Obama campaigns for Hillary Clinton at UNH

by Priya Ramaiah | 11/8/16 12:45am

obama_2_by_annie_ma_the_dartmouth_senior_staff

President Barack Obama spoke to a crowd of nearly 8,000 people at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire this afternoon.

by Annie Ma / The Dartmouth Senior Staff

On the eve of Election Day, President Barack Obama freely shared his views at a Get Out the Vote rally for Hillary Clinton, criticizing Republican nominee Donald Trump and emphasizing the need for Democratic votes up and down the ticket. The president’s comments, delivered to a packed Whittemore Center Arena at the University of New Hampshire, also highlighted the critical role of New Hampshire in the election, as the state’s voting results could tip both the U.S. Senate majority and the presidential race.

The rally was the penultimate campaign event for Clinton before voters head to the polls today. Obama delivered a speech in Michigan prior to the event at UNH and left soon after for Philadelphia, where he participated in a final Clinton rally with his family as well as rock band Bon Jovi and rockstar Bruce Springsteen.

Obama’s comments centered on the necessity of voting in today’s high-stakes election.

“The most important position in democracy isn’t president or senator,” he said. “It’s citizen.”

The president’s condemnations of Trump were met with boos from the crowd, to which he retorted multiple times, “Don’t boo. Vote.”

“If I have any credibility left after eight years as your president, trust me on this one,” Obama said.

Introductions from a series of notable Democratic advocates preceded Obama’s remarks. Filmmaker Ken Burns, astronaut Mark Kelly, former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), Rep. Annie Kuster ’78 (D-NH), Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern Tu’09, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and current governor as well as New Hampshire senatorial candidate Maggie Hassan all delivered remarks before Obama addressed the crowd shortly before 5 p.m.

Giffords and her husband, astronaut Kelly, spoke about their campaign around the country against gun violence. An assassination attempt against Giffords in 2011 in her home state left her severely injured by a shot to the head, and the former representative has since become an activist for stricter gun laws.

Most of the event’s speakers raised health care, climate change, minimum wage and college tuition as some of Clinton’s most important policy commitments. The same representatives also criticized Trump’s divisive rhetoric.

“‘Stronger Together’ is not the motto of a campaign, it is the motto of the United States of America,” Van Ostern said.