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Yuman ‘fired up' over Obama's DNC speech
An area Democrat says he's “fired up” about President Barack Obama's re-election campaign after attending the 2012 Democratic National Convention held this week in Charlotte, N.C.
“Every person in this hall is enthusiastic about re-electing Obama,” Frank Bernal told the Yuma Sun during a phone call Thursday from the DNC.
“The energy is great. Not only do I think it is going to energize our base, I think the independents are going to swing our way because we have a positive message. I believe after this event our numbers will increase.”
Bernal, former vice chairman of the Yuma County Democratic Party (YCDP), served as a state convention delegate representing Congressional District 7.
“I am extremely proud to represent Arizona,” he said. “Being a minority from low income, I am very excited.”
He watched in person as Obama accepted his party's nomination for president, and stated Obama's acceptance speech was just what Democrats needed to get excited about participating in the upcoming election. “He motivated us to go home and start working.”
Democrats in Yuma are now eager to “walk the neighborhoods, knock on doors, and get everybody to vote,” he added. “We felt it in our hearts. We are all going to join together and make this happen.”
Fellow Democrats back in Yuma said that the energy emanating from Charlotte could be felt at YCDP headquarters during and after Obama's speech.
“I didn't feel like I was separated from the convention at all,” said Lemaige Tapia. “The energy was great. It was just awesome.”
Tapia said she was highly encouraged by Obama's pledge during the speech to champion women's reproductive rights.
“He is going to remain consistent in his fight for a woman's right to choose,” she said.
“I think that is very important. It's not the right to choose an abortion, it's just the right to choose. It's the right to manage our own health care. It is the right to say walk a mile in my shoes before you say that you have an opinion one way or the other. I am just very proud... that he is standing by women's rights, and just not faltering on that.”
Emiliano Barbour, who also watched the speech at YCDP headquarters, was emboldened by the president.
“I think the Obama speech was very, very informative,” he said. “I think that he gave a lot of points as far as what this country needs to go back to being about — the people. I really believe that the people here listened, paid attention, related... and that they are ready to do their job as far as getting Obama elected again.”
He was pleased the president pledged to stand up for the middle class by promising to press new taxes on the rich and to maintain social programs that allow the lower classes to succeed, he added.
“The rich people are just kind of taking over. They don't care anymore about the poor people, the middle class — the people that built the railroads, the people that built the cars, the people that built the cities.”
Mike Smith, YCDP chairman, also spoke about Obama's intention to raise taxes for the wealthiest Americans.
What offends him “isn't the half of my taxes that I pay that goes to help others get up and be able to get educated or get health care,” he said. “It's the other half of my taxes that I pay… that go to subsidize those that make more than I do.”
Smith noted there were many strong points in Obama's speech, but said the most important was the idea of unity.
“I think they were all strong, but the part that reaches me is that we are in this together. We've got to move forward together. If we can't take care and look after each other, then what is the purpose of our life?”
Smith added Thursday he has “never been prouder in my entire life... than I am tonight to be a Democrat.”
However, “we can't rely on speeches to get our man elected,” he noted. “We've got to get out and get the vote out. We have 60 days to get it down — to get people out to vote. I think that is going to be key. It doesn't do any good if you are still sitting at home, and you don't go vote.”
Chris McDaniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.