Professor Biden Shows Up For Law Class

(CBS)
From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

(WILMINGTON, DEL.) - Students who registered for a law school class with Joe Biden, before he became Obama's number-two man, finally got what they signed up for this morning.

Aware that his schedule might not allow him to show up on a regular basis, students were greeted by Biden when they arrived for class in a course on constitutional law.

"It's not that often that you have, you know, a candidate for vice president talking to you within ten feet from your face," said student Joseph Pultrone. "It was pretty cool."

Biden has been teaching the course since 1991, appearing when he can. A spokesman for Widener College said Biden once "took the red-eye out of Afghanistan to make this class."

Safe Fekadu, one of 18 students in the class, said Biden spoke "mostly about his experiences with the judicial nominees and pretty much the coursework."

"He tried to talk about issues of separation of powers, what is the Constitution, how should we interpret it. Just some pretty theoretical ideas."

Fedaku said he was approachable and likeable, and took a loose tone. Little was said about politics, but Biden did talk specifically about the nomination of Robert Bork for Supreme Court justice, which the Senate ultimately rejected.

Professor Bob Hayman takes over while Biden is away.

"The last time I had talked to him prior today was uh was right before the text message went out, and at that point I don't think he'd been formally notified yet that he was going to be the nominee. But he had a hunch that he was going to be," said Hayman.

Asked to explain why Biden had a hunch, Hayman said, "reading tea leaves here, he sounded, um, a bit more relaxed than I had, uh, heard in a while."

While Hayman is unsure when he can expect Biden again, he has hopes today won't be the only time the Delaware senator shows up for class.

"We're very hopeful that he'll be coming back after the election. We're less sure that he's going to be able to join us during the election. I think they've got a pretty full calendar between now and November."

Several students called it an honor to have Biden teach them, and despite his absence, say this morning's experience was worth signing up for a Saturday class.

"He's just got a real rapport with people. I mean, obviously," said Christell Hershey. "The topic was 'Issues in Constitutional Law' and he's quite the expert on it."

"It was just nice. We had coffee and doughnuts and we had a nice relaxed Saturday morning class and it was just really fun."