The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

55°
The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

‘08 presidential candidate Barack Obama visits Ames

Illinois junior Senator Barack Obama drew a crowd of 5000 supporters to Hilton Coliseum Sunday, Feb. 11. Obama, now officially a presidential candidate, was in Ames on the second day of his Announcement Tour. He spoke on a variety of issues such as the war in Iraq, healthcare, global warming, and education. “I don’t think there is a more significant set of decisions than the decision to go to war. I think that war was a tragic mistake and it should never have been authorized and we should not have proceeded,” Obama said on the subject of the war in Iraq in a press conference before his speech. “We are not more safe as a consequence of it.” Obama did acknowledge that the United States cannot completely disappear from the Middle-East. “Nobody can responsibly say that we will have no military presence in the region,” he said. Obama also said that there needs to be some sort of withdrawal from Iraq, “We are not going to engage in a permanent military occupation in order to try to keep a lid on a civil war.” Obama told The WEB during the press conference what he thinks the role of youth will be in this election. “One of the things that I’ve been talking about since I’ve arrived in Iowa was the need for active participation on the behalf of people who have gotten cynical about politics and opted out of politics,” Obama said. “And young people, I think, are in that category.” “I don’t think there is a more significant set of decisions than the decision to go to war. I think that war was a tragic mistake and it should have never been authorized and we should not have proceeded,” Obama said on the subject of the war in Iraq in a press conference before his speech. “We are not more safe as a consequence of it.” Obama did acknowledge that the United States cannot completely disappear from the Middle-East. “Nobody I think can responsibly say that we will have no military presence in the region,” he said. Obama also said that there needs to be some sort of withdrawal from Iraq, “We are not going to engage in a permanent military occupation in order to try to keep a lid on a civil war.” The senator feels the fact that he encourages the youth of America to get involved in the political process separates him from other candidates. “The fact that I come out of a different experience or a different perspective as a community organizer and as a civil rights attorney before I went into electoral politics means that I am biased toward grassroots activism,” Obama said. “I’m biased towards people getting involved. I don’t believe in top-down politics; I believe in bottom-up politics.” Obama cited the actions of a group called Students for Barack Obama as evidence that people want to be involved. Students for Barack Obama spontaneously organized a rally that drew 3,500 students to George Mason University. ”It indicates to me that there’s enormous interest and number of people who want to get involved, and what we want to do is try to keep our campaign as open to that involvement as possible so that this can be a vehicle for change for them,” Obama said. Another issue Obama focused on was the growing power of special interest groups in U.S. politics. “There is a direct link between the capacity of special interests and lobbyists to dictate the agenda in Washington and our failure to deal with the most fundamental problems that we face,” Obama said. “This connects to the question that the young man was raising earlier, that unless we get ordinary citizens to say ‘we are paying attention, we are gonna support candidates who are speaking boldly about these issues and we are gonna take our country back,’ then we’re not gonna make much progress.” This is an area where Obama feels his campaign will stand out. “Throughout my career I think I have been very consistent on trying to give government back to ordinary voters,” Obama said. He also said that he will be running a different kind of campaign than what has been seen in recent history. “We can’t expect to have different outcomes in Washington if we campaign the same way that both Republicans and Democrats have been campaigning over the last decade. If you’re playing the same game, you’re gonna get the same outcomes,” Obama said. In his speech and during the press conference, Obama shied away from his stances on gay marriage and Iran. The senator has been quoted as being opposed to gay marriage, and that he would consider missile strikes on Iran.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
Donate to The WEB
$300
$450
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Ames High School, and Iowa needs student journalists. Your contribution will allow us to cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Donate to The WEB
$300
$450
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

The WEB staff encourages you to exercise your First Amendment rights in this public forum. To comment, click on the "logged in" link below. Then click on the Google icon and sign in using your Google school account.

Do not post comments that are obscene or libelous. Refrain from writing comments that use copyrighted materials or that involve personal attacks, insults or threats. And please relate all comments to the story.
All The WEB Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.