Presidential Candidate Biden Speaks To Iowa State U.-area Crowd

This story was written by Kyle Miller, Iowa State Daily
With the January caucuses quickly approaching, presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., made an appearance at a fundraiser Friday night to give potential caucus-goers one last look.

The fundraiser, which took place at the Octagon Center for the Arts in Iowa, featured many prominent members of local government. Iowa State Representative Lisa Heddins, D-Ames, City Councilman Jim Popkins, Iowa State Sen. Herman Quirmbach, D-Ames, and members of Biden's family were on hand. The fundraiser was in benefit of Quirmbach and the Iowa Democratic Party.

Quirmbach opened the night by recounting the "victories" the Democratic Party has had since taking over the State House and Senate in November 2006. He referenced raising the minimum wage, passing an anti-bullying bill, raising K-12 teacher pay, a keg registration bill, legal protection to gays and lesbians and making paper trail verification a part of voting as some of those victories.

All of these, Quirmbach said, were done in a "fiscally responsible fashion," as he said the Democrats have balanced the state budget.

"We are delivering on our promises," Quirmbach said. "It has been fun being in the majority."

After Quirmbach's speech, Biden took to the podium to thank all the Democrats in the room and to make a plea for his nomination at the January caucuses.

"You all have been incredible. You really take this seriously," Biden said.

"Thank you for allowing a guy like me into the game."

Most of Biden's speech focused on his experiences running in the caucus race in Iowa, all the people he has met and about how expensive it is to run in a presidential race.

"You are going to decide which three of us is going to get a pass out of here," Biden said.

Biden said no one can run for president without at least $100 million to run the race, and that is money that he does not have. Biden also said if he gets the top nomination, he will be able to get additional funds via the Internet, like John Kerry in 2004.

Biden said whoever does get the caucus nomination and wins in November '08 will have "the single greatest opportunity to change the nature of the country and to shape the world."

"My job as your next president is to restore confidence in America," Biden said.

Biden said the job of the next president "rests outside of the country," and that "real terrorists, not made up ones," failed states, epidemics and nuclear proliferation are challenges to be faced -- but he said America is a nation of "pragmatists."

"We are not a nation of liberals, conservatives or centers. We are a nation of pragmatists," Biden said. "[So] have faith in your fellow Americans."
© 2007 Iowa State Daily via U-WIRE