COLUMBIA — Local supporters of Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency gathered today at Flat Branch Park to enjoy barbecue and live music. They gathered support for the Democratic candidate from Illinois.
“We want to establish a sense of community for Obama supporters and to get people to volunteer for events that are coming up,” said Glenn Rehn, director of MU Students for Barack Obama.
There were about 50 people at the park this afternoon, for the “Barack-a-Que”, which was scheduled from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. A booth contained information about the senator’s stance on current issues, including health care, national security, stem cell research, the war and the environment. Live music was performed by local indie band Celandine and free barbecue was served to the crowd.
“He’s progressive and has the ability to bring people together,” said Bill Monroe, a member of Mid-MO 4 Obama.
Monroe became a supporter of Obama after reading his book, “Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.”
“I was inspired and thought, this guy has got to get elected,” Monroe said.
Supporters could donate to the Obama campaign by purchasing merchandise including buttons, T-shirts and bumper stickers. Saturday’s event also featured an auction.
“I see him (Obama) as the antithesis of George W. Bush,” Rehn said. “If he is elected, it is going to be a historical moment in America.”
On Oct. 2, local Obama supporters will be commemorating Obama’s 2002 speech against entering the Iraq war, with a rally at the Boone County Courthouse Square. Supporters hope the event will be large enough to encourage the senator to make a Columbia visit during his campaign.
“I think that people are really anxious and ready for a change,” Monroe said. “I think that Obama is the one that is electable.”