When Vice President Joe Biden hit the gymnasium stage shortly after 11 a.m., he was greeted by the first full-throated roar from the 1,100 supporters at the rally.

Legendary among the party faithful for his red-meat campaign stump performances, Biden was precisely in character.

At an event intended to spark his candidacy for governor, DFLer Mark Dayton introduced Biden, recalling his days in the Senate and praising the administration's economic programs, "thank you Mr. Vice President, thank you Mr. President."

"Reports of the death of the Democratic Party have been greatly exaggerated," Biden said. "I'm here to tell you that on Nov. 3 the Democrats will retain the majority of the Senate, the majority of the House [and Minnesota's governorship]."

He lacerated the economic policies of the Bush administration and touted his administration's creation of jobs and economic growth.

By fueling "speculation and bubbles" Republicans have utterly capitulated to big business and "gambled with our money"

"These are not you father's Republicans -- ladies and gentlemen, I don't get these people," said Biden, who added:  "There are a lot of angry people out there, a lot of apprehensive people. They have reason to be -- I'm angry too. Wall Street's run wild. They've allowed the banks to gamble your money and millions of Americans have been decimated."

In the speeches leading up to the main event, prominent DFLers did their best to demonize Tom Emmer and lash him to the Republican  party's most extreme positions.

Sen. Al Franken denounced what he called the party's "lies and demagoguery" and said Emmer "just doesn't get it."

U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum blasted "the Tea Party rallies and angry right wing mobs " that she said are supporting Emmer.

Matt Entenza, one of Dayton's former rivals for the Democratic nomination, said Emmer "is cut from the same Tea Party cloth as Michele Bachmann," a comparison that also was made by Franken. "We need to stick it to Tom Emmer."

Added Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, "If you think Tim Pawlenty's a conservative, wait 'til you see Tom Emmer."

Afte the rally is over, Biden will be going to a private fundraiser at a Minneapolis hotel, where an estimated 300 donors have paid between $150 and $2,000 to attend.