A news article by Kathy Li
A crowd of
hundreds (thousands) gathered on Monday night to hear Barack Obama speak about his healthcare, energy, and education policy, as well as his view on the Iraq war.
“Barack Obama strives for excellence,” said Virginia governor Tim Kaine in his introduction speech. “By nature and by character, he is bringing people together.”
With a banner that said “Change We Can Believe In” and a group of sixty students behind him, Obama called for real change to start with the politics of Washington DC. He argued that his message of change and hope was not a sign of lack of experience, but instead symbolized his commitment to making Congress and his administration accountable to the American people rather than to lobbyists and special interest groups.
Obama said he felt a “righteous anger” and a “sense of impatience” at the lack of progress in advancing healthcare, energy, and education policy.
Obama called for universal healthcare at the same level and rate as those given to members of Congress, saying that he would achieve this goal by the end of his first term.
He advocated universal and improved education through providing better training and higher salaries to a corp of new teachers and closing the achievement gap between black and white students. He also called for making college affordable and accessable for all Americans.
On energy, Obama called for raising the fuel efficiency standards to 40 miles per gallon, a move he said would improve the economy, environment, and national security.
Finally, Obama advocated a return to “hard work and diplomacy” to resolve the situation in the Middle East rather than military action. He pledged that if troops are not brought home before he takes office, doing so would be his first act as president.
“We need to change the mindset of fear that took America to Iraq,” he said, “and rediscover diplomacy.”