Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fired Up and Ready To Go: Obama Supporters Rally in Athens

by Monique Ozanne

Unity. Trust. Hope. These are the words that stand bold on the posters of Barack Obama’s campaign. Wearing pins, t-shirts, and with posters in hand, more than 150 supporters came out to the Ohio University Inn to kickoff the Southeast Ohio campaign for Obama before the primary elections in Ohio on March 4.

Get Fired Up!

Giving his first official speech after endorsing Obama, David Wilhelm, who was the Ohio campaign chair for Bill Clinton, talked about why he backs Obama. As an Athens native and political campaign activist since 14, Wilhelm talked about Obama’s issue stands, such as his plans for rural development, role of alternative energy and the need to rebuild infrastructure in small towns. His outpouring of passion and ethusiasm for Obama was evident. Wilhelm thinks that Obama gives Democrats the best chance of regaining the White House.

David Wilhelm gives his first public speech in support of Obama

Along with his political reform plans, Wilhelm also emphasized the appeal that Obama has to young people. He stated that young people are ready to reject the politics of the past, especially on issues of race and gender, and start fresh, with Obama. Wilhelm thinks that Obama has a selfless appeal and is in the race for the common good of others. Apparently so do young children, like Forest Lyman who said he liked Obama and "could see him sitting with his children on the couch".

Young supporters rally for Obama

What's Next?
The Obama Southeast Ohio Regional Field Office is located here in Athens County on 9 Stimson Avenue, in the old New-To-You Building. During last night's kickoff Director Chris Farrell asked supporters to sign up, and volunteer at the regional office. Farrell's goal for this primary is to knock on one million doors in the Southeast Ohio region; 30,000 of those in Athens County. This Saturday the group will be having a Saturday canvass, where they will begin soliciting support.

The Other Side
With all of the Obama hoopla, some were asking where is the support for the Clinton campaign? Athens City Council President Bill Bias is one of the leading Clinton supporters in the area. Bias says that he is a friend to success, and when the Clintons were in office, he enjoyed the state of our nation's economy and was a large supporter of Bill Clinton.

City Council President talks about his support for Clinton

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