Obama rallies Virginia crowd for governor’s race he calls ‘turning point’ for U.S.

Former U.S. president Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe in Richmond, Va., Oct. 23, 2021.KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters

Former U.S. President Barack Obama urged Virginians to re-elect Terry McAuliffe as governor at a rally on Saturday, emphasizing the race’s significance as an indicator of the country’s political direction and a reflection of its values.

Obama and McAuliffe, who served as the state’s governor from 2014 to 2018, spoke before a cheering crowd at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond with just 10 days to go before the closely watched, tight Nov. 2 election.

The off-year race is seen as a barometer of how the country might decide the 2022 midterm elections, which will decide which party controls Congress, and a referendum on Democrat Joe Biden’s presidency.

Obama told the crowd the Virginia election represented a national “turning point,” where Americans could either become more embattled in the divisive politics that characterized Republican Donald Trump’s presidency and which culminated in an attack by Trump’s supporters on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, or “pull together” to “solve big problems.”

“I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we’re not going to indulge in our worst instincts,” Obama said. “We’re not going to go back to the chaos that did so much damage. We’re going to move forward with people like Terry leading the way.”

McAuliffe told the crowd the election was too important to sit out, with several key issues on the ballot.

“This election is about the next chapter of Virginia and our country. … It’s about leading us out of this pandemic, keeping our economy strong, protecting voter rights, protecting abortion rights and so much more,” he said.

Opinion polls show McAuliffe, 64, and Republican Glenn Youngkin, 54, nearly tied. A poll this week by Monmouth University showed Youngkin had closed McAuliffe’s 5-point lead since September by gaining ground with independent and women voters.

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About Cholo Brooks 15844 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.

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