By Amari Clements and Zedrick Truesdale
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Barack Obama said Thursday at the Democratic National Convention that he’s no longer just a candidate. He’s the president.
“I have never been more hopeful about America,” said Obama. “Not because I think I have all the answers. Not because I’m naïve about the magnitude of our challenges. I’m hopeful because of you.”
Obama’s speech addressed tax reform, education, the environment and jobs.
“No company should have to look for workers in China because they couldn’t find any with the rights skills here at home,” said Obama.
In the last four years, Obama’s stimulus plan has saved jobs. He repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Act of 1990, helped automakers get back on their feet and doubled wind and solar power.
Obama said that if he is re-elected, he plans to cut in half the growth of tuition cost for colleges and universities. He asked his supporters to help recruit 100,000 math and science teachers in the next ten years and improve early childhood education.
Obama also promised to refocus on the terrorist who actually attacked the United States on Sept. 11.
“We’ve blunted the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over,” said Obama. “Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.”
Tens of thousands of Obama supporters who lined up for tickets to his acceptance speech found out days before that their community credentials were officially null and void. But that didn’t stop them from crowding the streets of downtown Charlotte and filling up the Charlotte Convention Center for a watch party.
Jennifer Smith’s husband stood in line for six hours for those tickets, so they were very disappointed that they weren’t able to watch Obama’s speech in Time Warner Cable Arena. But she said the intensity and enthusiasm that was in the arena was just as exciting.
“Obama knocked it out of the ball park, and he hit everything he needed to hit,” said Ella Scarborough, a 1971 graduate of SC State University. “More than anything else, we have to understand, this isn’t about him. This is about us.”
“He told exactly what it is his plan was,” said Jamala Myrick. “I don’t think anyone can say anything negative, truthfully. Of course they will though.”
Obama’s supporters fear what will happen if Republican candidate Mitt Romney wins.
“All of the things he’s worked for these four years and all of the reasons people voted for him during the last election could be lost,” said Brittany Hicks. “I think it’s really critical that everyone that is fired up and ready to go stays fired up and ready to go for this election.”
Some have also questioned if America was better-off now than it was four years ago, but the president has made Barbara Walters, a Charlotte local, “much better.”
“My president is ready,” Walters said. “He is the right man at the right time. I am fired up and ready to vote.”