Vice President Joe Biden mingles in Munster

2012-04-30T17:15:00Z 2012-05-01T22:40:47Z Vice President Joe Biden mingles in MunsterBy Bill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com

MUNSTER | There was no talk of politics, only a flutter of excitement  on the corner of Somerset Drive and Cherrywood Lane among the more than 20 residents of White Oak Estates watching Vice President Joseph Biden's motorcade roar in and out.

"Here it is. He's in our subdivision," one woman shouted Monday afternoon as 25 motorcycles and and several state and local police cars with lights flashing escorted the vice president's limousine to an appearance about 5:10 p.m. at an Obama Victory Fund reception at the home of Ann and David Bochnowski, on a cul-de-sac in the well-to-do subdivision a mile northwest of U.S. 41 and Main Street.

A steady stream of guests who paid ticket prices starting at $250 per person took the same route earlier Monday.They arrived at a checkpoint manned by Munster police officers and several men in dark suits, including one who was holding what appeared to be a guest list.

Valets drove the cars back outside the cul-de-sac to parking spots on several side streets.

The temporary no-parking placards police placed along the main streets competed with yard signs for Republican candidates in this mostly Republican community within this normally Republican state's most Democratic county.

As the crowd around the checkpoint grew, some in the crowd joked all the Democrats in the subdivision were probably standing out there.

One woman who lived nearby said she took all the official attention to the subdivision last week as a sign they might pave the streets. Poppy Eenigenburg, 5, asked her mother why everyone was standing here, and her mother, Annaleah, explained there would be a parade. Poppy asked, "A candy parade?"

Amy Dudley, press secretary for the vice president, said Monday the party fundraiser on behalf of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties was only the first of two Biden was holding Monday. The second was in Kansas City, Mo.

The event was closed to the public, in sharp contrast to four years ago when presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and their spouses crisscrossed the region looking for support in the spring and fall when Obama won the state, the first Democratic candidate to do so in four decades.

U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Indianapolis, a Munster native who wasn't there, commented in a written statement he provided the media, "It's too bad he won't have time to take a look around and see the catastrophic effects of the Obama-Biden agenda."

Biden, who waved to the crowd on the corner, left Munster about an hour and 15 minutes later. Elaine Caine said, "I loved it. That was worth the wait."

Times staff writer Dan Carden contributed to this report.

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