More than 1,000 people stood in line, some waiting in a thunderstorm, to pick up free tickets for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s northern Indiana event on Wednesday (Aug. 5).
According to the Chicago Tribune, Obama will discuss his economic and energy plans. Campaign spokesman Jonathan Swain said Elkhart was chosen in part because the city has been hit hard as rising gas prices and a sluggish economy hurt the area’s recreational vehicle manufacturers.
Monaco Coach Corp. announced last month it was closing three plants in Elkhart County, eliminating 1,400 jobs, while numerous other RV-related companies have closed or cut workers.
The Obama campaign office in Elkhart handed out 1,000 tickets Monday for the town hall meeting. The tickets ran out in about 90 minutes, with most people taking the maximum two tickets each. Others accepted bumper stickers and opportunities to volunteer for the campaign after the tickets ran out.
“Things are sky high, people are out of work, people are losing their homes, they’re losing everything,” Elkhart resident Stephanie Hanson said as she waited for tickets. “We need a change, and I believe he’s the one to do it.”
Obama’s Elkhart trip follows a July 16 campaign appearance he held at Purdue University. That event was his first trip to Indiana since he spent several weeks crisscrossing the state before the May 6 primary, which he narrowly lost to Hillary Rodham Clinton.