Obama Headlines Democratic Rally in North Philadelphia


Photo Courtesy of Ryan Bowman

Ryan Bowman

Former president Barack Obama made a guest appearance at a Democrat Rally in Philadelphia on Friday afternoon. The event was organized by Pennsylvania Democrats and was held at the Dell Music Center in North Philadelphia as a get-out-the-vote rally. 

Governor Tom Wolf and Senator Bob Casey, along with various members of Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives, were there to rally up the crowd and encourage them to vote this November.

State Senator Vincent Hughes took the stage first and got the crowd riled up asking, “Who’s ready to turn Pennsylvania blue again?” Congressman Dwight Evans was up next, presenting all the Democrat federal congressional candidates—including 5 women—and urging the crowd to get out to volunteer, canvass, and most importantly vote. 

Governor Tom Wolf started the main event, alluding to President Obama’s various accomplishments while in office and promising to uphold those if he were to be reelected. 

Gov. Wolf called out President Trump by name, saying, “Donald Trump and Republicans are trying to roll back what President Obama and Senator Casey have accomplished,” which was met with a chorus of boos. 

Senator Bob Casey took the stage next, again encouraging everyone to get out and vote in the upcoming election and promising to fight to protect Obama’s work. He introduced Obama and the crowd got on its feet, straining for a view. “I love me some Bob Casey,” Obama said with a laugh while the crowd continued its drowning applause. 

Obama spoke for a little over a half an hour and did not once mention President Trump’s name, but certainly alluded to the current political climate. “We’re at a moment when there’s backlash against progress,” he said. “People in both parties should be concerned about the direction of the country.”

He talked about the rise of fake news and spread of misinformation on social media and the importance of being diligent about getting news and information. 

When discussing the Republican talking point of the thriving economy, he not-so-subtly suggested that the economy was still feeling the effects of his policies while in office. 

His speech was overwhelmingly optimistic, focusing on the importance of voting and making a difference. He cited the record breaking number of women and people of diverse backgrounds running for office. His final message was one of hope and one of optimism, but put the pressure on the audience. 

“The biggest threat to our democracy is indifference and cynicism. If you don’t like what’s going on right now, don’t complain, don’t hashtag, don’t put your head in the sand, don’t just sit back with your boys and act like you’re too cool. Vote.”