Biden comes back for "Return Day"

November 6, 2008 3:33:49 PM PST
Return Day is a Delaware tradition. It's where politicians meet after the election.This year the crowds were cheering for long-time senator and now vice president-elect Joe Biden in Georgetown, Sussex County.

He's taken part in this parade for decades, but with his ascension to the second-highest office in the land, it took on a whole new meaning.

No amount of rain was about to ruin one of the oldest and fondest politicial traditions in Delaware.

The crowd treated Biden like royality as he rode in a white, horse drawn carriage and waved to supporters.

For years Biden has walked the parade route, rain or shine, but now that he's vice president-elect secret service agents keep him from being the "hands-on Joe" that Delawareans love.

Still, it was tough for the secret service to keep Biden under wraps. He had supporters to thank, knowing many have been behind him for years.

"It changed a little bit, but I wasn't disappointed, I was glad to see him show up," said Candace Morgan of Gerogetown. "It was awesome."

"We did get a chance to at least see him. When he came by, he waved, so we were glad to see that," said the Rev. Timonty Duffield of Laurel, Delaware.

"It's more difficult for him, and I understand it's for his safety," Suzanne Boyce of Seaford. "He moved reallly quickly through the parade route, and we understand that."

Return day was named back in 1792 when it took about two days for the public to gather in Georgetown to listen to the election returns, each one annouced by a town crier.

In this uniquely Delaware tradition, politican winners and losers ride side by side and a symbolic hatchett is carted through town to be buried. Ox meat, roasted overnight, is free for all to share.

But on this wet and rainy day, only admiration for Joe Biden was shared among this crowd.

"No matter what office I hold, I'm still Delaware," Biden said. "There's 'Joe the Plumber..' Well, I'm 'Joe from Delaware!"


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