Under the Dome

Obama watching party at NCSU galvanized young supporters

September 9, 2012 

When Democrats downsized to a smaller venue for the final night of the Democratic National Convention, many who had planned on heading to Charlotte to hear President Barack Obama formally accept the party nomination were left on the outside looking in.

That left plenty of people disappointed, but it gave Obama supporters at N.C. State University extra time to campaign for the president.

Shaneequa Vereen, 21, a psychology major, was among those let down by the move. She had volunteered for Obama’s campaign over the summer and has been a supporter of the president since she was a high school senior in Wilmington.

Vereen had a ticket to attend the president’s acceptance speech in Charlotte but was left out after the venue changed.

“To be honest, I was devastated,” Vereen said. “I’m still excited to hear him speak, but it would’ve been such an awesome experience to be there. ... But it happened, so what can you do?”

Alex Parker, a 19-year-old majoring in Spanish education and international relations, said he was also disappointed when he found out, but he said the turn of events may not have been all bad in hindsight. Parker is chair of the campus chapter of Students for Obama, and he worked with fellow Obama supporters on campus instead and spent the day registering voters and passing out campaign materials.

They also organized a viewing party at the last minute, one of more than 100 such parties held around the state that were organized by the Obama campaign.

“Maybe the people we registered wouldn’t have if we were in Charlotte,” Parker said. “Being here and able to interact with students is definitely important.”

The party was hosted in a campus lecture hall and attracted more than 50 students.

Kevin Nawrocki, 18, a computer science major, was one of many students in the room who planned on going to Charlotte for Obama’s acceptance speech.

He said Obama has won him over by focusing on education-related issues, especially student loans and aid.

“I’ve heard him talk about issues like that, ones that really matter to me now, more than Mitt Romney,” Nawrocki said.

“You have to make the best of the situation,” said Parker. “I think this worked out.”

Coalition campaigns against Dems’ gay marriage stance

The N.C. Values Coalition wasted no time in trying to capitalize on Democrats’ platform supporting same-sex marriage.

The group’s executive director, Tami Fitzgerald, sent a fundraising solicitation last week asking supporters to “defend the amendment we fought so hard to pass in May.” The Democratic Party approved its platform at the convention the day before. “Not only do they support same-sex marriage, but they are willing to take steps to make it legal, like repealing the federal DOMA!” the email states.

Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said they “trade on hate.”

“I don’t believe the people of North Carolina are going to buy it,” he said.

The Democratic convention’s embrace of LGBT shows its true inclusivity, he said. “This is not a party that trots out its token representative, fill-in-the-blank diversity,” he said.

Rep. Jones warns against unsanctioned war

Republican Congressman Walter Jones is warning the president not to go to war against Syria or Iran without authorization from Congress. In a letter sent last week, the North Carolina Republican noted he has introduced a resolution that paraphrases the U.S. Constitution.

“Except in response to an actual or imminent attack,” the offensive use of military force without congressional approval violates Congress’ power to declare war, the resolution states.

“Whether it is Korea, Yugoslavia or Libya, presidents have continually disregarded the Constitution and sent Americans to war without congressional authorization,” Jones writes.

Staff writers Austin Baird, John Frank and Craig Jarvis

Send tips to dome@newsobserver.com.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service