It’s been a quiet week in my home town here in the north woods of Minnesota except that Senator Edwards paid a visit on Tuesday…
Edwards impresses arena crowd
The Daily Tribune
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 20th, 2004 09:43:11 AM
By KELLY GRINSTEINNER
HIBBING — Nora Cross, 14, of Lake Nebagamon, Wis., was late getting to bed Tuesday night.
She and her father Erik were in the nose-bleed section of the Memorial Building cheering on Democratic Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards.
“I wanted to see what a rally was really like,” said the Duluth student prior to the rally. “All I know is I don’t like Bush.”
That sentiment rang true as nearly 5,000 people gathered in a show of support for the Kerry-Edwards campaign for the White House.
Impressed by the senator’s words, rally-goers overwhelmingly complimented Edwards’s speech while exiting the building that speakers referred to as “a good omen.”
Nick Richards, 23, and Lisa Kerntz, 21, both made the trek from Virginia to hear Edwards. The two both described the speech as excellent, adding he hit home when talking about education.
“I’m a recent college graduate $26,000 in debt and my daughter is in Headstart, a program Bush wants to get rid of,” said Richards, who was donning a “Iron Ridger for Kerry” t-shirt. Bush mistakenly referred to the Iron Range as the Iron Ridge during an address in Duluth this summer.
Nancy Harp, an English teacher from Aurora, gave Edwards high marks.
“He’s an excellent communicator and his speech was mesmerizing,” said Harp. “He was really able to connect with people of the Iron Range.”
An decisive Kerry-Edwards supporter, Harp said she came to Hibbing just to get a sense of what the senator’s like in person.
“He has charisma and related well to the area,” she said. “It’s fun to be here. I like the spirit, the crowd, the music. It’s all really moving.”
Mark Garrelts, a union plumber and pipefitter from Hibbing, brought six students of a pipefitters apprentice class to the rally. Not only was it an experience in politics, it was a lesson in unionization for the half a dozen 21-30 year-olds.
“It was rousing,” said Garrelts of the speech. “People that were here will bring people out to vote.
Garrelts said he’s convinced that young voters will decide the election.
Richard Jensen, financial secretary of United Steelworkers of America Local 2260, liked how Edwards explained the issues. The event volunteer and 35-year mining veteran said he was also moved by the words of former vice president Walter Mondale.
“We’re particularly concerned about the future of the steel industry and health care,” said Jensen. “He did a great job by addressing both.”
Cliff Tobey, officer of Local 2660, concurred. He said the rally reconfirmed his vote for the Democratic ticket.
“Edwards did a great job of speaking about the real issues,” said Tobey, an auto mechanic at Keewatin Taconite for eight years.
“We’re losing health care, our jobs are going overseas and the economy is in the toilet,” he continued. “All I hear is talk about the social issues. Reality is worrying about putting food on the table.”
Erik Cross said he brought Nora to Hibbing for the education and to be a part of history.
“I want her to understand and see what a rally is really like,” he said. “At the same time, may be it will spark her interest to get involved in the political process or to be a volunteer in the future.”
Nora, who will be eligible to vote in the next presidential election, was happy she attended.
“I thought his speech was awesome,” she said. “It seems like he (Edwards) cares a lot about us. A lot more than Bush.”
You folks can’t vote but you CAN email every American on your list who is not a Bush supporter and urge them to vote for Kerry-Edwards. Don’t assume they are all going to vote or that none of them are undecided. The Bush smear ‘n fear campaign has been pretty intense in the battleground states and it might be enough to keep people from voting, even if they don’t like Bush.
btw, I didn’t intend that last post to be anonymouos. Somehow it didn’tpick up my name which firstname.lastname@example.org.