Prince George's Turns Out for Obama
Thousands of Prince Georgians and residents from elsewhere in the Washington region streamed into an open parking lot at the Prince George's Community College last evening for a rally for Sen. Barack Obama (D), his first presidential campaign stop in Maryland.
They streamed through tight security checkpoints for a good hour before Obama was ushered on the stage, many with signs and t-shirts. ("Got Hope?" read a popular one.) Most said they were committed Obama supporters, like Latrice Johnson, a small business owner from Washington, who said she had attended an Obama rally at Howard University and had now driven to Prince George's to hear him again.
"I believe he really is going to bring change. We need something different," she said.
But some voters were still making up their minds. A group of seniors in their school uniforms from Landover's Jericho Christian Academy said they will be voting for the first time in the next presidential election and wanted to hear Obama to make an informed selection.
"A lot of people who vote, they'll vote for the person other people tell them to vote for. I don't want to be like that," said Lindsey Dixon, 17, of Lanham.
There were many well-known Prince Georgians in the crowd, including prominent ministers and politicians from all levels of government. Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George's) was ebullient as he headed to an area reserved for VIPs. "This is history in the making," he said. "To see an African-American who as a real shot, a genuine shot, of being president of the United States."
In Obama's speech, he hit on key Democratic issues including health care, the economy, ending the war in Iraq and energy independence. "It's not going to be enough just to change parties, we've got to change our politics," he said.
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