CEDAR RAPIDS — Attending a presidential speech dressed as Abraham Lincoln is a good way to get noticed.
“Abraham Lincoln is in the house,” said President Barack Obama during his campaign appearance Tuesday, July 10, 2012, at Kirkwood Community College. “My homeboy from Illinois.”
He was referring to Abraham Lincoln impersonator Lance Mack, of Marion, who was hard to miss in the audience given his height and costume.
But Mack wasn’t there to pose for photos. Like most of the 1,600 attendees, he’s an Obama fan who came out to show his support for the president and saw several parallels between the current president’s speech and his long-dead doppelganger.
“Obama chose such a fundamentally similar view with this speech,” he said. “Whatever success we can achieve, we have to achieve together.”
He may have been the only attendee in costume, but one attribute Mack seemed to share with the rest of the crowd is that his vote is locked-up for Obama. Every member of the audience interviewed indicated their support was with the president.
Siblings Ian and Kiah Price of Cedar Rapids never had any doubt who they would vote for, and came out just for the chance to see the president talk.
“I’m feeling very uplifted now. I’ve definitely made up my mind,” said Kiah Price.
The main theme of the president’s speech was economic issues, but several members of the audience said they were glad to hear the president defend the recently-upheld Affordable Care Act, and that the law was the cornerstone of their support.
“I’m looking at the long run of what this health reall needs, and it’s a better health care system,” said Pat Harper of Waterloo.
Given the lack of undecided voters, the campaign appearance seemed to be aimed more toward firing up the president’s base than grabbing any new votes.
Mission accomplished, according to Harper.
“People seemed just as excited as they were four years ago,” she said.