Obama Leads the Charge for Nov. 2 Voter Turnout
By Ashonda Bethea-Ruth
President Obama came to Bowie State University Oct. 7 to campaign for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is seeking re-election against former Republican governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
The rally was held to emphasize voter turnout for the Nov. 2 elections. Democratic candidates including O'Malley, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown along with others also participated in the rally.
House speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller also attended the rally to cheer the governor and his education policies.
"Three words: education, education, education," Miller bellowed from the stage set up before an estimated crowd of 7,000 supporters.
Obama praised O'Malley for reducing crime, and freezing in-state tuition for Maryland students for three years. Maryland has the best educational system in the country, Obama said numerous times.
"O'Malley walks the walk...talks the talk," Obama said.
"If we forget to step up...President Obama is going to be surrounded by Republican governors," Maryland Atty. Gen. Doug Gansler stated.
"We need each and every one of you," the governor said to the cheering crowd.
The event drew thousands to the university, some traveling as far as North Carolina.
Obama delivered a message to the crowd that off-year voting is just as important. Democrats are fighting to keep a hold onto their control of the House and the Senate. Obama took aim at private money flow into the attack ads all across the country by groups allied with the Republican Party, calling them "...a threat to our democracy," stated Obama.
"I'm proud of our president," O'Malley said. "He is leading us forward."
Sophomore Davon Crumety, an accounting major at BSU, said that besides president Obama, he enjoyed O'Malley's speech. "He didn't just speak, he got the crowd involved...He even did the BSU chant!"
Obama blamed Republicans for the "ditch" the economy is in. Obama told the crowd, although the economy is growing after the worst recession since the great depression, there is still much work to be done. The Republicans' approach to the economic problems aren't working, and Middle class Americans are feeling the pinch.
"As long as I am your President and Martin O'Malley is your governor, we will not allow politicians to sacrifice your education for tax cuts we cannot afford," Obama said. "If everybody who fought for change in 2008 shows up, I'm absolutely certain we will win."
Obama said he understands the frustration that many Americans have with the struggling economy and his somewhat failure to revive it. "We've still got a long way to go...so of course people are frustrated."
Obama told the crowd gathered on the Holmes Hall quad that he hopes Democrats and Republicans could pull together. At this point the president was interrupted by a heckler who shouted "You're a liar!" but Obama didn't seem to notice and carried on with his speech.
According to the Baltimore Examiner, the heckler was Republican Gary Collins. Supposedly Collins will be running "in the third district city council race in 2011."
Several dozen people in the crowd fell ill due to the unseasonably warm temperatures. Many had stood in the sun for several hours awaiting the president's arrival. Obama pointed out a few people in the crowd who needed assistance. He even joked about people needing to drink, and eat before coming out to a rally: "Especially when you are coming out to listen to a bunch of politicians speak."
Obama ended stating: "That our destiny is not written for us, it's written by us...We are going to make sure that the American dream is alive and well for future generations."