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Cupcakes Take Center Stage at Obama Raleigh Town Hall Meeting

July 30, 2009
Content by USA Today.com
Story by David Jackson;
Photo by Haraz Ghanbari, AP


Live from Raleigh, Barack Obama

Here are highlights of President Obama’s health care town hall in Raleigh, N.C.

Highlights: Obama defends his stimulus bill, saying it saved the economy from depression. Also says people shouldn’t worry about how the politics of health care will affect his presidency.

QUOTE: “Will my presidency be damaged severely if we don’t pass health care? I keep on saying to people, I’ve got health care. This is not for me. … This is about people’s lives. This is about people’s businesses.”

12:06 p.m.- President Obama’s first health care stop today is at Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C.

The president first salutes a local native, his personal assistant Reggie Love. Reggie played basketball at nearby Duke University. Thanks a local cupcake store owner for introducing him and giving him a T-shirt — but no cupcake! Jokes that health care shouldn’t stand in the way of a good cupcake (amen to that.)

Notes that neither of North Carolina’s senators — including Democrat Kay Hagan — are at the event, but are back in D.C. “working hard.”

Obama goes on to say it is “nice to get out of Washington every once in a while,” what with all the “fussing and fighting that goes on there.” Says it drowns out the voices of “everyday people.” Does not specifically mention the fussing and fighting over health care.

Talks first about the economy — and takes a poke at Newsweek magazine and its new cover story, “The Recession is Over.” Obama tells the crowd they may find “that news a little startling, I know I did.” (To be fair to Newsweek, the story discusses the prospects that the recovery will be slow. A tagline on the cover says, “good luck surviving the recovery.”)

Obama says thing are getting better, and “we may be seeing the beginning of the end of the recession.” He goes on to extol the “recovery act,” which others refer to as the $787 billion stimulus bill.

12:20 p.m. – Obama says, “we helped stop a recession from becoming a depression,” and explains how the jobs programs in the stimulus are helping. Says tax cuts are helping people buy “cupcakes and other necessities of life.”

He addressed his critics — some of whom, he jokes, greeted him on the motorcade from the airport.

“There were some folks cheering,” he said. “And then were some folks with some signs …”

You can read the full article HERE.

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