President Obama made an appearance in Maine late Thursday to campaign on behalf of a Democratic candidate who could become the nation’s first openly gay person elected as governor.
Speaking before an estimated 3,000 people at the Portland Expo, Obama made the case for Michaud Michaud based on his history as a millworker, a state legislator and a five-term member of Congress.
“So that’s why I like Mike,” Obama said. “He wakes up every day fighting to make sure Mainers see their hard work pay off, making sure that responsibility is rewarded. He fights to make sure every kid, every worker across this state gets the same chance that he had — in fact, an even better chance. Because he believes, like I believe, that America is a place where no matter what you look like, where you come from, what your last name is, who you love, you can make it if you try.”
At the no time during the rally did Obama mention Michaud’s sexual orientation or the first he would achieve if the candidate wins election to the office of governor.
Obama’s 30-minute speech was in many ways an attempt to remind voters of success under his own administration to motivate them to vote Democrat amid expectations of a Republican wave on Election Day.
“So the truth is America is outpacing most of the rest of the world,” Obama said. “We’ve created more jobs here in the United States over the last six years than Japan, Europe, and all of the advanced nations combined. We’ve made real progress.”
It’s the not first time a member of the Obama family campaigned on behalf of Michaud. Early this month, first lady Michelle Obama appeared at a rally at the University of Maine in Bangor to make the case for his candidacy.
Polls show a close race between Michaud and incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage. A new Magellan Strategies poll in Maine found the two candidates tied at 42 percent with Independent candidate Eliot Cutler behind at 13 percent.
According to the Portland Press Herald, Michaud took aim at LePage when taking the stage, saying voting him out of office would reverse course for the state of Maine.
“This is your state and in five more days, you can take it back,” he was quoted as saying, adding later, “Our vision is a vision where we all get to succeed.”