Obama urges students to move ‘Forward’ on Nov. 6
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
Thousands gathered at the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth on Friday, Sept. 7 as President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made an appearance as part of their pre-election tour.
With an opportunity to see the president in person, many students from the University of New Hampshire flocked to the event for this special occasion. Included in those students were some who waited in line for hours, such as senior Bryan Bickford and junior Molly Simon, who said they got in line around 7:30 a.m. in order to attend the event.
According to Simon, it was worth the wait.
“How many times do you get to see your commander in chief speaking?” Simon said. “Just live, in person and in your own backyard.”
During his speech, Obama touched on a variety of issues. He focused primarily on the economy and what he would do in his second term to improve the job market. He also mentioned education and what has been done so far to make a college education more affordable.
“Millions of students are paying less for college today because we took on a system where $60 billion was going to banks and lenders as middlemen for the student loan program,” Obama said. “We said, ‘Let’s cut out the middleman and give that money directly to students so that they get a better deal.’”
During the portion of his speech where he discussed education, Obama also made it clear that he had been through the same sort of struggles that college students go through today. That message stuck out to students in attendance.
“I feel like [Obama] is ideal because he knows where we’ve been,” Simon said. “He knows what it’s like to struggle. Mitt Romney doesn’t know what it’s like to struggle. He doesn’t even know the definition [of the word].”
Vice President Joe Biden also spoke briefly to the crowd, selling the unity and friendship between himself and the president. According to sophomore Allie Beaulieu, that part of Biden’s speech really stood out to her.
“It showed me how they work together and have fun working together,” Beaulieu said.
Students who attended Obama’s speech also noted the atmosphere and sense of community they felt with others who were there. Beaulieu said that, to her, the event exceeded her expectations and, in fact, helped increase her opinion of Obama as a candidate.
Overall, those in attendance said they were impressed with what they saw. Some of those who were originally unsure of who to vote for said they were assured after hearing Obama’s message.
“His slogan, ‘Forward,’ could not be more perfect because we need to move forward,” Beaulieu said.