Betting on America

"I placed my bet on the American worker. And I'll make that bet any day of the week." —President Obama

The Very Latest

  • Betting on America: “You're my boss”

    By Lauren on

    Take a look at a few highlights from President Obama's Betting on America bus tour—including the supporters he met across Ohio and Pennsylvania, his plan to grow our economy, and why he's supporting American workers.

    Be a part of the action next time around—find out when the campaign trail is coming your way.

    Campaign events

  • Betting on America: Jeff gets on board

    By Lauren on

    When Jeff, a chimney sweep and small business owner from Massachusetts, pitched in to support the campaign, he had no idea that his donation would earn him two seats next to President Obama during the Betting on America bus tour.

    "It was unbelievable. I never thought that I would win. What got me to enter was that I'm trying to donate a little each month, and I had done it the month before. I didn't even know it was a contest—I just had no idea. But to win that and meet the President of the United States, well—as I told him, it was the second best thing that ever happened to me, after getting married."

    Jeff says it took a while for the news to sink in:

    "When my wife Cheri and I first learned we'd be going, we were just flabbergasted—I kept telling her, 'I won't believe it until we're on the bus and we get to see him.'

    "But sure enough, we got into Ohio on the 4th of July, stayed over at a hotel, and the next day we went to the airport. We got to go out on the tarmac and stand next to the bus and wait for Air Force One. It just gave me goosebumps to see it come in—it's not like watching any other plane.

    "Then we saw them push up the stairs to let the President off, and he came out and gave a little wave to all the people watching. He came down the stairs and walked right over to us—he already knew our names. He said, 'Hi, Cheri! Hi, Jeff!' He shook my hand and gave my wife a hug. I was just elated. And then we got on the bus, sat down at a little table, and just started talking. My wife and I are still just floating up in the air. "

    There was one thing Jeff couldn't wait to tell the President:

    "If it weren't for him, I never would have gotten the loan I needed to start up the retail part of my business, which allows me to sell my wood stoves and gas stoves. So I told him, 'That stimulus plan, Mr. President, it worked very well for me. That's how I expanded my shop.' We got to talk about the business a little bit, and it was just so exciting—it even turned out one of his staff had been a chimney sweep when they were a kid. It definitely brought a grin to his face when I told him how much I liked the Recovery Act.

    "Then we got to talking about our daughters and our families—I'm from a single-parent family, and my mother raised five of us. The President said he knew how hard his mom had worked to raise him and his sister, and I told him I thought probably what made us both so strong is the women who brought us up. He seemed to like that.

    "Then we went to Maumee and sat right behind him while he gave his speech. Afterwards, he was shaking everybody else's hand, and my wife and I figured we'd stand back because we'd already gotten the chance to meet him, but he made sure to come right over and see us both. He gave my wife another hug and shook my hand and shoulder-bumped me. I kept saying to my wife, 'Wow! I got shoulder-bumped by the President of the United States!' It was the most awesome thing in the world."

    While Jeff was already an enthusiastic supporter, meeting the President made him even more committed to making sure he wins in November:

    "It was just great talking to him. And I deeply believe now more than ever that our country needs him in office—I've gotten to meet the man, and I know that he's genuine. He feels our pain. And his plans are working. I see it every day: Jobs are coming into Massachusetts, manufacturing companies are putting up hiring signs, he's helping small businesses. It takes time to fix these things, but he's doing it.

    "I'll probably go into 500 houses this fall for my business, and I will tell everybody my story—I'm going to tell everyone how gracious he is, how funny he is, how down to earth. He's like us. He may live in the White House, but he doesn't live in a bubble. He knows what's happening out here, and he cares. It just warms my heart. I think I'm going to turn some people around, because I don't give up. I'm very persistent. I'll work all day, I go all over the place, so I'm going to spread the word and do the best I can."

    Jeff hopes the President took something away from the experience as well:

    "After I met him, I said, 'I'm so glad you shook my hand,' because there's a superstition that shaking a chimney sweep's hand brings you nothing but luck. If you've seen Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke even sings a song about it. And the President smiled and said he had seen that—he said, 'Yes, I do know.'"

    Join Jeff—give what you can to support the campaign today.

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  • Betting on America bus tour in photos

    By Mary on

    President Obama was on the road last week talking to voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania—where he met with customers at diners, shoppers at a farm stand, and supporters at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. Check out the photos.

  • Betting on America: traveling through Ohio and Pennsylvania

    By Lauren on

    In just two days, President Obama visited nearly a dozen cities across Ohio and Pennsylvania—a chance to talk face to with people about his plan to keep the economy growing.

    At just about every stop on the Betting on America bus tour route, he swapped stories, sampled the snacks, and made a few friends.

    "We've been on the bus here in Ohio," said the President during a stop at a high school in Poland. "We've been traveling through. We went to Parma and Sandusky and Maumee, and now we're here—and Oak Harbor, Akron … and I've been eating a lot … and in between the eating, we've been talking a little bit about politics."

    Steve, a nursing home administrator who was in the audience in Poland, said he appreciated the President's visit to Ohio:

    "I thought it was great—I think he's motivating us and going to help lead us through four more years. It was a diverse crowd, we had people from all walks of life here, and everybody was charged up and proud of our country."

    After shaking hands with audience members in Poland, the President stopped for a treat at a bakery in Beaver, Pennsylvania, and continued on to Pittsburgh—where thousands braved the heat to hear him speak about the economy, keeping education affordable, and the choice Americans will make in November.

    "It was very hot today, but he made it and everything went just fine," said Jerrell, a janitor. "His speech was very informative about keeping the cost of tuition and education down, and hopefully he can get in for the next four years to continue the good job he's doing. I'm from the north side of Pittsburgh, so seeing him here in my city was a dream come true."

    Katie, a graduate student in biomechanical engineering, agreed:

    "It was so incredible, I couldn't believe he was coming here. This was so nice, and such an honor to have him. It was awesome—it was a hundred degrees out, but nobody cared!"

    "I am very impressed by Mr. Obama, and I have been for many years. He's a marvelous man with a vision and a focus and a plan. We're very lucky that he came through here—as many people have said, it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said Linda, a retired teacher who brought her granddaughter with her to see the President.

    The President left Pittsburgh fired up and ready to turn out on Election Day, said Anne, a retail worker:

    "You could tell everything he said was so genuine—he has my vote again."

    Join volunteers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and all over the country by signing up to help today.

    Volunteer

  • The fence

    By Mike on

    At Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania today, President Obama arrived to a greeting painted on "the fence" by a team of students who used a long-held school tradition to welcome the President to campus.

    “A long time ago, the Carnegie Institute of Technology was an all men’s school,” Richa, an architecture major explained. “The fence was used as a place for the guys attending the school and the women attending nearby Margaret Morrison to communicate with each other. These days it's still a popular place for students to paint messages.”

    Colleeen, one of the students who helped paint the fence added:

    “In order to reserve the right to paint the fence, you have to have two people stand guard at all times. We had friends positioned there from 2 p.m. on yesterday. You are only allowed to paint between midnight and sunrise, and have to use hand brushes. There was a big group of us working together in order to finish in time. We wanted to make sure the President felt welcome when he got here.”

    Today's event in Pittsburgh was the last stop on the President's Betting on America bus tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania—you can read the rest of the highlights here.

  • Overheard in Poland, Ohio

    By Melanie on

    The Betting on America bus tour moved on to Poland, Ohio this morning, where the audience welcomed President Obama with a crowd rendition of “Let’s Stay Together.” After the President spoke, supporters shared what they thought of the speech:

    “I like what he said about building the economy from the middle out—it resonates with me. I believe in that. I think I have seen change over the last three years—I’ve seen in my husband’s business a turnaround. People are not as demoralized as they were.” —Margo, social worker

    “With the turnaround in the economy in 2011, we started seeing an increase in business, and in 2012 we were able to hire 12 new people. It’s really looking good for the future.” —Clyde (Margo’s husband), small business owner

    “I thought the speech was wonderful—I think he understands America and what direction he needs to go in. We’ve seen him a few times—it really made you feel like he’s thinking the same way we are.” —Claire, speech language pathologist

    “I'm volunteering for the campaign because I believe in President Obama and everything he said. It was so motivating and so surreal to actually be in the same room as him and really see him, and he's so genuine—someone who really genuinely cares for people.” —Dorothy, designer

  • President Obama: “Our character has not changed”

    By Melanie on

    President Obama in Poland, Ohio today:

    … We learned this morning that our businesses created 84,000 new jobs last month, and that overall means that businesses have created 4.4 million new jobs over the past 28 months, including 500,000 new manufacturing jobs. That's a step in the right direction.

    But we can’t be satisfied, because our goal was never to just keep on working to get back to where we were back in 2007. I want to get back to a time when middle-class families and those working to get into the middle class have some basic security. That's our goal. So we've got to grow the economy even faster and we've got to put even more people back to work.

    And we've got to tap into the basic character of this country, because our character has not changed even though we've gone through some tough times these last few years. It hasn't changed our character. It hasn't changed what made us great. It hasn't changed why we came together in 2008.

    So again, our mission is not just to get back to where we were before the crisis. We've got to deal with what's been happening over the last decade, the last 15 years—manufacturing leaving our shores, incomes flat-lining—all those things are what we've got to struggle and fight for. And that's the reason that I'm running for a second term as President of the United States. I want to move this country forward.

  • Audio postcard: “Valley proud, Valley strong”

    By Lauren and Grant on

    Poland, Ohio—Waiting for President Obama in a jam-packed gym, Mahoning Valley supporters combined their favorite chants. The result? “Valley proud, Valley strong, O-H-I-O, fired up, ready to go!” The audio is even more convincing—listen above.