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PHOTOS: Obama's Kent State Campaign Stop

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Thousands of Kent residents and Kent State University students and staff witnessed history Wednesday as President Barack Obama campaigned at the MACC.

Hundreds more watched the president deliver his campaign speech on TV from an overflow space in the Kent State Student Center.

And even hundreds more gathered on campus and around town to follow the president's visit online.

Kendra Landfair was one of those lucky 6,600 people who watched from inside the MACC. Beforehand, she braved pouring rain and stood in line for almost six hours to get a glimpse of the president.

"I never met a president before," Landfair, a Kent State student, said before Obama's speech. "I’m sick, my nose is running, my throat hurts. Once I get in there it will be worth it."

Obama talks higher education

Like most college students, Landfair wanted to hear Obama talk about financial aid for students.

Leah Kushmaul, a fellow student at Kent State, was looking for the same thing.

"I want to hear him talk about the financial aid situation because I know Romney’s big on decreasing giving financial aid," Kushmaul said. "And I don’t think that’s a good idea."

Neither woman left disappointed.

As expected, Obama's speech focused on his plan to strengthen the U.S. economy from the middle out. But he did touch briefly on higher education.

Obama talked about how he and First Lady Michelle Obama both worked hard to earn a degree.

"It’s the gateway to the middle class," he said of a college education.

Obama said his opponent, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, wants to undo the progress made by his administration to reduce interest rates on student loans by cutting private banks out of the process.

"So we can gut education to pay for more tax breaks for the wealthy, or we can decide in the United States of America no child should have their degrees deferred because of an overcrowded classroom," Obama said. "No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money.

In Ohio, nearly 363,000 students received Pell Grants in 2010 to further their education, including 18,310 students at Kent State, according to the Obama campaign.

"I want especially the young people to understand you should feel confident about our future," Obama said. "Our problems can be solved. Our challenges can be met."

Women's rights

The president's comments about higher education received big cheers from the crowd. But easily the biggest crowd response came after Obama talked about his goal to ensure women make their own, personal healthcare decisions.

Marsha Schumacher, a retiree who drove from Alliance, OH, to see the president was happy to hear that.

"I think President Obama will ensure women have the right to make their own decisions about their own bodies," she said.

Obama's stop at Kent State was his second on a Northeast Ohio college campus Wednesday. Earlier he campaigned at Bowling Green State University.

No downtown stop

Many people hoped the president would stop in downtown Kent afterward to see more than $20 million in federal stimulus dollars in action via more than $100 million in redevelopment projects.

Some gathered on Erie Street near PARTA's Kent Central Gateway transit center, which received the bulk of Kent's stimulus money, hoping to see his motorcade roll up.

Others were hopeful he would grab a bite to eat downtown.

Matt French, vice president of AMETEK, one of downtown's new corporate tenants thanks to the redevelopment, was one of those people waiting on Erie Street.

French waited until 7:05 p.m. before giving up — the president's speech on campus ended at about 6:30 p.m.

Others still milled about Acorn Alley afterward watching the streets.

Visit not without bumps

Kent State President Lester Lefton said after Obama's speech that he was proud Kent State hosted the president.

"We welcome all politicians to express their views in an open and collegial way," Lefton said. "It is the free exchange of ideas that makes universities great and, indeed, our country great. Our community welcomed the president warmly and with appropriate respect for the president of the United States."

Not everyone was as thrilled with how the president's visit went.

Nancy Binzel Brown, a Stow business owner with tickets to the campaign event, posted on Facebook that after waiting in the rain to get into the MAC Center Wednesday her group missed the entrance cutoff.

"We watched the speech in the ballroom of the student center with 800 other people who didn't get in to the MACC," she said.

Heather McShane Liptak also was turned away from the MACC despite having a ticket for the event.

"I waited in line on Monday, got my tickets, got there at 4:30 p.m. (Wednesday), and was turned away because they were at capacity," she said in a post on the Kent Patch Facebook page. "Nobody had any answers for me."

Obama's stop also rerouted some Kent City Schools buses, due to the closure of Summit Street, as they took grade-school students home at the end of the day.

Jim Soyars, director of business services for the school district, said the dismissal went smoothly despite the route changes.

"We were able to get the high school (and) middle school busses through Summit Street before the road closure," Soyars said. "Most of the parents from those neighborhoods picked up their students at school, and the rest of the parents were at the Summit East lot when the two buses arrived."

Still, it proved a historic day for many.

Obama's visit makes him the first incumbent president to stop at Kent State in decades, KentWired reported. The last incumbent president to visit Kent was Herbert Hoover in 1932, according to KentWired.

"It’s once in a lifetime," Kushmaul said.

Mike Penrose September 27, 2012 at 02:20 PM
So glad O is doing everything he can to make Education easier to get. Like how he has caused me to lose 1 Pell Grant per school year. Now I get to take out an extra $3k per year in loans. But hey, when I do get that degree and can't find a good job, I'll only have to pay off half of my student loan debt and all of America can just absorb the rest of the debt. Oh, then I can live off of Uncle Sam and all the taxpayers and get $6k-10k per year in tax refunds. Yippee!
joe ponikarovsky September 27, 2012 at 04:22 PM
i don't get it. from a quick google: "Under Obama, Pell grants have more than doubled, from $16 billion in 2008 to $36 billion last year. The size of the grants increased, as did the number of recipients, from about 6 million to 9 million." elsewhere, i've read that he also restricted the amount of time you can receive a pell grant (6 years, down from 11) as well as the income levels of families/students which are eligible. but how is romney better? "Romney wants to restrict Pell grants, the main source of federal financial aid for college, to just the poorest students. “Flooding colleges with federal dollars only serves to drive tuition higher,” a Romney campaign education policy paper says." and as for Ryan: "Ryan proposed a budget in the House that would prevent up to one million low-income students from receiving Pell grants." sorry you lost your grants. that does suck. but i'm failing to see exactly why that's big O's fault or how mittens would do any better.
Gary Mote September 27, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Too bad the pro Romney/Ryan comments forget one important point: The FACT that the republican party, in lock-step, did everything they could to stop President Obama from succeeding as president, and in effect stop the entire USA from being successful, just so they could say at the end of his first 4 years that he didn't do anything. This is a FACT and there are many leaders of the repubican party as well as pro-conservative talk show pundits, that can be heard saying exactly this as their goal during President Obama's tenure. That is why they became known as the party of "No". Now, their almost insane platform is this: We really screwed up the economy. President Obama isn't fixing it fast enough. So give control back to us.. Their logic is crazy. Give the country back to the people who screwed it up in the first place? What's next, a full-blown national Depression under the Republicans?
Gary Mote September 27, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Oh... and I forgot. Many republicans who now criticize President Obama's stimulus were the very same ones who agressively fought to make sure that their represented districts and states received and benefited from them. Top on the list... Ryan himself. If it was good back then, why isn't it good now?
Debra-Lynn Hook September 27, 2012 at 05:42 PM
I hate debates on a story that is supposed to be about the president of the United States coming to town. Where is decorum?
Mike Penrose September 27, 2012 at 05:52 PM
@Joe. You have to understand MY position. I AM poor. I make under 20k/yr and raise 2 children. The Pell Grant was huge for me, as it's less $$ I have to borrow. I don't believe O when he claims he's making things better for me, yet I have to borrow more $$ just for a chance at a better job. No guarantee of one, just a chance. I'm a Dean's List student (4.0 GPA) with another degree in business. I still can't find decent work, so I've settled for now. What good are his policies on education and health care when I can't find a decent job!? Unemployment is rediculously high and people with far more education and experience than I have are taking the few entry level jobs I should be able to get. What kind of "leader" comes into office with all the problems; which he reminds us daily he inherited; our country has and decides that Health Care and Education entitlements are the main things he needs to focus on!? Then his "improvements" actually make my life harder!? Sorry, I call that a perfect example of misguided intentions. Fix our REAL problems; unemployment, outsourcing, debt, or even better, a friggin budget; then work on the entitlements. A note on the budget.... 2009-2010 he had a DEM controlled Congress and still no budget!? Seriously!? My problem is just one small piece of the puzzle that O refuses to recognize and do something about. This man has done one thing well....pass the buck...literally and figuratively.
Isobel Moppa September 27, 2012 at 06:39 PM
@Mike..how exactly is it Obama's fault that you can't find a decent job? I really have no pity for you in is situation. I, as have many young American's, had to take out massive student loans WAY before Obama was in office, to pay for our educations. And, although unemployment is undoubtedly high, there are those of us that have used our educations, and are currently in positions where healthcare reform and tax cuts for the middle class will definitely help. I am so tired of all of this, "I don't have a job, and it's the presidents fault" bull. Education is only a part of finding and maintaining a career, and, sitting around whining about how the President won't give you the money you need to go to school, while the rest of us pay off our student loans, and focus on our futures, is ridiculous. Nothing Obama has done has made my life any harder, and, since you are technically below poverty level, go ahead and vote that other guy in, and see how much help you get then.
tom m September 27, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Obama Base http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio
Donna Avis September 27, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Our President himself stated that he should be a one-termer if he could not improve things. As far as 'Gary' blaming the Republicans for preventing B.O. from accomplishing anything.....great reason to vote for Romney-Ryan if you want America to get out of this pit of despair. So Fence-Sitters....there you have it! Vote Republican to get things accomplished since they are the 'log jam' causing the current state of affairs (unless of course....the Dems do the same if they are voted in???)
tom m September 27, 2012 at 07:51 PM
the only log jamb is actually in the senate 39 bills passed by the house that the senate refuses to bring to a vote http://majorityleader.gov/JobsTracker/
Donna Avis September 27, 2012 at 08:02 PM
from the web and FACT....read it and weep 'Looking over the Jobs Tracker site, one thing becomes abundantly clear: the House, in bipartisan fashion, has passed a slew of jobs bills, but most of them are sitting on a shelf in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Meanwhile, the President, who made a special trip to Mr. Cantor’s district back in September to talk-up his “must pass” jobs bill, has done precious little to get his former Senate colleagues to move on these measures (with a few happy exceptions, including the long-delayed free trade agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea). Rather, the President has taken to the campaign trail to rail against congressional (read: Republican) intransigence.' The 'blame game' is getting old and is not productive !
Joe Giles September 27, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Sorry No Jobs Today
Blown away September 28, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Speech given was the same rhetoric tape from four years ago. The difference today from four years ago, 8.5% unemployment (realistic 12%), $6 trillion additional debt, the 47% ers were 32% (Thank You Mr. President), stimulus failed, Mr. Holder still has not been held accountable for "fast and furious" and they now have a new definition for a terrorist attack. Nothing to be proud about in his corner. He cannot run on his record it is a FLOP! I do repect Mr. Obama for meeting the Adam Hamilton family. It was very honorable to recognize a very courageous young person like Adam who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
Adam C. Miller September 28, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Cleveland Reppin' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio&feature=youtu.be
opinionsarelikenoses September 28, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Did everyone get their free cell phones? When you are supposedly up 10% in the polls why are you campaigning in Ohio... This video is a must watch...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio&feature=player_embedded
opinionsarelikenoses September 28, 2012 at 12:32 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio&feature=player_embedded Try this link to the video...oops.
RJ September 28, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Obama=Bush on steriods More war More unemployment (how many actually fell of the unemployment rolls and are not now counted?) More obscene spending More erosion of our liberties He has abused whistleblowers more than the last several Presidents combined! http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/obamas-whistleblowers-stuxnet-leaks-drones http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/04/obama-has-prosecuted-more-whistleblowers-than-all-other-presidents-combined.html So while all the kiddies and "statists" are mezmorized by this smooth talking pied piper... just keep in mind the reality of the last dozen or so years,,,, and especially the Obama years... hope and change... indeed!
MZ September 28, 2012 at 12:55 PM
RJ, I agree and that is why I find many Obama supporters so amusing. He really is like Bush on steroids. He has continued or one-upped almost all of the Bush policies. There is very little difference between the two with the exception of the R or D next to their name. With that said, I also can't figure out why he media supports Obama so much. Where did the American soldier death counts go? Why no talk of Gitmo anymore? Where is the outrage over Bombing Lybia or the attacks on the embassies? Can you imagine the shrill cries from the media if these things happened under any other president's watch? They would be killing any ore president over the jobs numbers, the economy, the misspent bailout money and TARPs. It is truly Orewllian. On the other side, anybody who loved GWB sould really be in the tank for Obama. If W only cared about the "banksters" Obama is even further in the tank. The gap between the rich and poor has been accelerated, not reduced. There are more wall street cronies in Obamas cabinet than Bush ever had. This is all very amusing.
Hol September 28, 2012 at 10:55 PM
I totally agree. What a waste.
MZ September 29, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Democrat or Republican, this is so true. http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2012/09/28/40_mainstream_media_headlines_youd_see_if_romney_was_a_democrat_and_obama_was_a_republican
Keith Best September 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM
The facts don't lie and it is fact that it has been 43 months of unemployment over 8% with more Americans out of work now then when Obama took office. The NFL learned what happens when you put replacement refs of a certain quality out there, like what happens when you put a community organizer of a certain quality overseeing the world's largest economy. Romney/ Ryan will bring prosperity back to America.
Mike Penrose October 03, 2012 at 02:08 PM
@isobel Moppa. First off, I'm not whining about the jobs situation. I work, daily, and Go to school. I have EVERY RIGHT to complain about a lieing, race baiting, fact manipulating "president" who claims his policies help the "little people", when in reality he is simply filling his pockets and the pockets of his party loyalist, as well as enabling some of the laziest and most complacent "people" on the planet via taxpayer dollars. All the while spending our country into nearly unrecoverable debt. My point is/was that his claims are simply lies. I KNOW this because everything he claims he's doing to help ME and people like me is not helping me. The true problem is that people like you hear every word he says and accepts it as gospel. No need to fact check, no need to use your own brain and figure out that this man is simply destroying our country under the guise of the "greater good". He doesn't want fair shares like he says. Fair shares would be EVERY TAXPAYER PAYING INTO THE SYSTEM. Americans ALL; even the Dems and liberals; deserve better. Id happily support a "hand-up" government over a "hand-out" government. But hey, you go eat the fish. I'll go fish for myself til Darwin reclaims all the "hand-out" leeches.
opinionsarelikenoses October 03, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Obviously You bought into this marxist :Hook,Lynn and sinker"....If he gets re-elected he will crush the middle class with his Obamacare "taxes" and more debt. And you Dems try and blame republicans. TAKE OFF THE BLINDERS!
The original Bill October 03, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Hey Joe: The free cell phone wasn't Obama's idea, it was started under the previous President, your hero G.W. Bush. But don't let facts get in your way. Just like every other Fox News robot, keep spewing the lies.
The original Bill October 03, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Unfortunately RJ, your support, as well as every other Republicans support for the child ends when the baby is born. If the mother is poor and needs help in the way of food stamps or welfare YOU are the ones clamoring to cut her off and throw her on the street. Don't try and be all high and mighty on this issue because you are just being two faced and ignorant.
opinionsarelikenoses October 03, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Just showing the entitlement attitude of this Country Bill and how it has festered into a disease. I don't watch FOX so your stereotyping me doesn't work. I can find what I need on the internet from unbiased sources. I guess you've been brainwashed by Chrissy Matthews, Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow that every person who disagrees with a liberal must watch FOX. Your the pot calling the kettle black.... Takers are starting to equal producers in this Country...Obama is fueling it. He needs to go.
RJ October 03, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Hey Biii Sorry you are way off base but that is typical of political hacks of the 2 parties ! I am not a Repubuplicrat nor a Democan. You no nothing about me in fact I believe in protecting human life. But what is offered by the government is disingeuous at. At best. In fact i have taken in foster children, battered women and refugees. As far as your sterotyping you can keep it. This goes for both parties. Their killing of babies their wars their theft of my hard earened money and their theft our God given Liberties RJ
Colter95 November 04, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I saw Obama yesterday claiming the new job numbers are proof that his policies are working and that we are in an economic recovery... Fact is, that is not the truth, or even close to the truth... First, the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9% and the year-to-date monthly average of 157,000 payroll jobs is barely enough to keep up with population growth -- much less make up for the 8 million jobs lost during the Great Recession. Second, the so-called real unemployment rate (U6) remains elevated at 14.6%, albeit down from 14.7% the prior month. Similarly, the labor participation rate is at 63.8%, up from its multi-decade low but still incredibly weak. Third, average hourly earnings fell a penny in October and average hours worked fell to 34.4 from 34.5 in September. Stagnant wages means "we're not generating income," Reinhart says. "That's a problem in terms of the durability of an economic expansion, which is usually fueled by consumption. To get consumption you've got to generate income." Also, just look at your checkbook. We are paying a lot more for everything now than we did in 2008. The price of gas has doubled. At the same time, wages have gone down, and that's if you're lucky to have a job. In 2008, 25 banks went out of business. In 2012, 48 banks have gone out of business. Almost double the amount. Does that sound like recovery to you? Don't believe the Obama lies!! Romney/Ryan 2012
Colter95 November 04, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Wrong on the economy, wrong on Benghazi, and wrong on the auto bailout... The time for real change is NOW!! http://www.policymic.com/articles/14285/obama-lies-obama-auto-bailout-did-not-rescue-detroit http://www.factcheck.org/2012/06/obamas-outsourcer-overreach/ http://twitchy.com/2012/10/23/obama-lies-about-romneys-position-on-auto-bailouts-conservatives-hit-back/ http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jack-coleman/2012/10/26/letterman-slams-obama-auto-bailout-lie-followed-maddow-parroting-same- Romney/Ryan 2012
Colter95 November 04, 2012 at 04:34 PM
`·· ¤* ¤* ¯`*°º·¤* ¤* ¯`*°º·¤.¸ ___====______________====_________, |[___][___][___][___][___][___][___][___] |_\ | //////////// ★ Mitt Romney ★ ////// [۞]|__\ | #45 //////// »→ Real Change»→ //////////// [۞]||__|... \'''''''' (Θ) (­­­­­­Θ) '''''''''''­'­''­­­''''''­'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' (­­­­­­Θ)[۞]|__/. \☻/

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