Biden brings a crowd

UVM College Democrats President Molly Campbell stood in the rain for over an hour, excited to get inside of Patrick Gymnasium for warmth — and to see Vice President Joe Biden. “It is freezing out and we have been standing here forever,” senior Ian Hochman Reid said, standing next to Campbell and in front of hundreds of others. “But it doesn’t matter how long it takes — it will be worth it to see Joe.” Biden appeared on behalf of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Shumlin on Nov. 1 on the Patrick Gynmasium tennis courts, a news release stated. “This election is about competing visions for America,” Biden said. The advanced placement government class at Burlington High School, the National Education Association, politicians, students and many others waited in a line that wrapped around the gym until 10:40 a.m., when the earliest risers were let in. The Shumlin campaign said that audience members should expect to go through airport-type screening. “No sharp objects, signs, laptops, liquids, umbrellas,” a sign near two police officers at the entrance stated. “I am all about the Biden,” senatorial candidate Phillip Baruth said, speaking to those in line. “I love him. Always have, always will.” Baruth said he hoped Biden’s presence would encourage students to get out and vote in the elections that took place the next day. “I am very excited to see a vice president here,” candidate for state senate Sally Fox said. “He needs to fire up the Democrats and the rest.” Aurua Brush, 13, of Woodbury sported more than 20 political campaign stickers walking into the rally. “I want to see him,” Brush said. “I want to tell people ‘I just saw Joe Biden.'” Senior Marya Brookes, dripping with rain and huddling under the heater, said she was hopeful that Biden’s appearance would motivate people to get out and vote against Brian Dubie. “All of my friends’ Facebook statuses say they are at Joe Biden,” a girl covered in Leahy ’10, Peter Shumlin, Peter Welsh, Vote Pearson and “I vote green” stickers said. “Why would I go to class?” one student responded. “Joe Biden is here.” Smiling, Biden took the stage around 1:15 p.m. “You probably don’t know how much I love Vermont,” Biden said, standing in front of six American flags and two Peter Shumlin signs. “Bernie [Sanders] is the conscience of the United States Senate,” Biden said. “This guy knows talent.” Biden assured the audience that “Democrats will do fine tomorrow.” “I’m not being political; this is factual,” Biden said, listing off information about the mortgage crisis and job loss. “I don’t blame them for being angry,” Biden said. “I am angry too.” Democratic candidates for various offices spoke in support of the Democratic Party before they introduced Biden. “Turn the page on Jim Douglas and Brian Dubie,” candidate for State Auditor Doug Hoffer said. “Eight years of lost opportunity is enough.” However, not everyone in attendance was in support of the Democratic Party. Chris Bulla, an 11th grader at Champlain Valley Union High School, stood with a Brian Dubie sticker on his shirt and a ripped up Shumlin sign at his feet. “[Dubie] is making the state business-friendly,” Bulla said. “He is removing the burden on business and creating jobs.” UVM experienced only minor disturbances during Biden’s appearance, amounting to parking problems and traffic around the gym. Several physical education classes also had to be rescheduled, but there were no major disruptions, Athletic Director Bob Corran said.