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SMC students attend Obama rally in Ohio

Anna Boarini | Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Early Monday morning, most Saint Mary’s students were getting ready for class or sleeping in. Seniors Callie Brown, Paige Daniel, Karla Moreno and London Lamar were headed to Ohio to see President Barack Obama speak at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.The students found out about the rally from a friend’s Facebook post. 

“We went to the website and researched the tickets,” Lamar said. “This was a decision literally made at 12:30 at night.” 

Lamar said the group each received a ticket to the rally after signing up online. They headed to Ohio at 6 a.m. Monday morning. 

“When we first got there, we were so excited and didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “The line to get in was like a mile long and we didn’t think we were going to get in.” 

According to the website for the Nationwide Arena, the structure can hold about 20,000 people for a concert. Lamar said there were about 18,000 people who showed up to hear Obama speak. 

“We ended up having front-row seats in our section,” she said. 

Along with the president and music stars, Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio spoke at the rally. 

After a break, Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z performed, and then the president spoke. 

“Bruce Springsteen had nothing but good things to say about the president,” she said. “He first campaigned for him in 2008 and said he is a great person. [Springsteen] advocates for [Obama].”

Springsteen performed a few songs, and sang a song he wrote about the campaign, Lamar said. 

After Springsteen, Lamar said Jay-Z “rocked the house.””He rapped about six or seven songs,” she said. “He rapped his song ‘Encore’ and said it was for another four years for Obama.” 

Lamar said Jay-Z parodied one of his own songs for the campaign’s benefit. “He rocked the house and sang his song ’99 Problems, but he said ‘I got 99 problems and Mitt [Romney] ain’t one,'” she said, laughing. 

Finally, Obama took the stage, Lamar said.According to the Associated Press, Obama said about the performers: “They tell the story of what our country is, but also of what it should be and what it can be.”

“He talked about his policies, how he will continue to advocate for education and how everyone deserves a fair chance at education,” Lamar said. “The president talked about how in different states there are different opportunities and struggles. He got the crowd riled up.” 

Lamar said Obama stressed everyone should go out and vote on Election Day. 

After seeing him in person, Lamar said Obama looked very strong going into the election. 

“He looked very confident,” she said. “There were thousands of [people from] Ohio at the rally … It was pretty much full and he is leading in Ohio. [Lamar and her friends] are hoping for the best.”