Senator Obama announces for presidency

By Christine Kim

“In the shadow of the old state capitol where Lincoln once called on a house divided to stand together, where common hopes and common dreams still live,” Senator Obama said on Saturday. “I stand here before you today to announce my candidacy for the presidency of the United States of America.”

Stretching across several blocks, 16,000 people stood out in the freezing cold in Springfield, but they got what they had been waiting for. Obama’s announcement came with promises for the future; promises to bring troops home from Iraq by March of 2008 and for a universal health care plan.

Illinois state senator Mike Frerichs came to show his support. He says he doesn’t think Obama’s lack of experience will affect him in the race.

“I think what people look at the concept of the candidate’s character. They look at their morals, integrity. I feel very confident in Obama’s presidency. I feel very confident he’ll unify this country and that above experience or anything else is what we really need.”

Most came to support Obama, but one Springfield man didn’t. He remained outside the area with a sign demanding answers to questions like, do you support securing borders? Do you support citizen’s rights over illegal aliens? And do you force current immigration laws? Tom Record says he doesn’t know where he stands with Obama.

“I wanted to ask him these questions. They wouldn’t let the sign in this area, you couldn’t use air signs, you couldn’t come in here with this sign.”

U of I’s College Democrats also came to support Obama. Freshman Dave Wear says about 20 of the College Democrats came down Friday night to volunteer for the event.

“He talked about everything that he really stands for. I was glad to hear him talk about the failures of the administration and what he plans to do. It was a really good speech. I think he’ll definitely win the primary. Yeah this is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

After his announcement in Springfield, Obama traveled to Iowa and to the University of Illinois at Chicago.