Local Politics

Obama delivers campaign speech, if not himself, in Charlotte

Posted July 7, 2008

— Call it political improvisation. U.S. Sen. Barak Obama spent Monday in St. Louis because of airplane mechanical problems, but he still got through to a crowd gathered in Charlotte – if only by phone.

He took aim at problems in the economy and bashed U.S. Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee.

“I thank you for being there," Obama’s voice said from a speaker phone as nearly 100 people who listened to the presumptive Democratic nominee's pitch to improve the economy. "I'm so sorry I cant get a chance to see you guys in person."

Tax credits for college students and another round of stimulus checks to offset the rising prices of gas and food both got mentions.

“I don't need to tell all of you that times are tough,” Obama said. “Everywhere I go all across the country and every time I visited North Carolina, I've heard the same story. I mean families who don't have health insurance for themselves and their children (and) in some cases are at risk of financial bankruptcy if somebody in the family gets sick.”

“John McCain is decent and honorable man, but if you look at the essence, at his economic policies, which are based on a large mass of tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals, only a quarter of those tax breaks (will be) going to the middle class,” Obama said.

Obama said that being present in North Carolina will be a goal of his campaign leading up to the election. “I want all of you (to) know in North Carolina we are going to be campaigning actively there,” he said.

"I've never seen young people get out and vote like they have" with Obama’s candidacy, said Rebecca Gomer of the Young Democrats of Mecklenburg County. “We saw that in the primary.”

She said the enthusiasm gives Obama a chance in November.

"If any year the Democrats can take North Carolina, this is going to be it – and we're going to make sure that happens,” Gomer said. If she is proved correct, it will be first time the state has voted Democratic for president since Jimmy Carter ran.

"There's been a tradition of Democrats conceding the state before the battle is even joined," Obama said. “That’s not what is going to be happening this time out.” he planned visits to Georgia and Virginia later in the week.

Former Charlotte mayor and former U.S. Senate candidate Harvey Gantt said he was glad that Obama was “putting the state in play.” The election will be close he said, but Obama can take the state.

Some things, though, no candidate can control.

“He's not a mechanic. There's nothing he can do,” said Pastor Eddie Mobley, one of Obama’s supporters at the middle school where he listened to, rather than watched, the candidate. "He's human. He still cares, and he did make a phone call."


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  • doodad Jul 9, 2008

    David, my greatest concern with McCain is about immigration.

    With the economy shrinking daily, giving amnesty to 12+million illegals will cause us to nose dive. The so-called back taxes the feds expect to collect will not cover the enormous payouts in social service programs, food stamps, welfare, medicaid, that these "new" citizens will then qualify to collect. Guess who will have to dig a little bit deeper? Me and you. As for the wealthy that Obama intends to tax, well they will just find more loopholes and false investments to difer their expenses to so they won't have to pay as much in taxes. While the rich might complain about paying high taxes, those that make millions won't have to sacrifice or do without to pay Uncle Sam. They just funnel the loss downhill to their employees to constrain salaries and cut jobs.

  • TeamHatteras Jul 9, 2008

    100 people? Even the democrat base is realizing they have nominated an empty suit.

  • davidgnews Jul 8, 2008

    "I'm not wild at all about McCain, but Obama's ideals will only further our problems."

    Because McCain compromised and tried to work across the aisle? Isn't that why Bob Dole lost against Clinton, as he did the same?
    Bob Dole had honorable service (unlike his candy-striper wife), yet was rejected. For the people in charge on the democrat side, I'd hardly call them 'honorable' nor 'leaders,' but somehow they're there and have to be dealt with at some point.

    Are Bush's ideals more to your liking? I see where that's gotten us in the last 8 years. He's a chump at the end of a puppet string, and has always been a chump. Now McCain's been assimilated into the Bush regime.

    No thanks.

  • davidgnews Jul 8, 2008

    doodad, spare me the worn-out cliche.

    The truth is, that as long as they take taxes from me (at gunpoint, if 'necessary'), then I've already paid the price of admission and have every right to complain.

    Think about it, because they're doing it to you and everyone else as well. That has nothing to do with elections.

    We're sunk either way.

  • doodad Jul 8, 2008

    david, if you don't vote then you have no reason to complain.

    I'm not wild at all about McCain, but Obama's ideals will only further our problems.

  • davidgnews Jul 8, 2008

    And what good is that going to do? Like it or not, one of them will be our next president, why not just line up with the one that you believe in more.

    Because I don't believe in any of them, and haven't for a long time.

  • whiffleball Jul 8, 2008

    LOL! In his 'phoned in' speech he referred to Beverly Purdue as as Beverly "Bedford" who, he said, "was going" to be the next Governor.

    Gotta love media constructs!

  • Bob Sidel Jul 8, 2008

    "Obama's 183 days of experience surely qualify him to run the world's most powerful country...? Looking forward to Jimmy Carter's second term?"

    I thought you said you would vacate the country if obama won, dont go back on your word, we already have the party planned

  • NCSU2004 Jul 8, 2008

    It was really just a sign that he wasn't wanted in NC. :-)

  • Worland Jul 8, 2008

    Obama's 183 days of experience surely qualify him to run the world's most powerful country...? Looking forward to Jimmy Carter's second term?