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La Liga de Las Americas

Obama osculates at Tri-C

By Arooj Ashraf, Cleveland Correspondent for La Prensa


U.S.-presidential candidate Barack Obama rocked Cuyahoga Community College Highland Hills Eastern Campus on Monday, Feb. 26, 2007—Cleveland was the last stop during a three-city Ohio tour to raise money for his campaign and introduce his views to the voters of a key state.

“In 2008 we expect to win Ohio,” he said to an enthusiastic crowd of more than 2,000 that filled the Tri-C gymnasium.


His campaign estimated nearly 7,000 people attended the free rally and were accommodated in several overflow rooms fitted with large screen TV for a complete, intimate experience.   


“This turnout exceeds all expectations, and I’ve got to say this is how we roll these days,” Obama exhaled. The Democratic Senator confessed he was afraid bitter weather would discourage voters from attending his Feb. 10 subzero announcement speech in his home state of Illinois.


“We are here because the country is at a crossroads. For too many years we have known the problems and challenges we face but we haven’t faced them squarely,” he said. Obama told the audience to claim his campaign as their own and encourage everyone in their network to participate in the democratic process and register to vote.


Obama said the $80 million daily price tag for the Iraq war is “unacceptable” especially when healthcare, the education systems are in a dire state. He said it is not the absence of solutions but the incapacity of the leadership to direct the country and pull everyone together.


“I am willing to get to work.” His ideas include investing in suburbs and cites, training a competitive workforce for the future, improving education, and minimizing dependence on oil by investing in solar energy, wind power, and alternative fuels.


The most important agenda on his list of priorities is the phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq. He said only after the war is over can U.S.-America rebuild its image abroad by strengthening defunct nations and taking a lead role in preventing tragedies like Darfur.  


Tri-C student Henry Odoyo said he is glad Obama made the decision to run for president. He said he’s surprised how many African-Americans have not heard of Obama yet. He hopes the rally will draw their interest and awareness. Odoyo admires Obama’s frank conversational style, confidence, and his ability to diversify the political debates. “I just want to know he is running to stay in the race, no matter what,” he said.


Maykesha Reynolds was star-struck by Obama’s presence, “I got to shake his hand!” She has been part of the Obama-mania since his announcement to run and that he has what it takes to motivate young voters and restore the country’s economy and global standing. “He is charismatic, intelligent, and very eloquent and I’m positive that he can make a difference in the dirty Washington politics,” she said.  


Editor’s Note: For more information on U.S. Senator Barack Obama visit his campaign site: http://www.barackobama.com








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