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Obama drawing large crowds at campaign rallies

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE
October 22, 2010

(Reuters)

Focused on turning out base voters, President Barack Obama is being cheered at raucous rallies and spreading this message: Don’t turn your back on the change happening in Washington.

He’s expecting a double dose of cheer on Friday when he headlines a pair of rallies to boost two high-profile Democrats in tossup races: California Sen. Barbara Boxer and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

“We are excited about these last 10 days” before the Nov. 2 election, Obama said Thursday night.

The president is on a four-day campaign swing and visiting states where Democratic Party strategists think he’s the best person to help encourage core supporters — women, minorities, young people — to vote next month.

At every stop, Obama is reminding audiences of the passion they felt in 2008 when they helped elect him and is urging them to keep the feeling alive amid the weight of the worst economic downturn in a generation.

But the task of turning out voters is harder this time around. Turnout typically is lower in non-presidential election years, and the party in control of the White House traditionally loses seats in Congress in the off years.

The White House is also mindful of what’s at stake should the GOP increase its ranks in Congress, or perhaps pick up the 40 seats the party needs to win back control of the House. More Republicans could translate into scant progress on the to-do list for the second half of Obama’s presidency.

A crowd of 30,000 people was expected at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on Friday, the third day of Obama’s swing. He is scheduled to speak at a fundraiser for Boxer before addressing a Democratic rally at Alumni Park on campus alongside Boxer and gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown.

Boxer is in a closely watched fight against Republican Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive. And in a Democratic state where he remains popular, Obama has been generous with his support. He’s on his third trip in recent months to help Boxer raise money, and he recently taped a radio ad for her.

From Los Angeles, Obama was flying to Las Vegas to boost Reid in his race against tea party-backed Sharron Angle. Reid is a top Republican target competing in the most closely watched Senate matchup this year.

Reid helped push Obama’s economic recovery, health care and financial regulation bills through the Senate but he’s paying the price as a result. He is unpopular in his home state, which is suffering economically and is plagued by the nation’s highest rates of unemployment (14.4 percent) and home foreclosures.

Reid says Angle’s conservative positions on Social Security, Medicare and other issues make her too “extreme” for Nevada and that they will help voters forget their economic problems long enough to send him back to the Senate.

The White House wasn’t hiding its preference in the race.

Asked about Angle’s recent comment to Hispanic high school students that they look more like Asians, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said: “They are among some of the stranger comments that we’ve heard in an otherwise strange election.”

Obama spent part of Thursday in Seattle, stumping with Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and courting women voters. Murray also is in a tight re-election fight.

Women traditionally lean toward Democrats but the latest Associated Press-GfK poll shows that, at a time of great economic angst, those who are likely to vote are now split about evenly between Democrats and Republicans.

Obama also addressed a 10,000-person rally for Murray at the University of Washington. He urged supporters not to let that angst lead them to give up too soon on the change he says is happening in Washington.

His voice hoarse from speechmaking, Obama said he knows it’s hard for some people to be optimistic about the future when relatives can’t find jobs after months of trying or when another foreclosure sign is hung down the street or when they see candidates putting sniping at each other in negative campaign ads.

“But I want, I want everybody to understand this,” he said. “I want everybody to understand, you can’t let it get to you. Don’t ever let anybody tell you that this fight is not worth it. Don’t let them tell you that you’re not making a difference.”

He flew to San Francisco afterward to attend fundraisers at two private homes. The events raised about $1.8 million for the Democratic Party, according to party officials.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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10 Responses to Obama drawing large crowds at campaign rallies

  1. griff

    October 22, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Still plenty of retards out there, I guess.

  2. freecitizen

    October 22, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    THE CONCISE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY

    dupe-n. One who is easily deceived or used,– v. To make a dupe of

  3. Guardhouse Lawyer

    October 22, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Retard — 1. (noun) sometimes offensive : a person who is slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress

    2. A person who disagrees with Griff

    You know, Griffy baby, for someone who got thrown out of here not to far back, you certainly have a lot of nerve. Why don’t you layoff the pejorative s*** and try being an adult for a change?

    • griff

      October 22, 2010 at 10:36 pm

      “Retard — 1. (noun) sometimes offensive : a person who is slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress”

      I rest my case.

  4. Almandine

    October 22, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Feeling a little defensive there, ghl?

  5. woody188

    October 22, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Reminds me of the televised acceptance speech night of his election. There were a lot of people there, but only the very middle of the crowd was chanting, cheering, and clearly enjoying themselves. The rest of the crowd appeared perplexed and perhaps just there for the free food and drink.

    Don’t turn your back on the change happening in Washington.

    Some other things come to mind.
    Don’t pay attention to the lack of change in your pocket.
    Don’t pay attention to the lack of change in your neighborhood.
    Don’t pay attention to the lack of change in foreign policy.
    Don’t pay attention to the lack of change on Wall Street.
    Don’t pay attention to the lack on change in banking.
    Don’t pay attention to the lack of change in trade.
    Don’t pay attention to the 21 percent increase in Federal spending and the record deficit.
    Don’t pay attention to your falling property values.
    Don’t pay attention to the average Federal bureaucrat making nearly double what the average American makes.

    “But I want, I want everybody to understand this,” he said. “I want everybody to understand, you can’t let it get to you. Don’t ever let anybody tell you that this fight is not worth it. Don’t let them tell you that you’re not making a difference.”

    Yes you are making a huge difference. You’re wiping out the middle class, making our children debt slaves, expanding the War on Terror into a third world war, and turning our nation into a Police State ruled by fear. Heckava job Barry!

    • griff

      October 22, 2010 at 11:46 pm

      Damn, there was free food and drink? Sorry I missed it.

  6. Carl Nemo

    October 22, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Spot-on Woody! Nicely expressed too. : )

    Carl Nemo **==

  7. bogofree

    October 24, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Let’s go PC on this. Developmental Delayed or Disabled is the term now acceptable.

    Benny Hinn draws large crowds also. Plenty of sheep to shear and they keep on coming back. Give me that old time religion and politics.

    Wonder how many at the faux rallies were union guys/gals “required” to show up but whose heart is just not in it. Haul a sign, smile and get that Italian buffet down at the local after the show.

    • griff

      October 24, 2010 at 9:22 am

      I have a client that’s a big-wig at the VA. We were talking about the upcoming election, and he said he didn’t really care about the policies of our representative up for a third term; his lawn was filled with signs of support and he was planning on voting for him simply because ge didn’t want to “train” a new guy.