Home > News Stories > Obama Stumps for Patrick at Boston’s Hynes Convention Center

Obama Stumps for Patrick at Boston’s Hynes Convention Center

By: Scott Flaherty

October 16, 2010

Boston, Mass. — President Barack Obama addressed thousands gathered Saturday for a campaign rally supporting Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, stressing the importance of voter participation and saying the stakes could not be higher for November’s election, as a Republican return to power would lead only to a renewal of ineffective policies.

Speaking at Boston’s Hynes Convention Center Saturday Obama acknowledged that it was difficult to keep faith in government in the face of the hardships brought on by the economic recession, but noted that the upcoming election is “not just about the work we’ve done, it’s about the work we’ve got left to do.”

Obama accused the Republican Party of sitting on legislation to foster frustration among citizens so they could capitalize on people’s anger and ride it “right to the ballot box.”

Warning of the downsides to a return to power for the opposing party, the president said they would revert back to the same policies which led to economic recession.

He said that when Republicans were steering the country, they “drove into the ditch.”  He went on to say, “They can’t have the keys back, they don’t know how to drive.”

Addressing a support rally for Patrick, Obama applauded the governor on his first term achievements, saying Patrick has led the state to the top of the nation in student achievement, health care coverage, job growth, and developing clean energy.

“Because Deval Patrick chose to lead in the toughest of times, this state will lead into the future.”

Obama added that Patrick, who remained on stage while the president spoke, inspires him as a leader because he “represents the politics of conscience and conviction.”

Standing behind a podium, Obama implored the crowd of about 15,000, which filled the floor and balcony of the Hynes auditorium, to help the governor finish what he started by getting out the vote.

The governor spoke immediately before the president and discussed the difficulties facing the state and the country when he took office in 2006, saying, “Hope, as you will remember, was in short supply.”

Patrick characterized the recession as a “test of character” and said, “People began to wonder whether the American dream itself was up for grabs.”

The governor said that growing up, he learned that “hope and hard work is the only way to climb out a hole” and committed to retain optimism as he continued to work for the future of Massachusetts.

The governor then explained some of his administration’s accomplishments and differentiated his campaign from that of his rival, Charlie Baker, by explaining that the Republican’s campaign relies on “sound bites and slogans,” while his policies were “rooted in a better future.”

He stressed that the election was not about the politicians, but about the residents of the state.

Lt. Gov. Tim Murray also gave a brief address, urging voters to support the campaign during the 17 days until Election Day.

The president spoke on a stage next to one of the auditorium’s walls, which was draped in an approximately 30-foot tall American flag.  A set of risers on stage behind Obama was filled with a group of about 70 supporters, who remained standing for the entirety of the president’s speech.

The president’s speech was disrupted on a couple occasions by a protest group claiming that Obama did not live up to his promise to increase funding for AIDS research.  On the second disruption, the president broke from his prepared remarks and addressed the protest group directly, inviting them to explore the Republican plan and said, “We increased AIDS funding.”

Leading up to the speeches by Patrick and Obama, several notable members of the Massachusetts Democratic Party addressed the crowd, including Vicki Kennedy, the wife of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, Rep. Edward Markey, Sen. John Kerry, and Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino.

The other speakers picked up on many of the themes discussed by Patrick and Obama, explaining the high stakes, praising the governor’s record, and asking supporters to do what they could to assist in his reelection.

Before Menino took the stage, the Boston Children’s Choir sang the national anthem and James Taylor performed America the Beautiful.  The folk singer also performed a couple of his hit songs, dedicating “You’ve Got a Friend” to the governor.

One of the supporters, Andy Hochberg, of Richmond, Mass., said the rally worked to bridge the “enthusiasm gap,” a critique which has been leveled against Democrats throughout the election season.

Hochberg echoed Obama’s words and said that the Democrats are the party that “cares about the other.”  He said that Patrick’s successes in stimulating economic recovery and promoting education were “not just by chance.”

Obama walked on stage with U2’s song, “City of Blinding Lights” playing, and after thanking the other speakers and performers, admitted that he sometimes chooses to attend to other business while waiting to speak at campaign stops for other Democrats.  But, he said, “When Deval speaks, I listen.”

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