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On Get-Out-the-Vote Tour, Obama Stumps in Maryland for Gov. O'Malley

4 years ago
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BOWIE, Md. -- Even as some Democratic candidates run from the White House this election year, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley eagerly embraced President Obama Thursday during a rally at historically black Bowie State University. In turn, the president exhorted several thousand supporters to go to the polls next month and vote for O'Malley, who is being challenged by ex-governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

"The pundits are saying you might not be as pumped up, you might not be as energized" as in 2008, when Obama handily carried Maryland. He still enjoys solid poll numbers here even as his popularity has dropped into the low 40s elsewhere in the nation. "It's up to you to prove them wrong. Don't make me look bad," the president said.

Obama has been crisscrossing the nation in recent weeks to fire up recession-battered, war-weary Democrats on the right and left, hoping they will vote in large enough numbers next month to retain the party's House and Senate majorities, and keep or elect governors and other state officials around the country.

Standing jacket-less in a white shirt and striped tie on a bunting-draped stage, Obama praised O'Malley as someone who froze in-state college tuition for the past two years, cut crime and slashed $5 billion from the state budget.

O'Malley, who originally backed Hillary Clinton for president but has become close to Obama since then, is locked in a bruising re-match with Ehrlich, whom he beat four years ago by 117,000 votes.

In Maryland, Democrats outnumber Republicans by two-to-one but independents make up nearly a third of the electorate. Blacks are also a key voting bloc, especially in Baltimore and Prince George's County (home of Bowie State). But in this year's Sept. 14 primaries around the state, just over one in five black voters in those two jurisdictions went to the polls.

First Lady Michelle Obama
has jumped into the campaign fray, urging young voters to participate in the midterm elections next month. And as he has done in other recent get-out-the vote rallies, Obama slammed the Republicans' strategy of opposing many of his economic and social initiatives, and tried to make clear he felt the pain of Americans hit hard by the economic crisis. He accused the GOP of seeking to "ride that frustration all the way to the ballot box," and, should they take over Capitol Hill, return to Bush-era policies.

Obama's O'Malley rally came two days after a second poll gave the incumbent and former Baltimore mayor a solid lead over Ehrlich, with whom he had been running neck-and-neck since March. The Oct. 5 Rasmussen Report pegged O'Malley at 49 percent to Ehrlich's 41 percent, with one percent favoring another candidate and eight percent undecided. The margin of error is four percentage points.

Last week, a Washington Post poll gave O'Malley an 11-point edge over Ehrlich, 52 to 41 percent. A former congressman and state legislator, Ehrlich won his only term as governor in 2002. Their first debate is set for Oct. 11 at WJZ-TV in Baltimore.

Ehrlich has downplayed Obama's visit for days, saying the president will come to Maryland, speak and then depart, making very little difference and leaving the rivals to go at each other as before. He also noted that although Obama campaigned for Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey last year, both states elected Republican governors.

Having heard that line before, Obama told the cheering crowd, "They can take back New Jersey, they can take back Virginia, but they can't take back Maryland."

Even as Obama touted O'Malley's record, Ehrlich unleashed a TV ad blitz in the populous but pricey media markets in the Washington suburbs of Prince George's and Montgomery counties. O'Malley has been on the air in the region for two weeks.

After his 35-minute speech, Obama glad-handed the crowd for several minutes before returning to the motorcade that would take him to Andrews Air Force Base and on to Chicago. There he hoped to work a little hometown presidential magic in the extremely tight race between Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Mark Kirk to fill his old Senate seat.

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13 Comments

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sassi56pa

"Don't make me look bad" Obama said? This is terrible. If they didn't need the votes so bad Obama would not be talking to these colleges, hispanics and others. He is playing on their youth just for the vote and then it will be business as normal.I'm going to give the young the shawdow of the doubt that those who will vote will vote not on Golden words but on the issues of which their lives now depend on and that is a debt that they will pay and their children will pay for, it is lost of freedom - being told what you can and can not eat and drink and oh yeah, it will be legal cause once this government took over healthcare if a person has a habit or a preference that is deemed as potentially causing the government more money, the gov. has the right to abolish the cause (sugar products, burgers, etc.) of the cost increase. This administrations is about PEOPLE REFORM - Taking away your rights and stripping us of citzen power other wise not more we the people, and that is what obamacare is, just as cap and trade is, it is slowly taking your rights away (spread the wealth). Please people, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH, don't be used by those politician that throw a bunch of fancy words. DON'T MAKE HIM LOOK BAD is shifting the blame from Washington onto the voter. Propraganda 101 teaches to get a person to buy something hit the emotions and make the people feel guilty. S what Obama has done here with that sentence is say to those he spoke too, if we fail it's not my fault - you are the fault - YOU made me look bad.

October 08 2010 at 11:29 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lerwilhelm

Obviously this man doesn't want to be President he just wants to campaign. Anything to get his picture on the front page. I'd think we'd have seen enough of him by now, I'm not criticizing his job performane, I'm just tired of him alway running for office. Personally he kind of turns me off, because he acts like a male model, but if he does a good job, so what? But I do get tired of having to see him "vogue" through the news everyday with his photo ops.

October 08 2010 at 10:49 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
kb4819

I don't care who you support, just get out and vote.

October 08 2010 at 10:21 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
wyhenry2

Maryland Sucks I have live here for 45 years. Its run by the democrats. Two years ago they up our state income, property and sale taxes. The State kicks retiree to the curve. O Malley is a clueless and useless hack. The good old boys are alive and well in the state house. Marylands budget is in the red. I want to move out of state but cannot sell my house.

October 08 2010 at 9:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sysaphus71

I have noticed that the President is finding it harder to find a favorable crowd at these whistle stops. Maryland ,after all is the bedroom community for D.C. If all you can do is fill a backyard with hand picked audiences in the rest of the country...it is time to park the 747 and stay in the White House (well at least for the rest of the 2 years you got it)

October 08 2010 at 9:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to sysaphus71's comment
christierandall

they love him...watch the crowds smiling and taking pictures and trying to get to the front to shake his hand. I am certain he will be re-elected.

October 08 2010 at 6:38 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Chris

A person replying to you says that they love him. Yes she is right all 35 of them love him... I have a cousin in Arlington Va, who told me the local paper had one page ads for "concerned Americans" to come out and be in the audience for a Obama rally there. They were offering 25 dollars per person. Not charging them 25 dollars, but PAYING them 25 dollars, to stand and listen to Obama. This tells you how hard he is having at getting people to agree with him. Maybe the ones that wanted their picture with him, were getting paid extra.

October 10 2010 at 10:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mrscaptndavid

I'm shocked and disgusted that our president who ran on ending partisanship is now threatening voters that if the republicans win majorities that there will be a battle another words he refuses to work with them! So not only has he insulted us when we haven't supported his policies but now he is threatening us! We gave him the support to win believing his campaign promises which he promptly forgot as soon as he was elected and went into business for himself! I thought Richard Nixon was arrogant but this man's promise to continue to "rule" with an iron fist is beyond anything I have ever witnessed in my lifetime! I do not take being threated by an elected official who is supposed to be working for us well! I have never been this upset ever with my government! I'm an independent voter who will no longer support ANY of these arrogant politicians who have forgotten who they work for!

October 08 2010 at 8:31 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mrscaptndavid's comment
kb4819

The president is for bipartisanship. Don't you see it's the republicans that will not engage. They just say NO. Anything the president trys to do, they say NO. So how can he get things done with these guys? They will say NO for two more years. That's their plan. It will be pretty bad for the people. Nothing will get done, but the republicans and their business buddies will be happy.

October 08 2010 at 10:19 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
jferko777

DONALD TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT!! Let's release Obama of his obligation to run the White House and let him use his time to pursue his Birth Certificate and go out and stump for candidates all around the world, but at his expense for a change! Donald Trump does not want to destroy our nation by making sure that jobs can be created only by the government, and spending us into bankruptcy. Trump is talking about what is happening. He said that we might end up with no country at all! He would surround himself with wise and patriotic people and the United States would again thrive! Oh, and he would fire the Czars that are doing Obama's secret no good work that we will all find out about at a later date. There would not be twenty five aids for the First Lady as there is now. The Chicago visit by Obama was, no doubt, to get ACORN out to vote early, late and often to insure Giannoulias a victory Any way they could get it, by using Obama tactics in all of his races! The root of the anger toward Obama starts with the fact that he is above the law, and does not have to show any proof of eligibility, as does every other person in the United States, and I mean every other person! Frightening!! Just how many people have been threatened and bought to accomplish this?

October 08 2010 at 7:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
catalogsplus

Well that should do O'Malley's political career in if history holds true.

October 07 2010 at 10:18 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to catalogsplus's comment
baltlead

.... and of course, what is the option ? B.G.Ehrlich ( oh your electric bill only went up 72% or I didn't raise taxes I just tripled all the fees)?) Yet another Republican voting for MOM.

October 07 2010 at 10:57 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
Kenneth

He running around trying to energize the registered Democrats to get out and vote. That is great. All people should get out and vote. Just because people register one way or the other does not mean that is how they will vote.

October 07 2010 at 7:05 PM Report abuse +14 rate up rate down Reply

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