Obama Kicks off General Election Campaign in North Carolina

Barack Obama kicked off his general election campaign in Raleigh, NC on Monday, an indication that North Carolina will be a targeted state in the fall. Obama delivered a major speech on the economy at the NC Fairgrounds, marking the beginning of a two-week tour through the state, focusing on Economic Policy.

During his speech, Obama went into full general election mode, launching a direct hit on McCain’s Economic policy, calling it a “full throated endorsement of Bush’s Policies.”

Obama Slams McCain's Economic Policy

"But when it comes to the economy, John McCain and I have a fundamentally different vision of where to take the country. Because for all his talk of independence, the centerpiece of his economic plan amounts to a full-throated endorsement of George Bush's policies. He says we've made "great progress" in our economy these past eight years. He calls himself a fiscal conservative and on the campaign trail he's passionate critic of government spending, and yet he has no problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars on tax breaks for big corporations and a permanent occupation of Iraq -- policies that have left our children with a mountain of debt."

Continuing the theme that McCain offers "more of the same," Obama compared McCain’s Health Care plan to that of Bush’s, pointing out that McCain’s plan will not guarantee coverage for those with pre-existing conditions:

"When it comes to relieving these economic anxieties that working families feel, nothing matches the burden they face from crushing health care costs. John McCain‘s approach to health care mirrors that of George Bush. He’s promising four more years of a health care plan that only takes care of the healthy and the wealthy – a plan that will actually make it easier – easier – than it already is for insurance companies to deny coverage to the elderly or the sick or those with pre-existing conditions. It may lead millions to lose the coverage they already have and millions more to have to pay even more than they do right now."

Elizabeth Edwards has been hitting McCain on this point stating that McCain’s own plan would not cover him or her.

Elizabeth Edwards Discusses Health Care on Morning Joe from her Home in Chapel Hill

Elizabeth has expressed some concern over Obama's healthcare plan in the recent past, stating she prefers Hillary's plan, as it includes mandates, a prerequisite, many health care experts claim, for Univeral coverage. Despite this fact, Obama is teaming up with Elizabeth on the healthcare issue, a sign that Obama will be willing to work some of the best minds, even when they don't agree with him 100%, a stark contrast, of course, to George W. Bush.

Obama Announces He Will be Teaming Up with Elizabeth Edwards on HealthCare

"By the way, I'm going to be partnering with Elizabeth Edwards, we're going to be figuring all this out."

Both John and Elizabeth Edwards attended today’s speech but it was Governor Easley who introduced Obama, welcoming him onto the stage with a “fist bump.”

Easley, who is completing his final term, was in full form today, "fired up and ready to go." An audition for VP, perhaps?

Video of Full Speech| Transcript of Speech


Thanks, Amy

Excellent. I love seeing Elizabeth lending her voice to the campaign.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

So do I!

Elizabeth is such a strong advocate for Universal Health Care. I see a pretty amazing Obama team, already coming together.

NCDem Amy on YouTube


This may be one of the smartest policy moves he could make. Elizabeth Edwards knows what is needed to change our health care system.

This is also a smart political move. While we've had it thrown at us that as a vice presidential candidate, John Edwards couldn't deliver North Carolina, I'm betting that there's not a North Carolinian out there who won't smile at the idea of Elizabeth being part of the Obama team. Good outreach and good policy at the same time.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Lol, bet you are right!

I'm betting that there's not a North Carolinian out there who won't smile at the idea of Elizabeth being part of the Obama team.

NCDem Amy on YouTube

Invitation only?

I heard it was a terrific speech and that Easley charmed the crowd. But I'm confused about what it was "invitation only" at such a large venue.

Does anyone know?

Not a large venue for Obama

Obama draws huge crowds. This venue was not adequate for an open Obama event although I would expect, they chose the venue based on the fact it would be closed.

It's common practice for policy speeches to sometimes be delivered to smaller crowds rather than at big open rallies just as some fundraisers or other meetings are invitation only.

NCDem Amy on YouTube

I don't know why.

The Obama staffer who was at the Sibelius event just said it was invite only. I don't think it was a move calculated to keep people from hearing him. I suspect it was to enable him to move quickly from Raleigh to the next stop (can't remember where she said it was) as soon as possible.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

I was so happy to hear him say this.

The entire speech is at WRAL so I watched it last night.

All of you are so right ... it feels wonderful, amazing, like a return to normalcy is just on the horizon, to know that we will soon have a President who is confident and strong enough to bring in the best minds, the best ideas, the most thoroughly researched proposals from all corners to the table to be argued and fought for and debated. There will be no "yes" men or women in the Obama White House. Wouldn't you love to be in those rooms when they're discussing and hammering out these policies?

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Makes sense

I can't imagine that managing a huge throng in that heat would have been a wise move. And frankly, in the absence of a sudden drop of about thirty degrees, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near the heat that gets trapped on those grounds, let alone the heat generated by a big crowd.

I did enjoy hearing about it.

asinine fist bump=terrorist signal from Faux News

According to Fox News' America's Pulse host E.D. Hill she interprets the "fist bump" as some sort of secret signal between terrorists.

I guess this means Easley should be on some sort of Department of Homeland Security watchlist. :)

Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

stupidest thing ever from Fox News

This fist bump signal to the terrorists story is very possibly to dumbest thing they have ever reported.

I guess the guys I play ball with are all terrorists.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

"Terrorist jab"

Those people are insane.

Just as sickening was how they gloated about Bush in the second half of the segment.

NCDem Amy on YouTube