Here’s everything you missed at Obama’s ‘Early Vote’ event

Go Heels, Go Democracy

Students, teachers, families, Democrats and Republicans alike stood in a line over a mile long in hopes to see President Obama speak on behalf of the Clinton Campaign. Some students claimed to have been waiting in line since 6am, while others scrambled to line up after taking exams.

Hooker Fields, normally a field for UNC sports, hosted the event, with a stage and podium area for the speakers and a gated area for the general public. Anticipation prompted the crowd as everyone waited for the event to begin.

Photo: Brenna Elmore / The Tab

Photo: Brenna Elmore / The Tab

“I’m excited to be here because I appreciate how much progress Obama has tried to make over the last eight years,” said Jonah Graffius, a UNC junior studying Political Science. “I’m interested to see what he has to say about the current election.”

Prior to the president’s arrival, the UNC Marching Band performed in front of a Stronger Together poster, demonstrating alliance with Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton.

Cheers erupted as Rep. David E. Price took center stage at 2pm. “It’s fitting that we’re gathered here today at the nation’s oldest public institution,” he started, immediately charming the audience.

UNC Students photograph the Early Vote Event in Chapel Hill, N.C. Photo: Brenna Elmore / The Tab

UNC Students photograph the Early Vote event in Chapel Hill, NC Photo: Brenna Elmore / The Tab

After multiple speakers, US Senate candidate Deborah Ross arrived onstage with pep and poise. “I’m running to be your next United States senator and I plan to bring the Tar Heel spirit to Washington DC,” the Carolina alumna said.

Ross expressed her compassion when something went wrong during her speech in the audience. “I’m going to cut it short here to make sure the person gets what they need,” she said. “We need water! I’m already sticking up for you!”

To end her speech, Ross declared, “You can be the change. You can make a difference…we can have a better state and country!”

Photo: Brenna Elmore / The Tab

Deborah Ross at the Obama Rally. Photo: Brenna Elmore / The Tab

James Taylor and his wife, Kim, were introduced by Roy Cooper. Taylor immediately began to sing his hit “Carolina in My Mind” and followed his performance with a short speech to advocate for the Democratic nominees. Taylor went on to sing his second song, “I’m a Road Runner.” “We’re going to sing this song dedicated to our future president, Hillary Clinton,” he said.

James Taylor and wife, Kim Taylor, speak to press at Obama Rally. Photo: Brenna Elmore / The Tab

James Taylor and wife, Kim Taylor, speak to press at Obama rally. Photo: Brenna Elmore / The Tab

Because of the intense heat, multiple medics were needed to help dehydrated audience members prior to Obama’s introduction. Taylor, in addition to Ross, called attention over to the people in need of care. Volunteers ran to audience members who needed water, in hopes to prevent further dehydration.

Fashionably late, President Obama arrived around 3:45pm introduced by UNC sophomore, Isabel Trumbull.

Isabel Trumbull speaking before President Obama. Photo: Brenna Elmore / The Tab

Isabel Trumbull speaking before President Obama. Photo: Brenna Elmore / The Tab

“…[Trump is] temperamentally unfit to be Commander-in-chief and he is not equipped to be President – and this should not be a controversial claim,” Obama said. “We can’t afford a president who suggests that America should torture people or that we should ban entire religions from our country. We deserve better than a Commander-in-chief who insults POWs or attacks a Gold Star Mom.”

After remarks on Trump’s inadequate platform and Trump’s blatant disrespect towards anyone who isn’t a straight white male, he commended Clinton for her life devoted to “making America great.” In addition to blasting Trump, he suggested Richard Burr is unfit to be senator.

Obama criticizes the G.O.P. Candidate Donald Trump in Chapel Hill, N.C. Photo: Brenna Elmore / The Tab

Obama criticizes the G.O.P. Candidate Donald Trump in Chapel Hill, N.C. Photo: Brenna Elmore / The Tab

Obama delivered an animated speech with democracy resonating in the audience, while simultaneously encouraging North Carolinians to vote.

“I have always seen what makes America great and that is its people,” Obama said, alluding to Trump’s campaign slogan. “People young and old, men, women, gay, straight, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, people with disabilities — all pledging allegiance to the red, white and blue. That’s the America we know, and that’s the America we love.”

“Choose hope!” Obama declared. “Vote!”

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