Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., was asked what he wanted youngvoters at MorganStateUniversity in Baltimore to know about him. “Iwant them to know that I’m a fighter and when I say something, Ifight for it, and we’re going to get these things done. And we’regoing to make this one of the big fights of our generation,” hereplied.
Kerry, who turned 60 on Dec. 11, answered the question on March1, the day before the “Super Tuesday” primary day in Maryland. Hisresponse came despite his accompaniment by four Secret Serviceagents who blocked him from the public and ordered, “noquestions.”
It was at Morgan where the all-but-certain Democraticpresidential nominee began his day’s activities, firing up thecrowd with an aggressive attack on the policies of the Bushadministration, particularly its decision to go to war in Iraq, andits handling of security issues and the economy.
“George Bush thought he could play dress-up on an aircraftcarrier, standing up there in front of that big sign saying,’Mission Accomplished,'” Kerry said from the stage at HurtGymnasium. “He thought you wouldn’t notice all of those jobs beinglost [and] a million-dollar a-day deficit.
“There is a better way to make America safe than this presidenthas chosen. This president, has in fact, created terrorists wherethey did not exist.”
He continued, “The real deficit of this nation is the problemsthat mayors like [Baltimore Mayor] Martin O’Malley are having toface as they are struggling with the school system and can’t findthe money. The real problem of this country is people all acrossthis nation who are out of work and out of health [care].”
Despite the crowd of supporters and news reporters and theMorgan State University Band, missing were masses of students, theMorgan staff, President Earl S. Richardson, the Student GovernmentAssociation, the major organizations on campus. It seemed as ifthere had been no announcement that the man who more than likelywas to be the Democratic candidate for president was coming toMorganState.
One student who did attend was senior Gerald Simmons. “He hitsome key points,” Simmons said. “He talked about important issuesto me like the job market and the war. But I can’t say with 100percent that he has my vote.”
Kerry, who had won 18 of the first 20 contests before SuperTuesday, was victorious in nine of the 10 primaries that day.
His blitz resulted in the quick withdrawal of his closestopponent, Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.
Shyra Peyton, a student at MorganStateUniversity, is Campus Lifeeditor of The Spokesman. Background information from news serviceswas included in this report.