Russell Simmons needed only seven words to whip 10,000 people into a frenzy: "The president is now in the building." The hip-hop mogul was the master of ceremonies for President Obama's visit to the Arena at Harbor Yard on Saturday. A capacity crowd filled the arena to hear Obama stump for fellow Democrats Jim Himes , Richard Blumenthal and Dan Malloy .
"We've got a lot of work to do in the next few years, and we need to work together, Democrats and Republicans, to get it done," Obama said. "Frankly, I need to see some cooperation on the other side."
The thousands that attended Saturday's rally leaned Democratic, most cheering after every statement made by the politicians who spoke: Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch , gubernatorial candidate Malloy, Senate hopeful Blumenthal, House candidate Himes and Obama. But some, including Bridgeport's Scott Davis, appreciated appeals to bipartisanship.
"It was very inspirational," Davis said. "Trying to get people on both sides together to deal with the challenges that we're having right now."
Before the tight security allowed people inside just before 1 p.m., the line of supporters stretched more than a half-mile, reaching Seaside Park. Sisters Rosa Velez and Maiyra Vargas parked their car a full 24 hours earlier, at 1 p.m. Friday.
"Talk around town was that people were going to be camping out," Velez said. "So we wanted to make sure we were here first."
But Velez and Vargas still waited in their car until more people arrived, so they were not the first through the door. Bridgeport's Jason Upchurch staked out the first spot in line by arriving at 3:30 a.m. Saturday, waiting alone until George Saccone joined him at 5.
"I'm just supporting [Obama] and supporting the other Democrats, so we can keep the Senate," Upchurch said. "I think we're losing the House, though."
In his speech, however, the president did not seem worried about losing seats.
"If everyone that showed up in 2008 shows up in 2010, we will win this election," Obama said.
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