Obama Makes Whirwind Tour of Philly
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama made a whirlwind tour of Philadelphia on Saturday.
His first stop was at Progress Plaza on Broad Street, where thousands of people stood in line before down to see him.
"Pennsylvania's hurting," he told the enthusiastic crowd. "Philadelphia's hurting. Thousands of jobs have been lost this year, wages are flat some folks are losing their job so fast you can't ask your self whether or not you were better off 4 years ago. You need to ask if you were better off 4 weeks ago. But it doesn't have to be that way."
Obama said what is needed is change but admitted it's going to take a while to get everything moving again.
Jackie and Mary liked what they heard:
"It's great to see him talk in person, yes, it that made all the difference. We loved what he had to say it was even better to hear him talk in person."
Next came a stop at the Mayfair Diner, followed by an appearance at Vernon Park.
"When you have people come together like this, you know, you think anything's possible."
Some of the crowd there was asked what they feel is the key issue this election.
"It's the economy. It trumps everything else these days," said one spectator.
"This country and the dream it represents are being tested like we haven't seen in nearly a century," Obama said, "and it's a test we cannot fail."
Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, an Obama supporter, gave his assessment of how the senator will fair in this state on election day:
"I think we're going to do well in the northeast, I think he's doing superbly in central Pennsylvania, and I think the southwest is still a challenge, but they've been hit hardest economically, so they're going to resonate to the economic message better than anyone."
Asked what it was like to be so close Obama, one woman said: "When I was young, everyone wanted to get close to the Beatles, and this was the same thing!"
The largest gathering of the day was at the final stop at 52nd and Locust Streets in West Philadelphia, with the crowd was estimated at more than 20,000 people (photo above).
"If you'll make some phone calls for me and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors, if you will vote for me on Nov. 4th," Obama said, "I promise you this, we will not just win Pennsylvania. We will win this general election and you and I together, we're going to change this country and change the world."
Obama gave his speech for the fourth time in West Philadelphia, preaching to the converted, but hoping to inspire the crowd to turn out in overwhelming numbers on election day.
Each of the warm-up speakers emphasized the importance of turn-out, here. Congressman Chaka Fattah warned against efforts at voter suppression.
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