The line to see the President at Central High School wrapped around the corner and stretched down Center Street. The people of Bridgeport showed up in strength despite the blustery wind, but it was clear that the excitement was to see the President as opposed to seeing the Governor even though every major poll described the race between Governor Dan Malloy and the challenger Tom Foley as a 50/50 affair. However if the last election was any indication, Malloy won the election because of voter turnout in places like Bridgeport.
On a Sunday afternoon voters of all stripes were in the auditorium including a healthy representation of organized laborers. The painters’, carpenters’ and laborers’ unions were all represented. The sentiment among all of them was that Malloy had to win this race as they viewed Tom Foley as an enemy to organized labor. The rest of the room comprised of a typically Bridgeport cross section all of whom were passionate supporters for President Obama.
There were several interruptions during the President’s stump speech by immigration reform advocates. These protestors interrupted the President to ask him why comprehensive immigration reform had yet to come across the President’s desk, but each moment was shouted down by a crowd that seemed largely ignorant of the plea, instead opting to shout “Four more years! Four more years!” while each demonstrator was escorted from the auditorium by police. The President, to his credit, tried to deflect the moment by putting the blame on Republican intransigence but the moment of protest combined with those who were crying out for recognition was perhaps the most American moments of the entire afternoon.