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Students drawn statewide to see Obama

Thursday, Sept 4, the Democratic Presidential Nominee, Senator Barack Obama, spoke to a crowd of approximately 15,000 ecstatic people in Lancaster.

Most were supporters, some were undecided, and others just wanted to hear what he had to say.  Either way, there was excitement in the air as the anticipation mounted for Obama to arrive and speak.

Many started chants such as one of his slogans “YES WE CAN!” and “Fired Up, Ready to Go!” that helped to build that excitement.

Obama spoke on a number of issues, ranging from education and paying grade school teachers higher salaries.

International Education Week

He also discussed the issues of making college more affordable for students by giving a $4,000 credit for those who provide community or national service.

“The part that resonated with me the most was when Obama asked if we are better off than we were eight years ago,” Sophomore and political science major Stephen Seufert said.

Seufert believes that Obama is the agent of change because Senator John McCain has voted with President Bush 90 percent of the time.

This leads Senator Obama and other supporters to believe that the nation will have more of the same if McCain is elected.

Other issues in Obama’s platform that he spoke on included healthcare, environment, and job loss.

For a healthcare plan, Obama wants to make it more affordable and available to hard-working Americans; namely the same type of benefits he receives as a senator.

The issue of healthcare strikes a personal note with him because of his mother’s fight
with health insurance companies while she was dying of cancer and could not get the coverage needed.

“I will make sure to stop insurance companies from discriminating against people who need the care the most,” said Obama.

The Senator also stated that environmental concerns are one area that both he and McCain can agree upon.

They feel the U.S. needs to have higher energy-efficiency standards that would help the environment.

By doing so, both candidates believe that they would create five million new jobs that would be necessary to build technology, such as wind turbines, to harness energy different from oil.

Obama said that he wants to stop giving tax breaks to companies who are sending jobs overseas, but give them to companies that keep the jobs here in America due to unemployment being at an extreme high.

He also believes that this will create an incentive to bring jobs back to the United States, lowering the unemployment rate.

This would put more money back into the pockets of Americans, which would then be returned to the economy, causing it to strengthen.

Obama also briefly spoke of the Republican National Convention that took place last week in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He stated that over the first two nights of the convention not a single word was spoken about what McCain will do to help middle-class Americans and that one night that they cut out of the convention due to the hurricane, was the night that was suppose to be about prosperity.

Obama also took this time to show a part of his sense of humor when addressing some of the things that has been said about him over the recent months from the Republican Party by saying “I’ve been called worse on the basketball court.”