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Old October 5th, 2008, 06:52 PM   #1
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In The News: Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen Play for Obama

Hip hop artist Jay-Z and rock legend Bruce Springsteen played shows in Michigan and Pennsylvania last night to help bring attention to voter registration deadlines. As part of their shows, they encouraged the crowds to register to vote and to help over the next 30 days.
Here are some news clips of the concerts...
From the Detroit Free Press:

The Obama army was charging ahead Saturday with its latest get-out-the-vote effort, giving free concert tickets to see Grammy Award-winning MC and music mogul Jay-Z at Cobo Center on Saturday night to those who registered to vote.

Since Wednesday, the campaign has given out about 12,000 tickets. The final 500 tickets were given out Saturday at registration rallies in Detroit and Pontiac.

Obama volunteers were so busy Saturday at his Michigan campaign headquarters in Detroit's New Center that there wasn't even time to change the campaign's countdown to the election sign, which still read "34" days to go. There were 31 days to go as of Saturday.

"Every person we bring in to the process increases our chances," said Brent Colburn, Obama's Michigan campaign spokesman.

...Campaign staff said volunteers will continue to knock on doors and reach out to voters in high-traffic areas until the Monday deadline.

Until then, Jay-Z will be the Michigan campaign's biggest booster.
From the Detroit News:


It didn't take long for Jay-Z to bring his own brand of politics to his free, Obama for America-sponsored "Operation Registration" concert at Cobo Arena Saturday night.

"This is the most important election in your lifetime," the superstar rapper told the crowd of around 10,000, two songs into his kinetic 75-minute set. ...I'm not here to tell you who to vote for. I'm voting for Barack Obama, but that's just me."

...Saturday's concert was pegged to Monday's Michigan voter registration deadline. Those who don't register to vote by Monday will not be eligible to vote in November's presidential election.

...Brent Colburn, a spokesman with Obama's Michigan campaign, said Saturday's event was successful in registering thousands of voters, though he said specific figures were not available. He said around one in three people who received tickets to the concert registered to vote, as volunteers were armed with voter registration forms both at the ticket giveaways and in line at Saturday's concert.

..."I'm so proud to be an American tonight," Jay said near the close of the show, telling the crowd this election was the first time he'd felt like a part of the political process, and that he now believes the cliche that people can grow up to be whatever they want. "It's hard to say it's much bigger than the presidency, but it is... the promise and the hope are bigger than anything, so everyone please go out and vote."

Chants of "O-bam-a! O-bam-a!" broke out during the show, and Jay shouted out "O!" several times during lyrics where he normally says "Hov," one of his nicknames.

"Remember, Oct. 6 is the deadline, Nov. 4 is the day we make history," he said before exiting the stage at 10:45 p.m. "I'm not telling you what to do, I'm just telling you what I'm gonna do."
From the Philadelphia Inquirer:


Bruce Springsteen had pounded through his second song as though his acoustic guitar were a pickax, then handed it off to an assistant. The rocker in rolled-up plaid sleeves slung another guitar over his shoulder and tossed out a raspy line that made clear to the thousands on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway how he feels about Barack Obama.

"We tried this four years ago," said Springsteen, who held concerts for then-Democratic nominee John Kerry and headlined yesterday's get-out-the-vote rally for Obama in Center City. "This time, we're winning."

Though organized by the Obama campaign in just a few days, the concert, at 20th and the Parkway, drew an estimated 50,000 people. According to Obama staff, it also added 21,000 new ground troops to the Illinois senator's campaign effort in must-win Pennsylvania.

The Democratic presidential candidate's potent ground operation was on display up and down the Parkway, with volunteers at almost every turn collecting personal information about concertgoers and doling out voter-registration forms.

The goal was to increase registration in the state by tomorrow's deadline while luring new volunteers as the campaign enters what Gov. Rendell said yesterday would be a "meaner," "tougher" and "dirtier" final few weeks against Republican John McCain.
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:


Bruce Springsteen played a seven-song acoustic set at a rally in Philadelphia yesterday to help the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama register voters and recruit volunteers.

The rally, planned by the Obama campaign a week ago, drew tens of thousands of people to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Springsteen said that America remains a house of dreams for some, but that too many people have given up on the promise of fairness and equality.

"I've spent 35 years writing about America and its people and the meaning of the American promise -- a promise handed down right here in this city," said Springsteen, whose songs often depict down-on-their-luck, working-class dreamers. "Our everyday citizens ... have justifiably lost faith in its meaning."

Springsteen approached the Obama campaign and asked to help out, an Obama aide said.

Springsteen cited the Iraq war, the recent economic turmoil and Hurricane Katrina as examples of the Bush administration's failures.
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