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Former S.C. governor stumps for Obama in Chambersburg

April 16, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama lost half his crowd and half his presenters in the hour and a half that passed after the scheduled start of Tuesday's rally at the Capitol Theatre on South Main Street.

Among the attendees to leave before the featured speaker arrived was Jenn Hill, who did so grudgingly.

Jenn didn't have much of a choice in the matter, seeing as she's not yet old enough to drive - let alone vote.

Jenn, 11, and her younger brother donned Obama pins and spoke with great knowledge about the candidate's positions, including the war in Iraq.

"He addresses issues that most people just say they'll address," Jenn said.

"If I was old enough to vote, I'd vote for him," said Alex Hill, 10.

"I think you need to bring your kids up to believe they can make a difference," said their mother, Priscilla Savary.

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Former South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges told the crowd of 40 that Obama is indeed the candidate who can make a difference. He called Obama the "John F. Kennedy of our generation."

"I've seen it in the eyes and faces of the people who heard him speak in my home state," Hodges said.

He said the United States might have lost the confidence and belief that things will be better for the next generation.

"When we lose something like that, we've lost something great in our country," Hodges said.

Hodges, a Democrat, was supposed to be joined by former Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus at the 2 p.m. event, but the pair divided up after being slowed by construction traffic on their way from State College, Pa. Hodges began speaking at 3:30 p.m. and allowed ample time for a question-and-answer session with the attendees who remained.

Hodges, a governor from 1998 to 2002, fielded questions about Social Security, health care and insurance, and unity within the Democratic party.

"Obama doesn't address (issues) with just words. I think he's got the integrity and strength to be president," Priscilla Savary said.

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