There are no political parties in times of need, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama told a crowd along Milwaukee's lakefront Monday, largely avoiding political themes as Hurricane Gustav battered the Gulf Coast.Read the full WisPolitics.com item
"In times of need, there are no red states or blue states," Obama said, bringing the crowd to its feet. "There is the United States of America."
Obama's speech, his second stop in Wisconsin in just more than a week, was billed as a rally for America's workers when first announced. But Obama instead called for a spirit of ongoing national unity during a campaign stop at the close of LaborFest.
Obama called upon Americans to carry the spirit of national unity found during times of calamity to and use it to help not only those suffering due to Gustav, but those suffering from "quiet storms," such as the loss of a job, economic uncertainty, living without health care, being unable to afford college or growing up in inner cities without hope.
"All across America there are quiet storms taking place," Obama said. "There are lives in quiet desperation, people in need of just a little help."
Obama said that although Americans are independent, they know that problems can happen to themselves or others at any time.
"What has always made this country great is the understanding that we rise and fall as one nation," Obama said. "The spirit that we extend today and in the days to come as we monitor what happens on the gulf, that's the spirit that we've got to carry with us each and every day. That's the spirit we need in our own homes, and that's the spirit we need in the White House."
Listen to audio of Obama's speech