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Obama targets Minnesota for votes

4 February 2008 at 07:47 | 766 views

By Issa A. Mansaray

Minneapolis - Sen. Barack Obama speaking to a crowd of
more than 20,000 at the Target Center in Minnesota on
Saturday, said, “The name, George Bush will not be on
the ballot” for US presidential election in November
this year. He also added that, “the name Dick Cheney
will not be on the ballot.”

Obama was at his best, and his supporters adored him.
“Thank you Minnesota!” he said with a smile. “Wow!
This is a pretty good crowd!”
As he continued his speech, the crowd clapped, lift up
placards, and signboards. Some read, “Obama for
president.” Thousands stood on the floor as Obama
deliver his almost hour-long speech.

Obama told his supporters that he joined the
presidential race because there is an urgency to
address some of the country’s socio-political ills,
such as health insurance, and unemployment. Obama
wants America to introduce a universal health
insurance that covers poor, and middle class
Americans.

“He wants to bring an end to the politics of fear,”
said Alimamy Sesay, a strong Obama supporter in St.
Paul. “He brings both Republicans and Democrats
together in America. It is very, very inspiring.”
Obama’s campaign speech here focused on his main theme
- 
Change; a word that he used many times in
his speech. When he made strong political points that
resonate with current realities, the crowd shouted,
“Obama! Obama!!!” It echoed across the open space at
Target Center.

“Change,” Obama said, happens from the “bottom up” and
not the other way round. There is a new “movement for
change” all over America he said. He was the first
presidential candidate promoting change before the
other candidates started talking about it.
He promised the not only Minnesotans, but all
Americans
that he would bring the US troops in Iraq home in
2009.

Obama criticized President George Bush for instigating
the war,
and Sen. Hillary Clinton’s vote that authorize the
attack
against Saddam Hussein.

He said the trillions of dollars spent in the Iraqi
war could have been better spent in building broken US
rural communities, bridges, worker training, and
refurbishing schools. He blamed Bush for the war that
continues to cost many American lives.
“We should have never gone into war,” said Obama who
condemned the war from the start. He blamed the
lobbyists in Washington for the socio-political mess
in the country.

If elected, Obama wants to reduce global warming, make
college fees more affordable, and provide lower health
care cost. To recap one of his key points, he said he
would roll back the Bush tax cuts for the rich, and
redirect those tax breaks to the middle class and
under-privileged.

“We would not just win the election,” Obama assured
his supporters. “You, and I can transform the world.”
Some of the supporters said they would caucus for
Obama on Tuesday to end the divisiveness in Washington
D.C.

Obama’s campaign is promising change, especially “the
way Washington works.” Obama said the politics in
Washington is dominated by special interest groups
that do not care about poor Americans. He talks
about how some republicans are crossing over to the
democrat’s camp.

Obama, the democrat presidential-hopeful said
Americans could not wait any longer to fix the
country’s political system in Washington D.C. that
divides the nation.

“We cannot wait,” said Obama. Politicians in
Washington are busy, “tearing each other down,” rather
than “lifting the country up,” Obama emphasized. To
solve these problems, Obama suggests that America
needs “honest,” and “straight-talks from elected
officials.”

At the rally in downtown Minneapolis, Obama told the
enthusiastic Minnesotans about opening his desk drawer
in the US Senate and seeing the names of various senators
who sat at the desk before him - including Paul
Wellstone, one of the state’s popular Democratic
politicians who died in a plane crash few days before
his potential reelection in a 2002.

Obama said Wellstone was “a guy who helped create a
movement here in Minnesota because he believed in
you [Minnesotans].” He added, “The way I believe in
you.”

Obama also thanked Senator John Edwards, for
bringing the issue of poverty to the US political
race, and
added, “He was true to the Paul Wellstone tradition.”
Obama reminded his audience that Bush’s education
program, widely known as the ‘No child left behind,’
“still leaves many children behind,” and promised to
make education affordable all over America. He urged
the thousands of people at the Target Center to cast
their vote for him if they want “change” in
Washington, and America as whole.

Sesay, like many other supporters, believes Obama’s
message of change, and a foreign policy that engages
other world leaders is necessary for the United States
of America.
“It is remarkable to listen to him,” Sesay said. “I’m
so inspired.”

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