The west metro office for President Obama’s re-election campaign opened Tuesday in with food, energy and a large crowd of people.
“We will not give up one inch of the western suburbs. I am obsessed with winning this and with winning this (3rd District) Congress race,” said Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak.
Volunteers at the 1007 Mainstreet location were already at work talking about the opportunities to support campaign efforts and signing on more volunteers. The event also included short speeches aimed at motivating volunteers and garnering more excitement for the campaign ahead.
First to the podium was Matt Steinrueck, field organizer for the west metro area. Seth London, Obama for America state director in Minnesota, spoke next, followed by Minnesota DFL Chair Ken Martin and Rybak.
Andrew Nielsen, regional field director for the west metro area, ended the program with the mandate that everyone meet someone new and talk about how they planned to participate in the campaign.
The speakers presented a central message: Although Minnesota has a history of voting democrat in the presidential election, it would be a mistake to assume that Minnesota will vote democrat again. Minnesota has also had a recent history of close elections. Democrats need to come out and vote, they said.
“Minnesota knows a thing or two about close elections,” London said. “What we need to do is we need to work. We cannot take anything for granted. The stakes are too high.”
Hopkins was not 100 percent welcoming to the campaign. Protestors stood outside the new office during the speeches, with one of the protestors carrying an “Impeach Obama!” sign.
Confidence was high, however, and London promised that President Obama would win in Minnesota.
Mayor Rybak described how he loved the west metro area. It does not have to remain a bastion of Republican support, he said, challenging the audience to have uncomfortable political discussions with neighbors, friends and even strangers at the gas pump.
The election will be won by regular people sharing with others what they know about Obama’s policies, Rybak said.
“Barack Obama did not win the last election. He’d be the first to say it. You won the last election. Are you ready to win this one?” he said.