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Des Moines, Iowa: A grassroots event with President Obama

At a grassroots event on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines today, President Obama spoke to volunteers and supporters about why he’s running for re-election. Thousands of Iowans lined up in the rain to get a spot inside the packed auditorium, and more watched on-screen in the overflow section nearby. The President was fired up to be back in Iowa again, and he laid out the stark contrast between Mitt Romney’s experience as a corporate buyout specialist and his own experience as President of the United States.

The job of a president is to lay the foundation for strong and sustainable broad-based growth—not one where a small group of speculators are cashing in on short-term gains. It's to make sure that everybody in this country gets a fair shake; everybody gets a fair shot; everybody is playing by the same set of rules. When you're president, your job is to look out for the investor and the worker; for the big companies and the small companies; for the health of farmers and small businesspeople and the nurse and the teacher. You're supposed to be thinking about everybody—and the health of the middle class, and what the future is going to hold for our kids.

For Lara, a college student in Iowa, this was the message that resonated with her.

“It’s funny, I used to be a business major, and I don’t see how any of [Mitt Romney's] policies or ideology will help this country for the future.”

Lara’s dad, Gary, appreciated the fact that the President feels a personal connection with Iowa, the state that helped propel the 2008 campaign to victory.

“It was a great event. It’s true grassroots at its best right here in the heart of the country, and he can relate to all classes of people. And he does a good job getting his message out because he’s sincere and he’s speaking from the heart.”

President Obama also had a message for all the volunteers working hard for him across Iowa and the country. He emphasized that it won’t be easy, but that the strength of grassroots organizing is what will ultimately lead this campaign to victory.

When enough of you knock on enough doors, pick up enough phones, and talk to your friends and your neighbors, and your coworkers, and you’re doing it respectfully and you’re talking to folks who don’t agree with you—you’re talking to people who are good people but maybe they don’t have all the information, and when you make that happen, when you decide it’s time for change to happen, you know what? Change happens.

Dan is an organizer in Ames, Iowa. He stuck around after the speech just to soak it all in.

“He was so close by, we had to come down here and do this. He just came in here tonight and started talking to us like he knew us, and that’s a wonderful thing. What is at stake in this election is everything. It’s several million more people getting their jobs back and being able to put their lives back on track, or a few millionaires making a few extra dollars. And that’s why we’ve gotta re-elect these guys. Absolutely have to. We’ll organize and we’ll knock doors and we’ll call and we’ll talk to friends.”

Do your part—step up to volunteer for President Obama today.


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