Cleveland Ba-‘rocks’ with Obama at Tri-C

Katie Alberti

Sen. Barack Obama greets supporters before his speech at Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus yesterday. Obama’s speech was preceeded by entertainment from poets, musicians and Cleveland area schools.

Amanda Sowards | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: Ron Soltys

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama told thousands of Northeast Ohioans last night that they may find themselves voting in their own campaign during the next presidential election.

“I can’t do this all alone, and I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep,” he told supporters who had gathered in Cuyahoga Community College’s east campus gymnasium. “If you think this election is all about me – you’re wrong. This election is about your hopes and dreams, and I am absolutely confident that change will happen.”


Representing the American people was one of many points the hopeful made during his rally. Obama touched on a variety of issues, including the war in Iraq.

“Whether you were for the war or against it before, we can all agree that it’s time to give Iraq back to its people,” he said. “There’s no military solution.”

Obama said he agreed with British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision to pull British troops out of Iraq and said he would like to see all American troops out of the country by March 2008.

In addition, Obama said, if elected, he promises to make health care available to all U.S. citizens.

“In a country that spends $1.9 trillion on health care, having 46 million Americans uninsured makes no sense,” he said.

Obama also said he would like to see the cost of higher education decrease so more people could attend college.

When discussing America’s economy, he said it’s time for a dramatic change.

“The economy is changing and some people at the top are doing better than before,” he said. “Corporate profits have never been higher, yet we have people all around this region taking buses and trains to get to work – they haven’t seen a wage increase in years.”

Students were enthusiastic with Obama’s speech and plans for America’s future.

“I feel he’s the Bobby Kennedy of this generation,” said Rick Coffey, a Kent State sophomore musical theater major, adding he supports Obama because of his stance on the Iraq war.

RaeAnn Roca, senior public relations and political science major at Northern Ohio University, said she came to the rally because she has loved Obama since she saw him at the Democratic National Convention.

“He has been against the war in Iraq since the beginning,” she said. “He always said he wouldn’t vote for the war. He’s not a flip-flopper and that’s very noble.”

After giving his speech, Obama left his supporters with a message of hope.

“If I can believe in a better America, so can you,” he said. “I guarantee you, Cleveland, a better America.”

Contact public affairs reporter Katie Alberti at [email protected].