PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On the lawn in front of Carnegie Mellon University’s Fine Arts building, members of the city’s SWAT team were already there in advance of President Obama’s latest visit to Pittsburgh on Friday afternoon.
Over in the Strip District, supporters lined up around the block to obtain free tickets to the event.
“I think it’s been 45 minutes to an hour that we’ve been standing in line,” Mariah McGrogran of Shadyside told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano.
McGrogan says she has never seen the president in person.
“It’s an historic event to see a president and be at a rally like this, and I’ve never been to one, so I’m really excited to go to my first.”
She’s not alone in wanting to help.
“This is a time we need him more than ever. I had to come,” said Christopher Carter of Homewood.
“Do you think this is different from ’08?” Jon Delano asked him.
“A lot different. There’s not as much excitement,” Carter responded.
Ginning up excitement is part of this visit. Holly Giovengo, 19, of Shaler brought her young cousins, Adam and Sean Boaks to get tickets.
“I just like learning about all kinds of stuff and this is a good experience,” said 12-year-old Adam.
“I think Obama is a good person,” added 9-year-old Sean.
But it takes more than just being nice to win elections, so local Democrats stressed Obama’s commitment to local jobs and attacked Mitt Romney for outsourcing them overseas.
“The alternative is Mitt Romney who has really spent his life outsourcing jobs,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald as people were getting their tickets.
Southwestern Pennsylvania is obviously very important to President Obama’s reelection.
Four years ago he carried Allegheny County by a 100,000 votes, but he lost most of the surrounding counties, including some Democratic ones like Beaver and Washington. This year the President and his campaign hope to do much better.