I saw him on the debate with Ryan, why I tell you, that was a good one.”
So he and his wife, Christine waited in line in the cold for a chance to see him speak. It’s the first time they’ve ever attended a political rally.
After a campaign stop in Beloit in the morning, the vice president flew into the Duluth International Airport and heading to Superior by motorcade.
“It’s a pretty big deal, especially for him to be here,” said Kassie Capuzzi, 20, of Superior. “Superior is not a poplar kind of area.” The UWS student works two jobs to support herself. Jobs and student loans are big issues in her mind this election year.
The crowd erupted in cheers after an introduction by Hilary Peterson, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, the cafetorium erupted in cheers.
“Are you ready for Joe?” Peterson asked the crowd. “Even if this is the first presidential election you vote in, it will be the most important one in your lifetime. That’s because the decisions made in the next four years will affect us for the next. four years or more to come. Just look how far we’ve come already and we want to move forward, not back.”
“I’m delighted to be here,” Biden said, joking about keeping the school open late on a Friday for the event.
Biden touched on Hurricane Sandy and the bipartisanship that is taking place as he and President Barack Obama work with governors and mayors in the affected areas
“My mom used to have an expression,” Biden said. “She used to say ‘Joey, for everything bad, something good will come along.’”
Biden said since the hurricane hit the East Coast, Republicans and Democrats are working together — the way they did when he started in politics.
“It reinforced my faith since this hurricane deal to see the way Democrats and Republicans are working together,” Biden said. “It’s like it’s supposed to work … Democrats and Republicans worked together and when this election is over we’ve got to get back to doing that. We need to put politics behind us.”
The vice president also took time to touch on issues important to people in Superior.
“We’ve made real progress — 4.5 million new jobs in the last four years ,” Biden said. “We created more jobs in October than at any time in the last eight months.”
From manufacturing jobs on the climb and students attending college because of Pell grants, opportunity,
“This is the clearest choice any presidential election presented in my lifetime,” Biden said. “Unless you saw the debates lately. If you saw the debates lately, all of a sudden you would have thought Romney and Ryan are converted. They sound like Democrats. They don’t understand you can’t run away from your shadow when the sun is shining.”
When it came to the debate on foreign policy, the vice president said he didn’t know if Romney was going to endorse President Obama or debate him, changing his position on a variety of issues.
“There’s a lot at stake in this election,” Biden said.
From women’s rights to health care to the well-being of the middle class, Biden touched on countless issues that brought thunderous applause and cheers during the 34 minute speech.
“I’m inspired,” said Judy Little of Superior, a Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College student. “I’m inspired to go tell everybody that I know that I got to see him in person today and hear their opinion what they’re going to do on Tuesday.”
“He made it joyful while explaining how he could help our nation,” said Isabel Dokhanchi, 14. She said Biden was inspirational and made her wish she could cast a vote of her own on Tuesday.
Her mother, Cindy Christian, was impressed with seeing Biden in person.
“He’s everyman,” said Christian, who teaches political science at UMD. “He’s just so down to earth and explains things in ways that everybody can understand … he’s just very human.”