Obama/Murray Rally with 13,000 at UW
President Barack Obama came to the Hec Edmundson Pavilion at the University of Washington in Seattle today to try to get out the vote for incumbent Senator Patty Murray. The rally began with the Full Experience Gospel Choir doing “God Bless America,” “Lean On Me” and finishing with “Amazing Grace.” King County’s Executive, Dow Constantine, was the first speaker of the day and his job was to get the audience worked up and ready for the line-up of speakers to come. He impressed upon the University of Washington students in the audience how important their impact on the election would be by saying, “You are the folks who will deliver this election to Democrats. When everyone votes, Democrats win.” And telling them to use whatever method necessary to get the message out that people need to vote, he instructed the crowd, “Update your Facebook status! This election is in your hands.”Photo Credit: Stephanie Brusig
Next up was Suzan DelBene, a Democrat running for Congress in Washington’s 8thdistrict. Going quickly through her platform, she ended her speech by saying, “I will support equal rights for all Americans.” She was the only speaker, besides President Obama, to address anything related to LGBT rights. When Congressman Jay Inslee got up to speak, he joked that he’d like to introduce the Dino Rossi “three strikes and you’re out” bill. He went onto say that we can revolutionize our economy with jobs promoting clean energy and that “Patty Murray gets this.” Congressman Norm Dicks opened his speech by saying, “I’m proud to be a Democrat . . . We need to get out the vote to maintain our majority . . . I think the people are smart enough to not want to go back to the failed policies of President George W. Bush.” And when Governor Christine Gregoire got up to speak next, she added to Dicks’ comments about the Republican Party by saying, “Just think about some of the candidates they have advanced.”Photo Credit: Stephanie Brusig
As Senator Murray walked into the pavilion with President Obama, the full-capacity crowd of 10,000 people inside and an additional 3,000 in the overflow area in Husky Stadium erupted in deafening cheers and applause. Murray talked about the national champion Husky women’s softball and cross country teams, the Seattle Storm WNBA champs and the fact that Washington State has a female governor and two female U.S. senators. She ended by saying, “I think it’s fair to say in Washington State women win.” Murray believes in supporting legislation to help students go to college, telling her own story about how her parents were able to send seven children to college with the help of Pell grants and student loans. Referring to her opponent Dino Rossi’s negative campaign tactics, Murray stated, “My opponent has staked his entire campaign on one word: No . . . Rossi stands for the 3 Rs: rewind, repeal, retreat.”
President Barack Obama was the last to speak after standing next to Murray during her speech. He talked extensively about his economic policies and how it’s taking some time to see the positive results. When Former President Bill Clinton came to the area earlier in the week, he spoke about this gap between when a policy is enacted and when we begin to see the results. Both Presidents reminded citizens that they need to have patience in this time period. President Obama explained that in the six months before he took office, 6 million jobs were lost and that a total of almost 8 million jobs were eliminated before his economic policies could be put in place. He said he had hoped bipartisanship could be put aside, and that elected officials would work together to solve the country’s problems. “While we are proud to be Democrats, we are more proud to be Americans,” he said, describing his party’s outlook. When he addressed the upcoming election less than two weeks away, he said, “Republicans were betting on amnesia, betting that you’d forget who caused this mess in the first place . . . This election is a choice between moving backward and moving forward . . . When you want to go forward you put the car in D, when you want to go backward you put it in R. Don’t put this car back in the ditch, I don’t want to have to push it out again!” Someone in the crowd, during a pause in the President’s speech, yelled out, “Repeal don’t ask, don’t tell. “ At the end of his address, President Obama reminded the audience that change takes time and if people can have patience they’ll see change and added that he will repeal the military’s DADT policy.