With the date of the presidential election approaching, Democrats and Republicans are beginning to publicly stand behind their candidates.
Michigan Lt. Gov. John Cherry visited the Democratic Headquarters in downtown Marquette on Friday, Sept. 5 to do just that.
“This is going to be the battleground, right here in this room,” Cherry said. “We’re going to ensure that when Election Day happens, Michigan is going to be in the Democratic column in the Electoral College, and that’s going to be the deciding votes that are going to make Barack Obama the next president of this country. And let me tell you, that will be exciting.”
Though Cherry lauded Obama as the better of the two major party candidates, he also spoke extensively on how important the youth vote would be in this year’s election.
“I think it will at least be the one election that has the most impact on this nation’s youth,” he said. “I think that’s why young people are so excited about this year because they intuitively understand that this election will set the tone for their life.”
Among the crowd of mostly middle-aged Democrats, a few Northern students also stood in attendance. One of those students, Rob Doepker said Cherry’s speech was very motivating.
“This is truly an historic election, one that will affect us for the next 20 years,” he added.
Also in attendance were several other Michigan politicians, including State Sen. Mike Prussi and State Rep. Steve Lindburgh, both of whom also attended an education summit held on NMU’s campus.
After Cherry gave his speech, he mingled with the crowd, talking about several different issues, one of which was the cost of a college education in Michigan.
The Michigan Promise, a bill passed in 2006, offers a total of $4,000 to qualifying Michigan high school graduates who will attend Michigan universities. The law replaces the old MEAP scholarships, which were provided to Michigan high school students based on scores they received on the standardized MEAP test.
“The Michigan Promise is the best way to help with tuition. We can give the universities this money directly, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to use it and not raise their rates,” Cherry said. “This way, we give it to the student.”
Lindburgh also praised the bill, saying that an education beyond high school is becoming key in this world of global economics.
“You can’t walk out of high school anymore and get a family sustaining job,” he said.
The 2007 graduates were the first to receive the benefits of the Michigan Promise.