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By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Leon Thompson

October 1, 2008 (San Diego) - The Obama-Biden campaign hosted a presidential debate-watching party to kick-off the opening of a new campaign office at 1744 Euclid Street in East San Diego. 

“We’ve had a larger than expected turnout,” Vince Hall, spokesperson for Obama for President in San Diego County told East County Magazine.  “We’ve had more than 500 volunteers who signed up to support our campaign tonight.”

A standing-room-only crowd watched the September 26th debate (photo, left), cheering for Senator Barack Obama and at times, jeering in response to Senator John McCain’s responses on the economy, healthcare and middle class tax relief.   Many East County residents watched the debate, picked up yard signs or volunteered to help with phone banking and precinct walking.  The campaign also registered many new voters.

“The energy and enthusiasm has been really impressive,” said Hall (photo, right), who not surprisingly believed his candidate won the debate.  “I think tonight’s debate was a decisive victory for Mr. Obama,” he said.  “The most interesting debate, though, was the debate between John McCain’s rhetoric and John McCain’s record.  Having watched the debate, it’s clear why he wanted to avoid the debate,” he said, referring to McCain’s previously announced plan to cancel the debate in order to address the economic crisis in Washington.


The Obama campaign hopes to open additional offices in San Diego County, Hall disclosed.  “We are also working with the California Democratic office to maximize participation in all of the Congressional races, including Mike Lumpkin’s,” he said, referring to the 52nd Congressional district Democratic candidate. Lumpkin, a former U.S. Navy Seal commander, is running against Republican Duncan D. Hunter (son of retiring Congressman Duncan Hunter), a former Marine Corps captain, to represent East County.  

“Having Senator Obama elected to the White House makes it all the more important to strengthen Democratic representation in the House of Representatives,” Hall concluded, “and having a distinguished veteran like Mike Lumpkin is an important part of that process.”

Miriam Raftery is a national award-winning journalist who has headed up media watch committees for various local organizations and attended a National Media Reform Conference covering issues of media bias, media justice and media reform.