Obama Campaigns For Deeds in Norfolk

October 27, 2009

The President is in Virginia Tuesday hoping to give the struggling Creigh Deeds campaign a boost.

A crowd of several thousand gathered in Norfolk to support Creigh Deeds' campaign for Virginia Governor.

Barack Obama took the stage at Old Dominion University just after 4:00 pm. The Deeds camp is hoping that Obama, the first Democrat to win the state of Virginia since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, will help the gubernatorial candidate come from behind.

Obama's visit to Old Dominion University a week before Election Night comes as polls show Republican Bob McDonnell with a comfortable two-digit lead over Deeds.

ODU's basketball arena was packed an hour and a half before Obama's scheduled appearance.

Wednesday, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be campaigning for McDonnell in Virginia, but they won't be stopping in Charlottesville.

The following is the speech Creigh Deeds will be giving before introducing the President Tuesday night:

"Simply put, as I said on the day I became a candidate and the night I won the Democratic primary, this election is about bringing prosperity, economic opportunity and hope to every corner of the Commonwealth.

I understand the pressures faced by Virginia families. My wife works full time. We have four children, two of whom have gone through college, one that’s still there, and our youngest who’s working hard to go soon. I understand the serious challenges faced by working families because I’m part of one.

I am a product of Virginia’s public schools. With two grandmothers who taught here, I grew up understanding how important it was to get a diploma. I learned at a young age that I had to make most of every opportunity that came my way to do something special with my life.

At lunch, this little nine-year-old boy looked up at me and asked, “You mean we eat more than once a day here?”

That opened my eyes—and my heart. I realized in that moment that the world wasn’t perfect, that right here in Virginia there were people who were hurting and kids who went to bed hungry.

And it made me realize I could make a difference.

My mom got me started. She made sure I had the opportunity to attend college—and that was a great gift. She sent me off to college with just four $20 bills in my pocket. I worked hard, studied hard, and now I’m running for Governor.

Bringing opportunity to people all over the Commonwealth has motivated me throughout my career, and will continue to be my mission from the Governor’s office. I’ve worked hard and am proud of my initiatives like Megan’s Law and Amber Alert. We’ve cleaned up toxic waste dumps and worked to improve the Chesapeake Bay. We’ve reduced class sizes and improved student and school performance with standards and accountability. And I wrote the legislation creating the modern day Governor’s Opportunity Fund--a powerful tool that has brought more than 80,000 jobs to the Commonwealth.

Today, Virginia faces challenges. The way we face this new crisis and the choices we make will affect how we will live and work for the next decade or more.

I want a Virginia where every child grows up healthy and young people receive the best possible education at a public school, and where Virginia students at Virginia colleges and universities produce groundbreaking discoveries.

And I want a Virginia where progress, respect and equality prevail, not one separated by politicians with narrow social agendas. We cannot move forward if we have leaders who only look back. I have worked hard to keep Virginia on the track of progress throughout my career, and I know there is more we can do in the next four years to keep that going.

That’s my vision.

This is my plan.

Because my college education was so instrumental in my life, my education plan includes the creation of 70,000 additional degrees at our colleges and universities in the next 10 years.

Too many talented young people are getting turned away at the door because of cost, and that is unacceptable to me.

This is my record and what I believe this election is about—bringing economic opportunity to every corner of the Commonwealth, a bipartisan approach to cutting spending and managing government, and a deep personal commitment to education. This has been my priority for 18 years. This is who I am, and this is what I will do as your Governor.

When I was young, my great Uncle Frank ran a summer camp, and he’d tell his campers every year, “Now boys, you are going to get out of this camp exactly what you put into it.” It took me awhile to understand the real life lesson he was giving us—you’re either all in, or you’re not in it at all.

I will move Virginia forward. People have said in my campaigns that I am always underestimated, but never outworked. As your next Governor, I will hit the ground running, nose to the grindstone, from Day 1, to exceed expectations and give Virginia the leadership it deserves.

And that is what this campaign, what voting on November 3rd, next Tuesday, is about: keeping Virginia moving forward!

So now I want all of us to welcome a leader that Virginia put into the winner’s column just one year ago. Fellow Virginians, it’s with pride and honor that I present to you … The President of the United States, BARACK OBAMA!"--Creigh Deeds (D), Candidate for Virginia Governor.

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