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UPDATE: Huge Crowds Seek Tickets to Obama's Kent State Stop Wednesday

Campaign officials limiting tickets to 5,000

About 5,000 lucky supporters of President Barack Obama will listen to his campaign message in person Wednesday when he speaks at the Kent State University Memorial Athletic Convocation Center.

Hundreds of people from around Northeast Ohio lined up as early as 3:30 a.m. today to get their ticket to see the president when he stops in Kent Wednesday afternoon.

On the Kent State campus, one of two ticket give-away locations in Kent, the line stretched early this morning from outside the Kent State Library along the Esplanade, past the MACC, down Terrace Drive and around the May 4 1970 Memorial to Taylor Hall.

Evan Gildenblatt, executive director of Kent State's Undergraduate Student Government speaking for the Obama Ohio campaign, said he wasn't surprised to see such a huge line on campus to get tickets to see the president.

"I think it's going to be like this until the tickets run out," he said. "Personally I'm not surprised at all. I'm extraordinarily happy. It just serves as a reflection of how excited students are to see President Obama."

Campaign officials would not comment on the number of tickets available to the campaign stop.

The MACC, home primarily to Kent State's basketball program, has a seating capacity of 6,327.

Kent State spokesperson Emily Vincent said the Obama campaign limited the number of tickets to 5,000 as of this morning.

"They may release more tickets, but for now they are distributing 5,000 tickets for Wednesday," she said.

The Record-Courier reported that all the tickets had been given away by about 2 p.m.

Brittany Smith, a senior psychology student at Kent State, was one of those lucky folks who got a ticket to see the president this morning.

Smith, a Cleveland native, said she was a little chilly after waiting in line with friends for two hours to get her ticket.

"It was worth it, yeah," she said. "I want to hear what he has to say as far as tuition and (student) aid because his opponent doesn’t really have anything to say about that besides 'Shop around and borrow from your parents.' That’s a big deal. If you want to get jobs, you have to go to school. And if you’re not telling us you’re going to help us get through school, how are we going to get jobs?"

Wednesday's Kent stop will be Obama's second that day, as he'll visit the campus of Bowling Green State University in the morning.

Given that he'll be on a college campus he may talk briefly about higher education, but Gildenblatt said he's expected to focus on the economy during his speech.

"Building an economy that’s strong for students," Gildenblatt said. "So that when myself and my cohorts enter the work world we have strong and steady jobs waiting for us."

At the second ticket giveaway location in Kent, the Obama for America Kent office on South Water Street, the line was slightly shorter but still several hundred yards long.

Bonny Graham Esparza, a Kent volunteer for the campaign, said they were registering people in line to vote — if they weren't already — and signing them up for absentee ballots.

The office is scheduled to give tickets away until 6 p.m.

Marcus Ward, a Kent State grad from Akron, got in line there at 10 a.m. when the line had wrapped around Bowman Drive and started heading down Vine Street. He was optimistic about getting a ticket.

"I’d hate to be coming at 4 or 5 p.m.," he said. "I think I have a pretty good chance. I missed him last time he came to Akron. I can’t miss it again. I just really want to hear what he has to say in person."

Sarah Skibiski September 24, 2012 at 04:10 PM
I think we were in the first 50-100 people in the water street line and our family got tickets. I'm excited! I think this is an event our children will remember when they are older.
Jessica Johnson Salamon September 24, 2012 at 04:31 PM
We got ours! We are excited, especially for our almost four year old, he may never get another chance to see a sitting President speak in his home town.
Kathy Peters September 24, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Got to the Water St. location at about 7:30, got our tickets just after 9. The operation was run very efficiently and all the workers were friendly and helpful. Can't wait to see Potus!!!!
Sue September 24, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Thanks to the many volunteers who helped with the ticket distribution. You folks were generous with your time and friendly and helpful toward the people who showed up to get tickets.
Paul September 24, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Poll for the Day: How many of the tickets were given to people without full time jobs? I would have loved a ticket but I was at work paying for those who don't.
Scott September 24, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Hey thanks Paul! My life has just been fantastic since you started working for me! Can I expect you to come over this weekend and paint my house? Oh, by the way, you can lean your cross against the garage when you get there! Thanks for everything Paul!
Andrew Polcyn September 24, 2012 at 11:32 PM
I wonder how many lined up to see POTUS are actually registered voters.
Paul September 24, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I'm personally thrilled that the president will be visiting our neck of the woods-- regardless of his political party. You know, I think that both parties should just try to cool down and work together toward one common goal without trying to divide the country in half. What's happened to compromise? After all, we're US citizens first-- Republicans and Democrats second. Now, I may not agree politically with everything (or anything) this president says or does, but I'll be darned if he isn't still our Commander-in-chief. And it's quite an honor to welcome him into my town. Welcome, Mr. President!
Paul September 25, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Glad I could help Scottie my boy!!!!!!
Sarah Skibiski September 26, 2012 at 01:02 AM
We went to wait in line with our family as soon as my husband got off third shift. He sacrificed part of his few hours of sleep to get tickets before going back. We brought an extra person along to get a ticket for my sister who couldn't get away from work. There were several neighborhood friends in line who are hard working people that were either lucky enough to not work at the time or took the time away to get the ticket. My oldest daughter even had teachers take a day off to get tickets. My kids who I let miss a few hours of school to get tickets for what I feel will be an amazing memory are jobless, so you got me there. I think implying that several people who got tickets are jobless and living off your tax dollars is pretty unfair. Add a check to the appropriate box on your poll for me.
Paul September 26, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Glad you could get tickets for your family. Lets all be honest with ourselves the Obama won the elections because all the chronic entitlement folks got off their couches, missed the Price Is Right for a day because Obama promised to give them even more entitlement!!! Candy canes, free healthcare, lollipops, and the promise that they would never be made to work dancing in their heads!!! From a hard working middle class man, GET A JOB!!!
Jessica Johnson Salamon September 26, 2012 at 03:11 AM
You know, Paul, even if your ill informed assumption were true, those 'chronic entitlement folks' are every bit as eligible to vote as you are, your opinion doesn't weigh more simply because you think you work harder. It must be nice living in your bubble of self importance.
Paul September 26, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Jessica, your opinion is not well thought out. A person should have skin in the game. Just as I feel a non home owner should not be allowed to vote on an issue that affect taxes on home owners. They have nothing to lose by voting to raise property taxes. So yes I think you should have or be actively pursuing a job and be a productive member in our society to have the honor to help shape it.
Jessica Johnson Salamon September 26, 2012 at 03:24 AM
So, if I am understanding you correctly, I do not count in your worldview because I do not hold a paying job. I'm not 'actively pursuing a job' at this time either, yet I work just as hard as anyone else and am doing more than most to shape our society as I am raising future citizens. Working for wages is hardly the only thing someone can do to be productive in this society.
Paul September 26, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Jessica don't misunderstand, you do count. However you should not get a vote to raise my taxes if you have no financial stake. If you decide you want a pool in your neighborhood and happen to live near a large college student body and you all think it would be great to have that pool because its hot and let's say you rent the house next to the one I owe. Then no way do you have the right to vote. Go ahead you can say it, you are right Paul. Just turn this story into the Presidential election. Your vote for Obama will certainly raise my taxes. So nope I guess you can't vote.
Paul September 26, 2012 at 03:47 AM
So Jessica if you of sound mind and body and choose not to work but take money from the government then no you should not be allowed to vote on issues involving spending. Feel free to vote on gay marriage, or separation of church & State go for it. Just nothing that involves my paycheck because you do not have the right to take money from me, my wife, or my children.
Jessica Johnson Salamon September 26, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Actually Paul, I own a house. I pay taxes. Shocking, huh? Any way you slice it, I get as much a say as you do. So does my neighbor and everyone else on my block regardless of whether they own property or not. Those types of criteria for voting were thrown out in a previous century. What's next, literacy tests?
Paul September 26, 2012 at 04:13 AM
That's the problem is they threw out some of those laws. You have to have "skin in the game". It is painless for someone who is not a home owner to vote to raise a home owners taxes!!! Say you are Baptist but you have a friend who is athiest. Should he get a vote on running your church?? You would be okay with that? If you child goes to Walls Elementary and they want to teach sex is really okay. Should someone without children have a vote on that because they live in the Walls neighborhood? If you answer yes then you are lying. You too want control of certain things because you have "skin in the game".
j.m. October 02, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Lets go one further, why should people that do not have kids pay for someone elses brat attend school, especially now, since 3/4% of the students are going to be either in prison, dead from drugs, or on welfare

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