Jan. 27--MARION -- Dotti Loscabio thought she might give Joe Biden some good luck if she shook his after he spoke in Marion Monday afternoon.
"I shook (President Bill) Clinton's hand, and he became president. Maybe it will give Biden good luck," Loscabio, 75, of Marion, said as she sat in the Prairie Hill Pavilion Banquet Hall, 5680 Kacena Ave. in Marion.
While Loscabio is planning to caucus for Pete Buttigieg next week, she was open to Biden changing her mind.
Loscabio wanted to hear more about his plan for mental health and climate change.
"We're leaving a mess for my grandchildren," Loscabio said, who has nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
As a retired nurse, Loscabio doesn't want any mental health patients to "fall through the cracks."
To a crowd of about 200 people, Biden spoke about affordable health care, education, climate change and gun control.
"We can make affordable health care a privilege and not a right for all, and we can pay for it," Biden said. "We can prepare every student from pre-K to college to succeed in the 21st Century, and be able to live a middle class life. we can lead the world in taking on the existential threat of climate change ... We can stand up to the NRA."
Biden has said he wants to rebuild the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare. His plan would cost about $750 million to subsidize a Medicare option, and would allow people to keep private insurance policies, expand health care coverage for low-income families and expand access to health care.
The former vice president said when it comes to mental health, it needs to be addressed at in the educational system, with more school psychologists available to students.
Biden also called for reduced green house gases by investing in solar and wind energy.
Biden said the next president is going to inherit a world divided and in disarray.
"There is going to be no time for on the job training. The next president is going to have to be ready on day one to be commander-in-chief, on day one to begin to pull this country together," Biden said.
With less than a week to go until the Iowa caucuses on Monday, Democratic candidates and their surrogates are intensifying their campaign events in Eastern Iowa as they try to close the deal with caucusgoers.
Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who held a town hall last Tuesday in Cedar Rapids, returned to Eastern Iowa again Monday, holding a town hall in Vinton and another in North Liberty. He plans to continue later in the week in Eastern Iowa, including more town halls Thursday in Decorah and Independence; and get-out-the-vote rallies Saturday in Cedar Rapids and Sunday in Coralville.
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, currently on a bus tour in Iowa, plans four stops Thursday in Eastern Iowa, including one at noon Wednesday at the Iowa Memorial Union at the University of Iowa.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar's campaign said she will hold get-out-the vote rallies Saturday in five Eastern Iowa cities, including Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and Anamosa.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who appeared Sunday in NewBo, plans three events Saturday in Eastern Iowa including rallies in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.
Biden, on a statewide blitz until caucus day, will return to Eastern Iowa, including events Saturday in North Liberty and Cedar Rapids.
Quincy Obrien, 17, a student at Linn-Mar High School, is looking forward to being able to vote in the November election. Hearing Biden speak was the first time Obrien had heard a presidential candidate speak in person.
"This is our future," Obrien said. "I want to make sure our generation has a good president."
Obrien said she wants to vote for a candidate who prioritizes gun control.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller introduced Biden Monday, calling him a "man of great character."
"He's the president we need right now," Miller said. "He can heal the divisions in this country to the extent that is possible."
Miller said he was a "worried Iowa Democrat," but believes with Biden on the ticket, a Democratic president may be elected.
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