Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Obama Gets Rock Star Treatment" (with videos)

Senator Obama at a campaign rally in Philadelphia PA on May 22 at the Electric Factory decides to sing Happy Birthday (video, 1:35) to Timmy from Philadelphia who is 13 Today!! Timmy just sang the national anthem to the crowd.

NBC 10(PA), with video (2:13):
PHILADELPHIA -- Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama was in Philadelphia Tuesday and getting the rock star treatment at a fundraising rally.
Before the event, hundreds lined up outside the Electric Factory to hear Obama speak. It was the Illinois senator's second fundraising visit to Philadelphia.

NBC 10's Kristen Welker reported a lot of people commented that it was an interesting venue because they usually hold concerts there. Some called it a clear sign Obama was courting voters of all ages.

Obama took the stage to the sounds of Aretha Franklin and cheers at about 5 p.m., then spoke for about 20 minutes to a packed and energized audience. He touted himself an anti-war candidate and a uniter.

"We have to lift up this idea that we're connected. And if there are children in Philadelphia right now that are killing each other and shooting each other and without an education and dropping out, that impacts all of us," Obama said.

Obama's visit was one of several to kickoff his campaign. He's criss-crossing the country trying to get his message out.

"It means that he cares about the city and us here, and he wants us to be for him," said high school junior Anthony Lewis of the local visit.

"I think Philadelphia is an important city in an important state, and it's important that he make his presence here," said Ava Plakins of Doylestown.

Full-price tickets for Tuesday's event were $50, but students were charged half of that -- another sign he was targeting young voters.

"No presidential candidate goes to the Electric Factory. I mean, I saw it online and was like, 'That's going to be awesome,' said Arcadia University sophomore Amanda Malamut.

"It was worth it. It shows he cares that he cut the price in half. I think he wants more students to be able to come to this kind of event," said Drexel University senior Adam Kerkeas.

Many had different issues they wanted the candidate to address.

For Kerkeas, it was the war in Iraq.

Lewis agreed, adding college student loans because that's where he's headed soon.

Plakins said the environment, poverty in America and getting past the "devisiveness" in the nation were her concerns.

Some of the attendees said they were sold on Obama. Others said the jury was still out.

With so many candidates in the field, anything could happen. Undecided voters in Pennsylvania have plenty of time to make up their minds as the presidential primary won't be held until April 2008.

Tuesday night, Obama was expected to have a private dinner with some local supporters and then head back to Washington, D.C., where the Senate is in session Wednesday.



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