The Pied Piper of Hamelin:
Obama wows crowd of 6,000 in San Francisco
Countdown to Change: Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama,
made a campaign fundraising stop in San Francisco yesterday. Though
his campaign stump speech is short on specifics, Obama electrified
an audience of over 6,000 Obama devotees who paid $30 for admission.
Photos by Luke
By Maya Strausberg
November 15, 2007
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama electrified a crowd
of over 6,000 supporters tonight at San Francisco's Bill Graham
Civic Auditorium, promising universal health care, an end to the
war in Iraq and an improved education system.
As part of his "Countdown to Change" tour across the
country, Obama made the San Francisco stop with the on-stage support
of local favorites including former Giants manager Dusty Baker
and author Alice Walker.
Former San Francisco Giants manager, Dusty Baker
Alice Walker, author of "The Color Purple."
Patrick and Denise Edwards of San Francisco went to the event
together but for different reasons. For Denise, hearing Obama
speak about the war in Iraq was worth the $30 admission.
"A stable economy," Patrick injected. "Right now
we're on a downward spiral."
Obama didn't touch on the economy, but he did mention Iraq more
than once. As president, Obama vowed to complete a phased withdrawal
of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan within 16 months.
"As president, I will end the war in Iraq," he said.
"I will bring the troops home. I will close Guantanamo (Bay)."
He said, "When I am the democratic nominee, my Republican
opposition will not be able to say I voted for the war."
The Illinois senator listed climate change, nuclear weapons,
poverty, HIV and AIDS and the genocide in Darfur as issues he
plans to address.
"I am in this race to tell the lobbyists in Washington that
their days of setting the agenda are over... They will not work
in my White House," Obama said to wild cheers.
If elected, he said, he would remove tax brakes for companies
that outsource jobs to other countries.
Jeff Liang of San Francisco was impressed by the senator's speech.
"Electric," he said of Obama. "The thing about
the lobbyists was great. The crowd loved it all. It's more about
him than anything else. It's about hope."
Manik Suri of San Francisco agreed, adding that Obama's energy
struck him. Suri said he was glad to hear the candidate discuss
lowering the cost of college and getting the U.S. out of Iraq.
"He understands issues unlike any other politician,"
said Suri. Marin high school students Tiara Lewis and Samantha
Deer agreed they came "to see our future husband." They
both attended the event to hear Obama talk about universal health
"He said he's going to be president of both blue and red
states," said Deer. "I want to see how he does that,
how he's going to be president of purple states."
No matter what issues people came to see Obama speak about, they
all agreed with one sentiment about the election.
"Here's the good news," he said. "The name Bush
will not be on the ballot."
Luke Thomas contributed to this report.
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