On Tuesday, July 5, 2016, in their first joint campaign visit, President Barack H. Obama and then presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Secretary Hillary Clinton visited the city of Charlotte to talk about politics and put forth ideas about policies under a potential Clinton Administration.
This event took place in the heart of uptown at the Charlotte Convention Center, which was also one of the locations of the Democratic National Convention; when Charlotte hosted that event in 2012.
The tightly packed crowd in the Convention Center was anxious with excitement and undertones of sheer joy as we anticipated seeing the 44th President of the United States and former Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton. There were speeches made prior to the appearance of President Obama and Sec. Clinton, by the Representative of North Carolinas 12th Congressional District, Dr. Alma Adams (D), incumbent for re-election: Rep. Deborah Ross, Democratic candidate for US Senate; N.C. Democratic Party Chair Patsy Keever and N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, Democratic candidate for Governor of North Carolina.
After the second playing of Rachel Platten’s 2015 single, “Fight Song”, Sec. Clinton and President Obama entered onto the plush blue carpet of the campaign stage to a roar of applause and adoration from the long waiting crowd. Secretary Clinton’s speech included highlights about the decades she has spent working for education, especially for the education of children in low income areas. She spoke about her push for healthcare for all Americans and the legislations that she pushed toward Congress in the 1990’s, when her husband, former President Bill Clinton was in office.
Sec. Clinton also highlighted her hard work and dedication during her tenure as Secretary of State under the administration of President Obama, meeting with Prime Ministers, Presidents and other nonpareils to enforce the policies and practices of the United States of America; as one of the most powerful figures in the world. Mrs. Clinton also stated that she does not believe President Obama gets the credit that he deserves. During his time in Office the continual down spiral of the economy has practically been reversed, over 14 million private sector jobs have been added and 20 million individuals now have healthcare coverage. After a brief yet effective speech Secretary Clinton presented the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack H. Obama. As he walked to the podium, which proudly displayed the presidential seal, the thousands in the crowd began to chant, “Hillary, Hillary!” in which the President himself jovially continued.
President Obama presented a very clear case of support for Sec. Clinton’s candidacy and made a clarion call for unity among the Democratic Party, after a very tense and bitter primary season. The theme of the afternoon was “Stronger Together.” President Obama stated that he has, “had a front- row seat to her judgment and her commitment.” While being very hard on the then presumptive Republican nominee, President Obama echoed Sec. Clinton’s sentiments when he stated that, “Anyone can tweet, but nobody actually knows what it takes” [to be president].
The fact that this first joint campaign event happened in Charlotte, showed the significance of North Carolina’s standing as a battleground state, in which no single candidate or political party has overwhelming support in receiving North Carolinas 15 electoral votes. In the 2008 General election, North Carolina’s electoral votes helped propel then Senator Obama into the Presidency, yet in 2012 the state was turned red in favor of Mitt Romney. Those of us who are North Carolinians, those of us who are members of Zion Methodism, who are African Americans, who are millennial, and who are believers in a risen Savior, have the power to influence the Presidential election and vote out those Sedentary Senators and Repugnant Representatives in Congress that show up to do nothing as usual. Our vote is our voice, our voice counts, our voice matters, and our joint voices can topple stronghold. It is imperative that we use our vote, because this is the most important election of our lifetime.