President Obama made VCU his second-ever stop on his re-election campaign on May 5th, 2012. A big part of a president’s re-election agenda has always been targeting the college youth, and this move was no different. His move was strategic in winning over hotly contested states on the East Coast, which included Virginia. Included in his plans are other states with strong election competition, such as Ohio, where he initially began his re*election campaign.
Highlights of the VCU rally included an attendance of over 8,000 people, including students of the college itself. Obama presented himself as many things during the rally, touching upon issues faced by the middle and working classes of America. He also gave light to the many protests and rallies at Wall Street, and did his best to state why he was an overall better pick for the country than competitors such as Mitt Romney.
The Campaign Trail
A crowd of about 8,000 strong braved the rain to see current U.S. President Barack Obama speak on stage at Virginia Commonwealth University this May 5th. Obama had previously won the election in Virginia back in 2008, and remains to be a heavily contested state this coming election season.
Election rival, and leading contender for the Republican Party Mitt Romney had just wrapped up a campaign stop in Northern Virginia just three days prior. He then moved down to the Hampton Roads on May 3rd. Being early to the draw has always been critical for winning votes for the general elections; a strategic move that won Obama this hotly-contested election state.
Ohio, where Obama made his first stop, is another state where votes are closely contested between both Republican and Democratic competitors. His speech at the Ohio State University, where branded Romney as a “rubber stamp for extremest Republicans.” He then labeled himself as a man who strives for the working and middle class citizens of the United States.
Perhaps Obama was touching upon the recent economic and social inequalities brought upon by the Wall Street protests when he mentioned Romney during his speech. Quips that pointed out Romney’s experience with “Running a large financial firm and running a state,” and why that made him “wrong from these experiences” revealed Obama’s clear disdain for his Republican competitor.
Journalists who attended both rallies criticized his speeches as being attacks geared directly towards Romney while being veiled as generic criticism against Republicans as a whole. Obama’s track record as a president has not been wholly well-received by citizens; critics argue that he plans to take a more aggressive path to re-election as a result.
A War Against Republicans
Obama’s criticism against Republicans and Romney have been taken up a notch for his recent re-election campaign. His speech at VCU included many pressing matters that the nation faces today, which included the current state of the economy, the social classes brought to light during the Wall Street Protest, among many other things.
“The Republicans who run this Congress have insisted that we go right back to the policies that created this mess in the first place.” Obama made in a bold statement against his competitors. He believes that his Republican counterparts will refuse to move the country “Forward,” as his campaign slogan states.
While Obama did have much to say about his competition, he also had much in store for the country. He stated that he refuses to “pay for another tax cut by kicking children off the Head Start program, or asking students to pay more for college” in his struggle to re-gain the Virginia voter’s belief in his re-election.
His controversial stance on medical care was also something Obama touched upon during his re-election speech at VCU. He “refuses to eliminate health insurance for millions of poor, elderly and disabled Americans on Medicade,” clearly showing his stance on the entire health care debacle the country still feels today.
While touching upon the many issues that stand in the way of his re-election, Obama reminded the attendees at VCU of his promises to fix the economy, and create jobs for millions of unemployed Americans. The president did indeed have these promises again, but his track record still followed him to the event; something that may make his race an even closer one than in 2008.
Not Just Promises, But a Record
During his term as president, Obama signed off on all-encompassing yet controversial acts and bills. One of these was the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which requires citizens who are not currently covered by insurance plans from private or government offices to maintain one regardless.
The Stimulus Package, or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was also an act by Obama that was met with controversy. Here, the government would seek to counter the recession by offsetting the excess in private spending with an increase in public spending. This was done by employing a great variety of measures, all of which aimed to save the job market and stop the deterioration of the economy.
Despite relatively welcoming crowds at both Virginia and Ohio, Obama still has a long road ahead of him when the election finally comes around on November 6. His pubic appearance at Virginia Commonwealth University will leave voters both young and old something to ponder on, both in the present and in the past.