Vice President Joe Biden's keynote at the 2012 Annual Convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on Thursday morning was expected to serve as a sort of rebuttal to Mitt Romney's Wednesday speech, in which the presumptive GOP presidential nominee appeared to fail in his attempt to convince attendees of his suitability to serve the African-American community.
But the crowd filling the George R. Brown Convention Center didn't seem to need much persuading to be on the side of the incumbent administration.
Following an hour-long prelude of gospel music and a brief video message from President Barack Obama at the White House, Biden began his address by introducing himself as a lifetime NAACP member and as a longtime politician educated by civil rights activists Louis L. Redding and Rev. Maurice McCrackin.
"There's a lot more to say," Biden said, "but this is preaching to the choir."
Touting the tough decisions that Obama has made over his first term in office, as well as the president's unswerving dedication to his own character and convictions, Biden acknowledged that, in the upcoming election, "The candidates for president have fundamentally different visions for the future of this country."
He went on to discuss those differences in detail — with the crowd alternately cheering and bursting out into impassioned hisses and boos in response to policy contrasts from education to energy, war and taxes, women's rights and the polarizing health care debate.
"Did you think we'd be fighting these battles again?" Biden asked.
He noted that the government has already combated these issues and has made progress — in a bipartisan manner — over the past several decades. He criticized the inflexibility of the modern-day Republican party and its members' unwillingness to compromise.
"There's a lot more to say," Biden said near the end of his 25-minute speech, "but this is preaching to the choir."
Appealing for the attendees to imagine the state of the country under a Romney presidency and asking for the electorate to fight for "the heart and soul of America" in the upcoming election, Biden closed by quoting scripture.
"What you do unto the least of my brethren, you do unto me," he said to thunderous applause and a standing ovation.