It has been more than three years since that historic night at Invesco Field when Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for president in 2008, but Tuesday, President Obama will return to Denver and speak at Abraham Lincoln High School to a changed Colorado.
The national economy is in a period of what appears to be prolonged downturn. The statewide economy is facing budget cuts and shortfalls. According to the Department of Labor, the unemployment rate reached a staggering 9.3 percent in Colorado in February 2011 and now holds at 8.5 percent -- nearly double the 4.9 percent rate when Obama visited in 2008.
Today at Abraham Lincoln High School, in one of Denver’s most impoverished neighborhoods, Obama has an ideal venue talk about the future economy and what he can do to to get Americans back to work. He is expected to speak about his $447 billion American Jobs Act as part of a series of seven fundraisers and speeches down the West Coast over the last two days in Washington state and California and he’s acknowledged that this election is not like 2008, according to The Associated Press.
And as many have certainly lost faith, there is still a lot of hope left in Obama's supporters. The Associated Press reported recently that despite the feelings of frustration, 8 out of 10 people consider Obama a likable person and about half said he understands the problems of ordinary people. Even of those people that felt the United States is headed in the wrong direction, 43 percent still had a favorable opinion of the president. Jeremy Bird, Obama’s national field director, told Denver volunteers recently:
Yes, people are frustrated with the economy, with jobs. But when they look at the president, the president’s character... they’re all in support.
Obama’s own message of hope and change is still present, although shifted slightly from 2008. The Gazette reports that in front of about 120 Hollywood supporters at a Monday night Los Angeles fundraiser, the President spoke about Americans desire for a “bold and generous” vision of the U.S., not the “cramped” one that the Republicans are offering:
It’s about values, it’s about character, it’s about who we are.
9News reports that the President is expected to arrive at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora and is scheduled to speak at 2:15 p.m. at Abraham Lincoln High School. A limited amount of tickets were available beginning at 11 a.m. on Monday and were gone about an hour later.
Earlier on HuffPost: