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Biden closes 2012 campaign with appeal for 'noble' politics


RICHMOND, Va. -- In what could be his last political rally as a national candidate after a career that's spanned four decades, Vice President Joe Biden called for civility and compromise in his final campaign event of 2012.

"Now is the time for our politics to be as good and as noble as our people," Biden told a crowd of 1,200 at a chilly outdoor venue in Virginia's capital city here.

"It’s time we come together and realize the great potential of this great country," he said. "It’s time to replace unyielding ideology with principled compromise.  Ladies and gentlemen, I believe most Democrats and Republicans are prepared to do just that."

Biden's remarks were prefaced by a musical performance by John Mellencamp – who crooned a modified version of "Pink Houses" that praised the middle class – and speeches by Sen. Mark Warner and Senate candidate Tim Kaine.

The vice president, who has drawn criticism for saying that GOP banking policies would put people "back in chains," urged Virginians throughout the final day of campaigning to send a message of civility with their votes.

"We have a chance not just to win but to make a real statement about unifying this country," he told volunteers in Roanoke.

The vice president – who may be open to running for president in 2016 (although he would be 73 years old) – will cast his ballot Tuesday morning in his hometown, Wilmington, Del.