UPDATE: President Obama's Trip To Madison

Click HERE To Submit Your Pictures And Videos From The Obama Rally

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UPDATED Wednesday, September 29, 2010 --- 7:00 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- If there's an enthusiasm gap for Democrats this election, it hasn't reached Madison.

Students and residents in the traditionally liberal city turned out by the thousands on Tuesday to see President Barack Obama at a rally on the University of Wisconsin campus meant to energize the base of the Democratic Party.

University police estimate more than 17,000 people packed onto a mall in the heart of the campus to see the president. Another 9,000 lined up for more than a mile to get in but were diverted to overflow areas.

Obama was joined at the rally by U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett.

Rock band the National and singer-songwriter Ben Harper also entertained the crowd before the president arrived.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, September 28, 2010 --- 6:55 p.m.

By CHARLES BABINGTON
Associated Press Writer

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- President Barack Obama is urging college students at a Wisconsin campaign rally to stick with him and vote in the Nov. 2 elections, promising that "change is gonna come."

Obama is trying to rally the Democratic base ahead of critical midterm elections that are expected to be dismal for the party.

Obama says Democrats who are upset with the pace of change he promised in 2008 should not let their frustration keep them away from the polls. He says that's how the Republicans will win and that they will take the country back to the policies that led to the nation's economic crisis.

Obama told his audience that change will come "but you've got to stick with me."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, September 28, 2010 --- 6:55 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- President Barack Obama is telling young voters they must not become discouraged and let Republicans retake control of the federal government in the Nov. 2 elections.

Obama told thousands of students at the University of Wisconsin on Tuesday, "you've got to stick with me, you can't lose heart."

Obama said the biggest mistake they could make would be to become apathetic and decide not to vote.

He said, "change is going to come for this generation if we work for it, if we fight for it, if we believe in it."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, September 28, 2010 --- 5:00 p.m.

President Obama did make a surprise visit to La Follette High School. Click on the PHOTOS tab above to see a picture of the President meeting with the football team.

Story from the Associated Press:
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- President Barack Obama is making time for unscheduled campaign-style stops in a day already packed with events in three states.

Obama surprised the football, volleyball and girls' tennis teams at LaFollette High School in Madison, Wis., by visiting their practice fields Tuesday. Students squealed in delight and jockeyed to shake the president's hand.

White House spokesman Bill Burton said Obama urged the football players to work hard in sports and school and to avoid the types of mental errors that caused the Green Bay Packers to lose Monday to his favorite team, the Chicago Bears.

Earlier in Albuquerque, N.M., Obama surprised the lunch crowd at Barela's Coffee House. He ordered a meal to go, leaving a $20 bill for the $8.77 tab. He planned to spend the night in Des Moines, Iowa.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, September 28, 2010 --- 5:00 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- If there's an enthusiasm gap for Democrats this election, it hasn't reached Madison.

Students and residents in the traditionally liberal city turned out by the thousands on Tuesday to see President Barack Obama at a rally on the University of Wisconsin campus meant to energize the base of the Democratic Party.

About 12,500 people packed onto a mall in the heart of the campus awaiting arrival of the president. Thousands more were in a line that stretched more than a mile beyond the entrance sight.

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin urged those at the rally to get involved and vote in the midterm election. Polls have shown Democrats aren't as likely to vote this year as Republicans.

U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold is one Democrat facing a tough re-election contest against Republican Ron Johnson. Feingold planned to be at the rally along with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, September 28, 2010 --- 3:45 p.m.

Air Force One has landed in Madison.

Meanwhile - from the Associated Press:
By SCOTT BAUER
Associated Press Writer

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democratic U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold says on Twitter that he will be appearing with President Barack Obama at his rally in Madison after all.

Feingold had originally said he would be in Washington, D.C., during Tuesday's rally on the campus of the University of Wisconsin. Republicans pointed to that as a sign Feingold was running scared from Obama, whose approval ratings are at an all-time low in Wisconsin.

But Feingold sent a tweet around 3:30 p.m. saying he finished voting and was proud to be joining Obama at the rally at Feingold's alma mater. Feingold opted not appear with Obama earlier this month at a Labor Day rally in Milwaukee.

Polls show Feingold is trailing Republican businessman Ron Johnson in the Senate race.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, September 28, 2010 --- 3:20 p.m.

The gates into Library Mall have opened. People are now filing through security.

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UPDATED Tuesday, September 28, 2010 --- 7:15 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Rock band the National along with singer-songwriter Ben Harper are serving as opening acts to President Barack Obama's political rally on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus Tuesday.

Thousands of students and others are expected to converge on campus for the outdoor rally, the first of four such events Obama has planned before the election.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett is also scheduled to speak as is U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin.

Polls show Barrett is trailing Republican Scott Walker in the governor's race. Young voters were key to Obama's win in 2008 and Democrats are hoping enough of them show up and vote to help candidates like Barrett this year.

Baldwin faces a challenge from Republican Chad Lee.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, September 27, 2010 --- 3:35 p.m.

From the Madison Police Department:
Presidential Visit
Designated Peaceful Assembly Area Announced

The Madison Police Department (MPD) will establish a peaceful assembly area in the 600 block of State Street during President Obama's visit tomorrow. Rally organizers have established rules for what can be brought into the event area - Library Mall. Posters and signs are not being allowed. Those wishing to display such items can do so in the designated peaceful assembly area. Also, a reminder for those wishing to have their voices heard: amplification devices cannot be used on city streets without a permit.

Congestion, and potential gridlock, can be expected in the campus area during the rally, as many streets will be closed. Please go to www.news.wisc.edu for details on closures, and event information.

Motorists can also anticipate temporary traffic delays along the motorcade route, the specifics of which are not being released. Suffice to say, the President will be traveling from the airport to the UW-Madison campus and back.

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UPDATED Monday, September 27, 2010 --- 5:50 p.m.

From the University of Wisconsin:
If you plan to attend:

All those planning to attend President Barack Obama’s Democratic National Committee political rally on the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Tuesday, Sept. 28 should keep in mind several important logistical details.

Please note, all details are subject to change ahead of the event.

Entry: The event will be held on Library Mall on campus. The event is free and open to the public and no tickets are required. The entry gate, located at Park Street at the base of Bascom Hill, will open at 3:30 p.m. All who enter will undergo screening by metal detector. The program is expected to begin at 4:45 p.m., and will last several hours.

Carry-in policy: For safety and security reasons, certain items are prohibited, including laptop computers, sharp objects, metal or plastic drink bottles, folding chairs, backpacks and bags or purses larger than a standard sheet of paper. No posters or signs of any size will be permitted inside. No food or drink can be carried in, though refreshments will be available from the Wisconsin Union and Subway for purchase in the event area. Cameras and video cameras will be permitted inside. There will be a "drop box" for prohibited items to be left outside of the security area. (UW-Madison does not take responsibility for left items.)

Parking: Daytime parking is extremely limited around Library Mall and attendees from the campus and Madison community are encouraged to walk or use public transportation. A limited number of spaces are available in the City’s Lake Street Parking Ramp. UW Lots 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 9 will be closed beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, September 28.

Bike parking: A temporary bicycle parking area will be created in Lot 5 (north of Chadbourne Hall) on Tuesday starting at 8 a.m. There will be approximately 100 bicycle parking spaces made available with racks to help accommodate the loss of parking around the site.

Visitor parking: Visitor parking will be sold on a space available basis in Lots 7, 29, 44, 46, 51, 83, and 88. Accessible parking will be available in all parking lots; however, Lot 3 will be reserved exclusively for this use.

Traffic: Downtown traffic will be affected by street closings beginning at noon on September 28. Langdon Street will be closed between Park Street and Lake Street, and Lake will be closed north of the Lake Street Parking Ramp. Park will be closed from Lake Mendota to University Avenue. Observatory Drive remains closed due to construction. All those travelling in the campus area should be prepared for delays.

Madison Metro: Routes 80, 81, 82 and 85 will be affected. Buses will be detoured from Langdon St. and Memorial Union to University Ave. Buses travelling north on Lake St. will turn west (left) on University Ave. and then continue on University to resume their current routes on Charter Street and beyond.

Metro will be adding additional buses to enhance service after
the event on Routes 2, 3, 4, and 6.

Transportation Services updates: If you are attending an unrelated event on campus, check the sponsoring department’s website for additional information on possible cancellations, changes to parking or other details.

Whenever possible, persons coming to campus on the day of the visit, whether attending the event or not, are encouraged to take alternatives to driving.

Be advised that pedestrian and bicycle routes may be detoured around the site. Where possible, detours will be marked with signs. Pedestrians use extra caution while navigating the vehicle congestion on campus.

Accessibility: Individuals with mobility disabilities can park in Lot 3 until 4 p.m. and enter Library Mall via North Lake Street and Langdon until 4:30 p.m. A maximum of one accompanying guest may enter through this entrance, which is limited to individuals with mobility disabilities. After 4:30 p.m., all attendees will enter via the main entry gate on Park Street. Additional ADA parking is available in Grainger Hall, the Fluno Center, Lot 46 and City of Madison Lake Street ramp. Sign language interpreters will be present inside the event area on a platform near Langdon. There will be reserved space near the stage adjacent to Langdon Street for wheelchair users and individuals needing sign language interpretation.

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UPDATED Thursday, September 23, 2010 --- 3:34 p.m.

Release from the DNC:

WASHINGTON, DC – DNC Chairman Tim Kaine announced today that Singer-songwriter Ben Harper will perform at the Moving America Forward rally with President Obama next Tuesday, September 28th, in Madison, Wisconsin. The rally will be a youth-focused event on the Library Mall on the campus of the University of Wisconsin. Gates open for the event at 3:30 PM CDT.

Ben Harper was an early supporter of President Obama during the 2008 campaign and has performed on numerous occasions to engage young people in the political process. As a performer, Harper is known for his wide range of musical tastes and talents, playing a mix of blues, folk, reggae and rock.

“We could not be more excited to have Ben Harper performing as President Obama kicks off the Democratic Party’s Fall campaign push on the Library Mall at the University of Wisconsin next week,” said Kaine. “Kicking off our Moving America Forward events with a college and youth focus in Madison will create momentum as we head into the last five weeks of this critical campaign – and having Ben Harper as part of the lineup on Tuesday is a great way to get things started.”

“Young people have been a vital part of the movement that elected President Obama in 2008,” Kaine continued. “From health reform to credit card and student loan reform, young people benefited from the change President Obama and Democrats have brought to the country. Like all Americans, young voters have a tremendous amount at stake this Fall.”

As we approach the midterm elections, the President will lay out the stakes for the country and the choice for voters this November: whether to support Democratic leaders and continue to make progress for American families and small businesses—or to return to the failed, Bush-era policies that nearly drove the nation into a second Great Depression. The President will stress the need for young voters in particular to be engaged in the political process and to vote in the elections this fall.

Since taking office in January 2009, the Obama Administration has made major strides on behalf of young people nationwide—including streamlining the student loan system to eliminate predatory lenders, increasing the size of Pell Grants, reforming health care to permit students to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26, and strengthening credit card regulations that protect college students from excessive interest rates and fees.

Also on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden, Members of the Cabinet, and Chairman Kaine will hold events at college campuses across the country to engage and mobilize young voters. Coinciding with the Madison rally, students at more than a hundred colleges and universities will hold “watch parties” to view a live telecast of the President’s speech.

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UPDATED Wednesday, September 22, 2010 --- 5:20 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- President Barack Obama's rally will be outside in the heart of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus on Tuesday.

The Democratic National Committee announced Wednesday that Obama will appear on Library Mall, which is adjacent to the student union and where State Street, which leads to the Capitol, begins.

Singer-songwriter Ben Harper will also be appearing with the president.

The last time Obama came to campus was in 2008 when he was still a candidate for office. At that time he packed the 17,000-seat Kohl Center. The DNC did not immediately say how many people they expected to be able to fit onto the mall.

The rally is the first of four the president has planned in swing states across the country leading up to the Nov. 2 election.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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