Aside from the group of protestors standing outside with signs, people did not seem disappointed after Biden’s intense and inspirational speech.
When the intro music started, audience members gradually clapped along, eventually yelling, "Go, Joe!"
During the high points of his speech, people rose from their seats to clap and cheer with escalating enthusiasm.
Erika Baker, a freshman at Northwest Missouri State University, has watched Biden’s speeches on television, but never in person.
"I really, really enjoyed it," Baker said. "I think that Joe Biden is a great speaker."
This was the first time Baker has been to a political rally.
"I thought it was a whole new experience to be that close; I was right on the aisle – two rows back," Baker said. "I shook his hand and everything afterwards, so it was exciting."
Nathan Bowman, also a student at Northwest, was amazed by Biden’s tone.
"My basic thoughts were that Senator Biden did a terrific job getting people going," Bowman said. "You could tell he was very passionate."
Bowman believes Biden really projected towards the climax of his speech.
Heather Fields, a Western student, actually got a picture taken with Obama’s vice presidential candidate.
"I was more excited than I expected to be," Fields said.
Janie Bland, who traveled from Spickard, MO, has been campaigning for Barack Obama, and thoroughly enjoyed the speech as well.
"That was a wonderful speech and he really spoke to the middle class people," Bland said.
The opinion of Western student Andrew Trautmon, who is a Republican, differed slightly. He is not a huge fan of Obama or McCain.
"I went in with an independent mind," Trautmon said. "Really, I’m not leaning with either one."
Trautmon was not as impressed with Biden’s speech as others were."I was a little bit upset with Biden… the first part of his speech seemed like an attack against McCain," Trautmon said.
If you sneezed at the event featuring Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, a dozen well-trained eyes sharply focused on you. Biden was well protected when he delivered his campaign speech to a crowd of approximately 1,200 people on Oct. 9, in the M.O. Looney Complex. Security was in full force as local law enforcement officers teamed up with Secret Service agents to ensure the safety of the senator and everyone in attendance.
Such security is necessary—and standard—at all public events that feature a presidential or vice presidential candidate, especially this election year. This is an historic election with Barack Obama being the first black candidate for the office of U.S. President.
Secret Service officers were visible near Biden and around the complex, while others were invisible as they mixed in with the crowd.
Around 20 SJPD officers, including the Special Response Team (SRT), four commissioned MWSU police officers and 11 Police Academy cadets were on the team along with an undisclosed number of Secret Service agents. Also on the team was a German shepherd that sniffed purses and backpacks as they entered the building. A metal detecting wand was in use at the entrance as well.
Biden’s entourage while in St. Joseph included one unidentified officer from the SJPD and an unidentified local highway patrol officer.
According to Capt. Jeff Wilson the SJPD and the secret service worked together for a week before the event."The Secret Service gave us ample notice to prepare," Wilson said.
"They notified us last week and invited us to a planning meeting."
With the number of officers needed, some worked on their day off. SJPD officer Scott Vanover didn’t mind working.
"It’s my day off," Vanover said. " I’m working for overtime."
The event offered a good opportunity for Police Academy cadets to see national security agents at work. Cadet Chase Pollard believed in the need for security and the need for the event.
"It’s essential for Americans to speak their minds," Pollard said. "It’s important for both sides to be heard."Despite the fact that Biden was late, the entire event occurred with no security incidents. When the crowd was clearing after the conclusion, one of the officers, who would not give his name, said the day "went very well."
The two political rivals known as Mary Matalin and James Carville spoke at Westernâ€™s 15th annual Convocation on Critical Issues at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 30 in the Looney Complex.
One may think a relationship like theirs would never make it, but former Western alumni Dan Boulware believes otherwise.
"You might think they throw barbs in a mean-spirited way, but they donâ€™t," Boulware said. "I think after you hear them today, youâ€™ll know why their relationship works."
Matalin spoke first and told the audience how previous convocation speakers have praised Western.
"This [Convocation] is the favorite speaking event theyâ€™ve ever been to," Matalin said.Previous Convocation speakers have included Sam Donaldson,
She proceeded to share her opinions on the present election.
"The big picture is that the candidates have been three points apart throughout this whole race," Matalin said.
The former host of CNNâ€™s debate show, Crossfire, stressed that no matter which views one follows, they should always keep an open mind.
She believes there are four things everyone should study, no matter what their major is.
The first one was history.
The next was our Constitution.
"It is used worldwide as a prototype," Matalin said. "It is a document that holds for the ages."
The third subject was journalism and the fourth was communications.
"It is imperative that you learn how to have clarity of thought," Matalin said. "If you can learn to communicate, you will be our future."
After Matalin shared a few closing thoughts, she introduced her husband and political rival, James Carville.
"He is my dearly beloved," Matalin said. "Just because he thinks wrongly doesnâ€™t mean heâ€™s not smart."
Carville began by stressing that college was an important part of his life.
"The best four years of my life were spent as a sophomore," Carville said.
He believes history is taking place right in front of us, considering the ethnicities and genders of our current political candidates.Â Â Â Â
"Do you want to watch history, or do you want to help make history?" Carville asked. "Do you want to lead our nation eating chips and wiping salsa off your mouth?"
This author, actor, producer, talk-show host, speaker and restaurateur believes people need to get involved and be aware of what is going on around them in order for change to actually happen.
When it comes to Carvilleâ€™s marriage with Matalin, Carville has no problem getting along with someone who does not share his political views.
"Itâ€™s not so important that you be around people that think like you, but that you be around people that think," Carville said.
Though they do have these opposing views, they were still able to co-write a book entitled Allâ€™s Fair: Love, War, and Running for President, which was on The New York Times bestseller list for eight weeks.
Both speakers answered questions that were pre-submitted by Western students and faculty.
When asked about the importance of voting, Carville shared a voting statistic.
"Normally, 12 out of 100 people vote [who] are 18-29," Carville said.
Matalin believes parents should encourage their children at a young age to vote when the time comes.
"I take my kids to the voting booth," Matalin said. "I get choked up; I donâ€™t take voting for granted."
One submitted question asked how each of them would react to someone who believes one should vote for the lesser of two evils.
"Thatâ€™s why you have to participate," Matalin said.
She said people do not trust the system.
"You canâ€™t bring trust back to the system overnight," Matalin said.
Though they do not see eye-to-eye politically, neither Matalin nor Carville has influenced the otherâ€™s views.
"I made a pretty good choice when I was 16 years old and Iâ€™m gonna stick with the same one," Carville said.
Freshman Rachel Jackson enjoyed this yearâ€™s convocation.
"I thought that the speakers were strong and lively, and I think that they focused well on their audience," Jackson said.
Boulware believes Matalin and Carville bring a well-informed perspective from both sides of the political spectrum."They are passionate in their beliefs," Boulware said. "They both want what is best for our country." Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â