I find it very interesting that U of MN President Robert H. Bruininks wasn’t at the rally. Recently, funding was affected to the U of MN stem cell research program, which I believe doesn’t use only embryo stem cells but also adult stem cell’s. Why did Pres. Bruininks vow to getting alcohol sales back to college sports but didn’t lobby to Pres. Obama to lift the ruling from the D.C. federal judge so that research could continue at the school? Isn’t research our number one focus Pres. Bruininks and not capitol gain?
On Saturday, a different type of politicians showed up at the University of Minnesota’s Field House. Super Dayton and his hero friends, for a better Minnesota. But, the energy that was on campus didn’t start on Saturday.
I noticed the energy on Thursday, when I saw a group of suits circled up on the Nortdrop Mall Area. I approached them and they said that they were “…event organizers,” but I knew better. They told me that President Obama would be entering campus behind Coffman Union and that I should arrive early because it would be busy.
I was excited because I felt like I received a great scoop, but on Friday the location was changed due to a forecast of rain. It may have been in the forecast, but I wasn’t going to allow anything to rain on my parade.
Once reaching campus, it really put into perspective of how large the crowed was for the rally, but I was able to navigate to the entrance very quickly. Thanks to the ticket I had. Some people had been waiting in line for hours, because of the large amount of people that reached 11,000 people.
Once inside, the real action began, it was game time. I spoke with Mariana Spilca, who is ethnically Romanian but was born in New Mexico, she is currently a graduate student at the Humphrey Institute. She explained to me that her generation supports Pres. Obama and other DFLers but her parents have conservative values that cause them not to vote Democrat. She said that they are conservative in the sense that they believe that every American should be able to support themselves financially versus relying on the governmental welfare programs/social services. Mariana, said that when her parents arrived in the States, they had left a Romania that had Communist and socialist principles. Mariana believes that her parents had $10 on them and just worked their way up. She said her parents believe that all people should be able to do that and taxing the rich isn’t the right solution because they earned that money.
It was interesting to interview Mariana because she was born in the U.S. but was ethnically Romanian. A lot of times women and ethically diverse individuals don’t have a voice within the media, I found it interesting to gain her perspective.
After speaking with Mariana, the festivities began. The audience was filled with Whites, Blacks, Asians, Africans, and at least one American-Romanian. The audience was diverse and everyone was engaged.
After saying the pledge of allegiance and national anthem, Auditor Rebecca Otto took the stage. There was one word that stuck with me, ACCOUNTABILITY. Auditor Otto said that she is responsible for making sure that the state is operating efficiently and is sustainable. She said that she started within her own office and found ways to cut spending by having her employees work more efficiently. Guess how many jobs she ended up cutting…NONE!!
Attorney General Lori Swanson spoke next about the importance of accessibility of educational resources and the affects of the doubling of tuition. She said that its a big issue that tuition is going up and property tax is also continuing to increase. A.G. Swanson re-assured the audience that her office is responsible for protecting the people, which makes them for the people. She is working to lower tuition fees and property taxes.
U.S. Sen. Al Franken excited the crowed by saying “I am the poster boy of close elections. I won by 300 votes!” a humorous laugh broke out across the audience confirming that Sen. Franken’s statement was obvious. We all see Sen. Franken as a funny man but what he said next wasn’t funny at all. He brought up a gentleman named Mr. Mark Zandi and how he said that the stimulus did exactly what it was supposed to do. SAFE OUR ECONOMY! Whats funny about Mr. Zandi making a statement like this is because he was an economic adviser for Sen. John McCain.
DFL Gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton, received a large and warm applause when he came onto the stage. Cheers came out and Mark Dayton signs went up. Dayton, wanted to make sure that the audience knew that he was for the people and not for politics as usual. He has been a public servant for 35-years and has also been a teacher for close to 20 years. Dayton has strong connections with the senior community and sees the importance in providing educational resources. He doesn’t want to cut funding for medical programs for seniors, he doesn’t want to cut from education. He knows that this will just make our economy worse and cause the states infrastructure to collapse by having a lack of educated individuals.
Pres. Obama took over where Dayton left off.Since we aren’t going to cut funding, then how will the state generate revenue? Pres. Obama stated that the stimulus has allowed our economy to sustain jobs and create jobs. The president wants to invest in green initiatives such as wind, solar, and water energy harnessing.
Pres. Obama used a metaphor by comparing the state of out nation to that of a car that had wrecked into a ditch. He explaining to the audience that DEMOCRATS are responsible for pushing the car out of the ditch, while the Good Ole Party was standing to the side. Now that things are fixed they want to take over the keys. But it’s not going to happen “…if everyone that voted in ’08 comes out in ’10, then Mark will win!”
Pres. Obama made sure to let the audience know that he and other Democrats, like Mr. Dayton, have been trying to work on improvement. But they have been faced with a stone wall by the GOP. It isn’t the Democrats that aren’t working, it is the GOP. The message was clear, I just hope the people were able to receive it the same way I did.