NC perfect fit for Obama speech
Posted January 13, 2014
Updated January 14, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Many believe President Barack Obama will focus on economics when he speaks at North Carolina State University on Wednesday.
Experts say North Carolina is the perfect place for his speech.
Obama last visited N.C. State in 2011, where he spoke before more than 9,000 people inside Reynolds Coliseum.
This time, his speech will be at the school’s J.W. Isenhour Tennis Complex.
“Now he can be with a much smaller audience and he can interact with people,” said David McLennan, a political science professor at William Peace University.
Politically, the venue makes sense because Obama does well when speaking to smaller groups, he said.
The smaller venue also meant a bigger rush for tickets – only 500 were available to students.
“I think the reason why N.C. State University is so attractive to presidents is we really represent what is being done to transform North Carolina from the traditional economy to the new economy,” said Mike Walden, an economics professor at N.C. State. “We have, I think, seen some results in retraining our work force for the high-tech jobs that we’re having come in, for the medical jobs, for the financial jobs.”
Walden believes Obama can point out some of the university’s efforts in his speech.
“That’s really what he wanted the economic recovery to be and so if he can come to North Carolina and point out both the centennial campus as well as the rest of the places around North Carolina, some recovery and high-tech jobs and improved employment, he can take some of that credit.”
McLennan also pointed out that U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) will not make the trip with Obama. Hagan said she’s staying in Washington, D.C. because the Senate is in session but Republicans say Hagan, who is up for re-election, is trying to distance herself from the president.