Biden delivers his closing argument at Copley speech

Kiera Manion-Fischer

VIEW a photo gallery of Biden’s visit to Copley High School.

When U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton asked the 1,500-some people at Copley High School how many had already voted, about half raised their hands.

Bob Fisch, a junior political science major at Kent State University, came to see Sen. Joe Biden the day before the election. Fisch said he had already voted, and by doing so, he said it gave him the chance to research his vote more. Fisch said he thought students shouldn’t take Ohio’s importance as a swing state for granted.

“It’s definitely exciting to see the candidates come out and hear what they have to say,” he said.

Biden spoke for about 20 minutes, and emphasized Ohio’s importance in terms of deciding the election.

“America’s decision will be whatever Ohio decides,” he said.

He said the McCain-Palin ticket would continue George Bush’s economic policies.

“John McCain and Sarah Palin have made the case for continuing the status quo,” he said.

Biden laid out two goals in the final day of the campaign for a Barack Obama presidency.

The first was to restore the middle class.

“When the middle class does well, the wealthy do just fine and the poor do better,” he said. “When the middle class is not doing well, like now, even the wealthy are hurt and the poor do very badly.”

His second goal was to reclaim respect for America abroad.

“The first fundamental requirement of the next president of the United States, in order to restore our leadership in the world, is to end this war in Iraq,” Biden said.

As soon as he said it, the crowd began chanting: “Joe, Joe, Joe.”

Biden stated some of he and Obama’s policy goals, such as a three-month moratorium on foreclosures in the United States. He also brought up the idea of expanding the concept of service to America to include service in deserving communities and the peace corps. Americans who serve their country would have the opportunity to go to college, he said.

At the end of his speech, he criticized attacks on Obama.

“They’re calling Barack Obama, as of tonight and continually, every single name in the book,” he said. “Well, ladies and gentlemen, this time tomorrow night, they’ll have to call him what everybody else will: The 44th president of the United States of America.”

Students from Copley High School showed up, even though some could not yet vote.

One student, Cassundra Gillison, 17, said she was excited about the historic aspect of the election. Also, she said this rally was her first.

“Me and my friends really like Obama, and since we can’t vote we wanted to support him in this way,” she said.

Brandon Leggett, 15, another student from the high school, said he found out about the rally when it was announced on the school’s P.A. system. He said he was aware of what the various candidates were saying.

“In four years, I’ll be able to vote,” he said.

Contact public affairs reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected].