'Moving America Forward' rally
The chants of "Yes We Can" and "Si se puede" echoed across USC's historic Alumni Park Friday afternoon by an estimated 37,000 attendees for President Barack Obama's Democratic rally.
The Los Angeles rally, hosted by the USC Political Student Assembly, was the fifth in a campaign series titled "Moving America Forward." Obama expressed efforts to encourage voters to get out and vote in next week's midterm election. The Democratic Party geared the rally to students and first-time voters.
Obama enthused the attendees with sayings such as, "We need all of you fired up. We need all of you ready to go."
"In 11 days," he said, "in just 11 days you have the chance to set the direction of this state and of this country."
"Just like you did in 2008, you can define conventional wisdom," said the President. "The conventional wisdom that says: ‘Young people are apathetic.' The conventional wisdom that says ‘you can't beat the cynicism in politics.'"
In his speech, President Obama focused on the Democrats' achievements since he took office. "Don't let [the Republicans] tell you we're not making a difference…their whole campaign strategy is amnesia."
Obama reflected on the 100,000 soldiers coming home from the war and his new law for students to stay under their parents' health insurance until age 26.
The Democratic leaders went full-force when speaking out against their opponents. Obama also criticized the Democrats' ideas for cutting education spending by 20 percent and their plans to create more jobs overseas, rather than here in the U.S.
Speaker of the California State Assembly John A. Perez said before those rallying, "We respect every part of our Constitution. Hell, we've even read it."
Prior to the President's speech, Senator Barbara Boxer expressed her gratitude for the Obama administration. "If ever we needed leaders who were fighting for the middle-class and for students and for seniors and for all our families. If ever we needed those in public office it's now," said Boxer.
Other speakers included Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and California Attorney General candidate Kamala Harris.
Actor and singer Jamie Foxx also entertained the anxious crowd with an Obama impersonation and recorded the crowd chant "We're not exhausted" for his twitter-feed.
The protesters were far and few between at this overwhelmingly predominant Democratic turnout. Still, there were skeptics among the crowd.
Audrey Mulholland, a USC student and ADA volunteer for the rally, says she supports the President but admitted she doesn't agree with all of the Democratic positions as presented at the event.
Mulholland referred to herself as an "independent with more conservative tendencies."
"That's something I do agree with, that we do need to get out there and vote," she said. "We are a future in progress."
United Long Term Care Worker Cheryl Jones was among the crowd to see Obama speak for the first time. "The world was already messed up when he came into office," says Jones. "I think he's come a long way. He needs another four years."
Jones also spoke of speaker Jerry Brown's job as Attorney General. "Some things were good, some things were bad. I feel that whoever gets elected, if they don't do a good job, Barack will get rid of them."