ABC News’ Matt Jaffe reports: Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., blitzed through the battleground state of Ohio on Election Eve, holding four events in four hours and banging home the message that should the Democratic ticket bag the Buckeye State, the Oval Office will be theirs, too.
"I’m Joe the Biden. They got the plumber,” the Delaware lawmaker quipped to start off his speech Monday night in Copley. But it was all business, as Biden emphasized to Ohio voters the importance of their state.
"I’m here with a very simple, straightforward message. And it’s real basic — change is on the way," the Democratic vice presidential nominee said as the crowd of 1,750 roared.
"It’s now in your hands," Biden said as the clock wound down towards Election Day. "The fact of the matter is, there’s less than 24 hours and we’re gonna know who the next leader of the free world is. And now, and now America, you got it. Now America, and probably, probably America’s decision will be whatever Ohio decides."
"Barack [Obama] and I, during the closing months of this campaign, have made the case for change as clearly and as straightforwardly as we can," he continued. "And John McCain and Sarah Palin have made the case, in my view, for continuing the status quo."
As his hectic final day swing has gone on, Biden showed signs of tiring, slipping up a few times. This evening in Copley, he called Palin "Governor McCain."
"It’s not only George Bush’s economic policies that John and Governor McCain have bought hook, line and sinker," he said. "It’s also Karl Rove’s brand of politics and tactics."
Biden made two other stops in Ohio between his Zanesville rally this afternoon and tonight’s Copley event. He addressed volunteers at a New Philadelphia campaign office and then spoke to the overflow crowd outside the gym in Copley.
"It’s out of Barack’s hands and mine and we’ve laid out our case as best we can and Sarah and John have laid out their case," he told the overflow crowd, previewing his remarks moments later at the rally. "And it’s up to the American people and it’s up to you, but quite frankly, it’s up to Ohio. I mean, we do well here, and I believe we’re gonna win here, we win this election."
Biden also emphasized the importance of the Buckeye State when addressing volunteers in New Philadelphia.
"We got a real shot, but you know, it’s an old joke — it ain’t over ’til it’s over," Biden warned, accompanied by his wife Jill. "We’ve been down this road before. I was deeply involved in the Kerry campaign, Jill and I, and also in Al Gore’s campaign, but we can’t let that happen this time.
"I’ve been doing this for a while," said the six-term senator. "I got elected when I was 29 years old. And after a while you sort of get a feeling in your fingertips, you know? And I kind of got that feeling. Sounds corny to say it but I know you know it — this is the most important election any of us have voted in."
For his part, Biden will cast his vote Tuesday morning in Wilmington, joined by his 91-year-old mother Jean and wife Jill.