Actor Justin Long grew up in a middle-class Connecticut home, the son of two teachers who instilled in him a belief and a faith in education. But when he went off to college, student loan debt became overwhelming, and he had to drop out of school after two years. "I ended up lucky," he says, "because I became an actor. But that's a one in a billion shot that I took. We need strong education—we need someone who's concerned about the middle class."
"I'm proud of what President Obama has done on education," Long says. "I'm proud of him for doubling Pell Grants. I'm proud of student loan reform. I believe in that man. I don't believe in a man who, in order to make a $5 trillion tax cut, is going to gut education. So I'm voting for the future. I'm voting for education. I'm voting on behalf of 100 percent of Americans."
If you saw what former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm saw, if you watched trickle-down economics ravage your state's economy and manufacturing sector, you'd agree: The choice we face over the next 24 days isn't just a question between two candidates or two parties. It's a moral choice about the direction we want the country to go.
As President Obama's personal aide during the 2008 campaign and for two years at the White House, Reggie Love's job was to have the President's back.
Now, he says, it's time for all of us to have the President's back.
"This is it. It's game time. And we all know how much of a competitor the President is on and off the basketball court—which is where I spent a lot of time with him, and the guy hates to lose. He knows that our ground game is where we win this election. And none of us wants to wake up on November 7 thinking man, I wish I had done just a little bit more."
So sign up to volunteer for the Obama campaign in your community. Chip in a few dollars. Register to vote. Commit to vote for President Obama. And when you've done all those things, make sure your friends and family do too. There's too much at stake not to.
Gov. Deval Patrick knows what you're going to ask: "Yes, I am from the commonwealth of Massachusetts. That is where Mitt Romney lives, votes, and governed. He will lose Massachusetts. Enough said."
He's not on the Gotta Vote bus in Virginia today to talk about his predecessor in the Massachusetts statehouse. He's here to connect with Virginia voters about President Obama, "the one candidate in this race who cares about leaving a better country for generations to come"—and make sure they're fired up and ready to vote.
"I'm a great believer that we get the government we deserve," he tells voters at stops in Norfolk and Williamsburg. "Sit it out, leave it to the highly energized people who just want government to help a few people, then we we will get that government we deserve. But if we show up, if we make the phone calls, knock the doors, talk to friends, talk to neighbors, talk to that cranky uncle you're not supposed to discuss politics with, if we have that conversation and invite people to become a part of their civic future, that's how we re-elect Barack Obama."
Ngozi is a freshman at Hampton University in Virginia. While most of her classmates will cast their first ballots in this year's election, Ngozi can't: She's just 17 years old. But her age isn't stopping her from making sure President Obama gets a second term—she's been dorm-storming all semester, registering students to vote ahead of Monday's registration deadline. "It's so important to me that I want to help anyway," she says. "I canvassed in 2008, and this year, even though I can't vote, I want to help by doing all that I can—and that means registering people to vote." Today, she and fellow student Ambur are registering voters outside the football stadium as the Hampton Pirates take on Norfolk State.
Tonight, Vice President Biden will debate Congressman Paul Ryan. And we're in Congressman Ryan's hometown: Janesville, Wisconsin.
The Gotta Vote bus team is cheering on our VP at a debate watch party at Janesville's United Auto Workers hall. It's a fitting place when you remember that during the Republican National Convention, Congressman Ryan tried to convince the American people that President Obama was somehow responsible for an auto plant that closed here in Janesville under President George W. Bush. That night, Congressman Ryan showed us his breathtaking willingness to skirt the truth, and we expect he'll show a similar disregard for the facts at tonight's debate.
The Obama Truth Team will be live fact checking Congressman Ryan all night, but since we're with the UAW, let's set the record straight on the auto rescue: President Obama's decision to lend Detroit a hand saved a million jobs up and down the supply chain. The big three American auto manufacturers—GM, Chrysler, and Ford—are all profitable for the first time since the late 1990s. Plants are adding third shifts to keep up with demand, and we've added 245,000 auto jobs across the country, many of which are here in Wisconsin.
No wonder Paul Ryan's trying to distort the President's record—his own running mate wanted to "Let Detroit go bankrupt."
Before Hill Harper was an award-winning actor on CSI: New York, he was Barack Obama's classmate and basketball buddy at Harvard Law. Harper joined the Gotta Vote bus tour in Madison, Wisconsin, today, to fire up University of Wisconsin students and tell them about the man he knew 20 years ago.
Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla says he got got drawn into the Obama grassroots movement "the same way everyone else did" in 2008. "I was ready for a change, ready for some optimism, ready to get out of the slump that we had been dragged into by the previous president." Walla was on tour with his band that year, but even on the road, he spent his days knocking on doors in cities like St. Louis and Minneapolis between shows.
This year is just as critical, he says, and he's making calls and canvassing once again. He's also stopping at college campuses as the Gotta Vote bus tour rolls through Wisconsin to make sure students know that by making their voices heard on the issues they care about, they can affect the outcome of this election. For Walla, that issue is Obamacare.
"Having grown up in an indie band, we all quit our jobs and/or dropped out of school at 22 to promote our record," says Walla. "We didn't realize it at the time, but we were starting a business. We were planting a seed in a place where I couldn't have predicted that 15 years later we'd be employing dozens of people. One of the things that we struggled with at different points was health insurance. It hits so close to home for me. It often feels like that one thing you can't afford to do. You've paid your car insurance, tuition, rent, whatever bills you have to keep up on.
"It's such a huge step in the right direction for this nation in terms of strengthening the social contract—the idea that we take care of each other as a nation. I believe it's vital that as the richest nation in the world that we don't let one another go personally bankrupt because something unforeseen happens. That's why I'm out here—to remind people that this president has done a lot of great things."
If you want to see four more years of great things from President Obama, then you gotta vote.