Posted by: JanF | October 29, 2014

President Obama: “Wisconsin, go out and vote for Mary Burke!”

Last night in Milwaukee, President Obama spoke at a get out the vote rally for Mary Burke, Democratic candidate for Wisconsin governor. He spoke at North Division High School, whose famous graduates include former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and current U.S. Representative Gwen Moore (D). The precinct that North Division is in voted 99% for President Obama in the 2012 election so it was a place he knew he would be welcome … and he was, by about 3,400 people!!

(CSPAN video here. The president is introduced at 10:35)

President Obama:
“When you step into that voting booth, you have a choice to make. It boils down to a simple question: Who’s going to fight for you?”

Transcript: Remarks by the President at Burke for Governor Rally

A week from now, this woman will be the governor-elect of Wisconsin if we continue to Get Out The Vote and Get Out And Vote. So far, early voting is well ahead of the low turnout 2010 election which is good news in a state that elected Barack Obama by 12 points in 2008 and 7 points in 2012.

More photos can be found at The Obama Diary.

Also speaking at the event was Democratic Attorney General Candidate Susan Happ. Wisconsin and Wisconsinites deserve to have a person of integrity to uphold the principles of justice and fairness, something sorely lacking under our current (retiring) attorney general. Her opponent promised to continue the partisan policies of J.B. Van Hollen and when we sweep out the Walker Administration, we need to grab an extra broom and sweep out the good ol’ boys running the Wisconsin Department of “Justice”.

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From MSNBC: President Obama Stumps for Mary Burke in Milwaukee

President Obama called on a crowd of more than 3,400 to get their friends and loved ones to the polls on Nov. 4 at a rare 2014 campaign stop dedicated to firing up the base to replace Republican Gov. Scott Walker with Democrat Mary Burke.[…]

… with the race essentially tied with both candidates polling at 47%, Obama urged the crowd to take advantage of the remaining three days of early voting.

The Wisconsin governor’s race is one of the closest in the country, and a victory for Burke would signal a popular rebuke of the confrontational approach that made Walker famous in 2011, when he effectively ended collective bargaining rights for public sector unions in the state.

Oh, and about Scott Walker and his confrontational approach? Please enjoy this delightful headline and story by Alec MacGillis who has been writing about the polarized politics of Wisconsin all year: Scott Walker Is Scared He Might Lose—and He’s Already Blaming His Fellow Republicans. It is a window into the empty soul (and head) of one-term Gov. Walker, a man who was elected on the platform of divide and conquer and is finding out that when you surround yourself with people whose goal is to win at any cost, at the point where you stop being of value to them you are kicked to the curb. p.s. The teaparty vision of America was never going to be sustainable because its puniness was inconsistent with the spirit of America and, in Wisconsin, the long tradition of progressivism.

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Selected Quotes: Remarks by the President at Burke for Governor Rally

This country has made real progress since the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. When I came into office the economy was in free fall. The auto industry was on the verge of collapse. But over the past four and a half years, America’s businesses have created more than 10 million new jobs. (Applause.) Here’s the only problem. Wisconsin lags the rest of the country when it comes to job growth. So the country as a whole is doing better; Wisconsin is not doing so good. Over the next week, you have the chance to change that. (Applause.) You have a chance to choose a governor who doesn’t put political ideology first, who’s not thinking partisan first. She’s going to put you first. (Applause.) […]

Look, Michelle and I, we didn’t grow up with a lot. I wasn’t raised in a fancy house. Michelle’s dad was a blue-collar worker. Her mom was a secretary. The reason that we had opportunity was because there was a country that said we’re going to help you go to a good school; we’re going to invest in making sure you can afford to go to college; we’re going to make sure that we grow an economy not from the top down but from the middle out. (Applause.) And that’s true for most people in America. Most of us grow up in a situation where we’ve got to get a little help along the way. And as long as you work hard and carry out your responsibilities, then we’ve got to make sure that every child in America has got a chance.

And that’s what Mary believes in. (Applause.) An economy that grows for the many and not just the few. An economy where everybody in Wisconsin has a shot. (Applause.) Mary is running because she believes working people — she believes that working people are the backbone of Wisconsin. She doesn’t think working people are the problem; she thinks working people are the solution. She’s not running to cut taxes for those at the top; she’s running to build economies — Wisconsin’s economy from the middle out. And here’s the good thing: She understands that ideas to create jobs — they shouldn’t be judged as to whether they’re Democrat or Republican, but whether or not they work. (Applause.) […]

We believe that in this country education isn’t just the key to economic growth — it’s the surest path to the middle class. Mary is not running to make even deeper cuts in education here in Wisconsin; she wants to invest in our neighborhood schools and bring down the cost of higher education, and make college a reality for all young people. (Applause.) […]

We believe that in America, nobody should work full-time and ever have to raise their family in poverty. Mary Burke doesn’t believe that the minimum wage “serves no purpose” — as one Republican said. She knows the difference it can make to some hardworking mom who’s working already and having to take care of her kids. And she’s trying to make ends meet. That makes a difference to her.

She’s not going to use the governor’s office to side with corporate interests that believe that the minimum wage is something to be cleared out. She’s going to take the side of folks who are working hard every day — cleaning out bedpans and cleaning out office buildings and making other folks’ beds and taking care of some of our seniors. She knows that they work hard just like everybody else. They shouldn’t be raising their kids in poverty. She’s running to give Wisconsin a raise. That’s why you should vote for Mary Burke. (Applause.)[…]

Wisconsin, the biggest corporations don’t need another champion. I mean, Mary Burke — Burke is a businesswoman. She recognizes the incredible role of free enterprise in building our economy, but she also knows that you need a champion. She knows that the wealthiest Americans — they’re doing fine right now. They don’t need another champion. You need a champion. (Applause.) Opportunity for the few isn’t what Wisconsin is about — opportunity for all is what Wisconsin is about. (Applause.)

So that’s why you have to vote. If you want something better, you’ve got to vote for it. (Applause.)

So don’t let anybody tell you your vote doesn’t matter. It’s just not true. It is an excuse. (Applause.)

… if you just sit home and complain, then of course nothing is going to change. (Applause.)

I can’t change it on my own. No, Gwen Moore can’t change it on her own. And once Mary is governor, you’re still going to have to get involved. (Applause.) You have power when you work together. (Applause.) And, listen, Wisconsin — the hardest thing to change in politics is the status quo. Because everybody kind of thinks, well, that’s just the way it is. It’s even harder when it seems like folks in power care more about keeping power than they do about you. And so just understand — the folks on the other side, they’re counting on you being cynical. They’re figuring you won’t think you can make a difference. They figure you won’t organize. They figure you won’t vote. You will just go along with the status quo.

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: You’ll just go along the way so often we go along with situations that aren’t working.

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: Don’t buy it. Don’t be cynical. Be hopeful. Because America is making progress. Despite unyielding opposition, there are workers who have jobs now that didn’t have them before. There are families who have health insurance who didn’t have it before. There are students going to college who didn’t have it before. (Applause.) There are troops coming home from Afghanistan — (applause) — and being with their families. (Applause.)

Cynicism didn’t put anybody on the moon. Cynicism has never ended a war. It has never cured a disease. It did not build a business. It did not feed a young mind. Cynicism is a choice. And hope is a better choice. (Applause.)

Hope is what gives young people the strength to march for women’s rights, and civil rights, and voting rights, and gay rights, and immigrants’ rights. (Applause.) Hope is the belief that there are better days — that we can build up a middle class, and give back something to our communities, and hand down something better for our kids.

Hope is what built America. (Applause.) Not cynicism. And I am telling you, Wisconsin, America’s best days are still ahead. I believe it. Mary Burke believes it. Now you have to believe it. Go out there and vote. And go vote for Mary Burke.

(Bolding mine)

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