Wauwatosa East and West Student News

The Tosa Compass

Wauwatosa East and West Student News

The Tosa Compass

Wauwatosa East and West Student News

The Tosa Compass

Rallying in Milwaukee

By Jack Wongtam
Photographs by Colin Ek

Making a campaign stop in Milwaukee, President Barack Obama addressed a crowd of 18,000, including Tosa West students and faculty, at the BMO Harris Pavillion at the Summerfest grounds last Sunday.

Not passing up the chance to see the President live for himself, senior Anthony Clayton stood in line for hours waiting for Obama to make his appearance.

“Seeing him in person is somewhat different than on TV,” he said. “I felt like a more critical listener when seeing him in person, rather than viewing the hype of the crowd from a television screen at home.”

Also in attendance was Oral Communications teacher Julie Manders.

Commenting on his public speaking skills, she said, “I think, for me, I realized he was an eloquent speaker. He was very conversational with the crowd… it seemed more personal.”
Obama focused his speech around economic issues, repeatedly criticizing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for his top-down approach to reinvigorate a faltering economy.

“You don’t build from the top-down, you build from the middle up,” he said.
He questioned tax cuts proposed by Romney, saying that it weakened a middle-class that cannot afford to pay for the lost federal revenue due to these cuts. Instead, Obama advocated increased taxes on the rich and cuts for only the middle-class and small businesses.

“I refuse to ask college students to pay more or kick children off the head start programs and eliminate health insurance for millions of poor and elderly and disabled just to pay for another tax cut we can’t afford,” he said. “I can afford to pay a little more and Mitt Romney can afford to pay a little more.”

“Even though he identifies for one of the people who can pay, he still understands the middle-class,” said Manders.

Clayton had a more critical take on Obama’s message though.

“I felt that Obama did an alright job at addressing the middle-class situation, but relied too heavily on political cliches to get the crowd going,” he said.

In front of a spirited crowd, Obama further criticized Romney’s reluctance to reduce military spending and touted military successes that have occurred under his own administration, including the end of the Iraq War, the fall of Al Qaeda and the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

Finally, responding to Romney’s remarks to change government from the inside, Obama emphasized the need for people to be proactive put outside pressure on the government instead.

“You can’t change Washington from the inside,” he said. “You have to enlist and mobilize people to change it from the outside.”

Wisconsin has long been considered a battleground state leaning both conservative and liberal. However, in Presidential elections, the state has leaned liberal for the past six years. But according to Clayton, Democrats shouldn’t be too confident in the state voting left this year.

“Wisconsin is the state to win this year, because of one, Scott Walker being our Governor giving a republican edge to the election and second, Tammy Baldwin running for US Senate,” he said.

But junior Adeeb Taujoo thinks that, in his speech, Obama did well influencing Wisconsin.

“His speech was very promising and I think it was something Wisconsin yearned for.”

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