Feingold speaks to students

Grace Christiansen

This past Tuesday, Senator Feingold came to town. The fast-paced festivities began with an introduction by the president of the Lawrence University College Democrats, senior Jim Breen. He opened with the sentiments that ran through all of the three speeches given in the Coffee House that afternoon: this is a pivotal election and Barack Obama is “the change we all want to see.” Before giving the floor over to Congressman Steve Kagen, Breen claimed that this is the first election in which the youth vote really matters and asked the audience members to “help people get out to vote.”
Kagen, who is up for re-election this year, repeated Breen’s sentiments about this being “the most important election of our century” and then went on to give his own stump speech, which included a call for affordable education and healthcare, along with the need to clean up the Fox River by removing the PCBs. After calling on people to “go vote,” Kagen introduced Feingold by saying, “now here’s the man who’s worked with and knows Barack Obama.”
Feingold began his speech — one of eight that he gave at many universities in two days — by telling the audience that having Kagen in Congress is “absolutely critical” and praised the congressman for having “voted his conscience” during his time in office. He also called on people to vote for Penny Bernard Schaber, who is running for the Assembly District 57 saying, “we want to take back the state assembly.”
Feingold then began to talk about Obama, pointing to different areas where the presidential nominee would support the people of Wisconsin. He talked about the Wisconsin Special Milk Program, which provides government protection of prices if they fall too low, and the SeniorCare program, which helps to make prescription drugs more affordable to people 65 and older who meet eligibility requirements in Wisconsin.
Feingold also addressed the possibility of a Democrat-controlled Congress and presidency and the question “do you really want to turn over everything to the Democrats?” He acknowledged the pitfalls of one-party rule, but said that things would be different under Obama.
The senator then went on to address areas in which Obama would be “more responsible” than current powers. He described imagining himself moving about various committees in the Senate on January 21, 2009, and what would be different under Obama.
Feingold concluded with his own story of victory — being declared a winner by 33 votes after three weeks of recounting — and another, final call to “get everybody out to vote in all of the races!