Convention Center Is A Full House For Obama

This story was written by Patricia Espinosa, Daily Skiff
"Fort Worth, si se puede," Illinois Sen. Barack Obama chanted Thursday at his rally in the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Supporters chimed in, chanting, "Yes we can" in Spanish.

The crowd's voices echoed throughout Cowtown at Obama's presidential campaign rally.

Obama reached out to Texans ­- more than 10,000 of them - with an initial "Hey, y'all."

Because the Fort Worth campaign committee didn't want to turn people away, Obama supporters had to be directed to an overflow section that fit about 10,000, said Leslie McClinton, a campaign volunteer.

Obama made his way over to the overflow section to speak to supporters before making his speech in the 10,005-seat arena.

A crowd of TCU students for Obama arrived about an hour and a half before the rally was scheduled to begin, sporting campaign paraphernalia, signs and posters.

"Obama is someone to care about," said Ashley Southerland, a junior advertising/public relations major.

Southerland, along with other TCU students, volunteered at the rally as recruiters, encouraging people to help the Obama campaign in Texas.

"We've been out here since 2 p.m. getting ready for the event," Southerland said.

Advocating Change

With the primary election nearing an end, Americans have to be ready for change, Obama said. He said Americans cannot sit and wait for the problems of health care, higher education and the war in Iraq to fix themselves.

Obama promoted higher education, stressing that every child should receive the best education possible by implementing programs, such as early childhood education. It is imperative that students work hard for their education and that parents reinforce that work ethic, he said.

People look at children and don't want to help them because they are not their own - the country needs to remember that every child is our child, Obama said.

Another education policy Obama mentioned was providing a $4,000 tuition credit for every student each academic year in return for community services activities.

"We invest in you, and you invest in America," Obama said. "Together, we will march this country toward greatness."

He said teachers will be rewarded with increased salaries and support - too many teachers are digging into their own pockets for school supplies, he said.

Students should not be taught how to take tests, but how to learn and to appreciate topics of value like music, art and literature, Obama said.

Obama said health care needs to change in the direction of preventative care, instead of "disease care."

He also said drug companies need to negotiate better prices for medication, because the current health care system has driven elderly people to cut medications in half.

"I will have all of this [health care] improved and finished by the end of my first term as president," he said.

It is up to the Fort Worth community to step up for Texas and vote for something bigger, Obama said.

"Whatever else happens, there will be a new president, and the name George W. Bush will not be on your ballots," Obama said.


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