STORY BY JESSICA LYNK
Not many people can say that Vice President Joe Biden left a voicemail for their mom. After this morning, senior Public Relations and Politics double major Kayla Day can.
“I’m here with Kayla at Drake and she said ‘Mom won’t believe I was with you.’ She is with me. It was great meeting her. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to meet you. It is such a great school,” Biden said in the voicemail.
After lining up at 6:30 a.m. in freezing temperatures, Day got front row seats to see Biden speak at Drake University.
“Not going to lie, that was a dream come true,” Day said.
This was the last thing Biden did before going backstage after his speech in Sheslow Auditorium last Thursday.
The Harkin Institute, Student Senate and the political science department sponsored the event.
Seven hundred and thirty people sat in the auditorium, with an additional 100 people watching the streamed broadcast in Levitt Hall.
His speech focused on how the economic policies President Barack Obama’s administration started will propel our country forward.
“We are destined to be the leading country of the 21st century, if we act wisely,” Biden said.
Biden touched on economics, but he also took up topics that connected to students.
“Not one of us would be standing here if we had not gotten help to get to college,” Biden said, describing what his wife or First Lady Michelle Obama said to Biden and Obama the night they got reelected.
“That’s why we think it is important to invest in education,” Biden said.
He then connected back to the community college proposal that Obama proposed on Jan. 9.
After the speech, Biden shook hands and talked to students.
For politics and sociology double major, Jackie Heymann, that stood out.
“The entire time I just keep thinking we are so fortunate to live in a country where this is actually a possibility, where politicians do come to talk to college students, where they come that close to us and we really do feel like we have access to the politicians,” Heymann said.
The speech did more than just touch on economic policies and education. It attracted attention to Drake, and Iowa itself.
“I think it is an opportunity to get a national level focus to Drake University.” Frank Cownie, the mayor of Des Moines, said. “The media attention that this will draw, just looking at the cameras that are sitting here, to not only the vice president, but Drake University is right there across America. Lots of people know that not only Drake University, but Des Moines and Iowa are the center of discussions going around about national policy and the future of America.”
President David Maxwell believes this speech opens up the possibility for more political figures in the 2016 Iowa caucus.
“We have expectations that the campus will see every single candidate from both parties at one point or another,” Maxwell said. “It is highly likely that we will be hosting one round of the republican and democratic debates, so I think this is part of a build up to it.”