Published: Tuesday, September 23, 2003
Howard students had the opportunity to witness Carol Moseley Braun officially declare her candidacy to be President of the United States early Monday morning.
Promptly at 9:00 a.m., Braun entered the Gallery Lounge at Blackburn Center smiling widely to the students in attendance and press representatives, including CNN, C-Span, and Fox News. Her son, Matthew Braun than introduced her to the waiting crowd.
“I feel great that she came here. It is wonderful that she choose an HBCU to announce her candidacy. It gives me pride as a black woman and Howard student,” Sarah Lake, sophomore journalism major, said.
Braun began her speech by thanking the community, the students, and all her supporters for their faith in her and for opening their minds for her to have the opportunity to run for President.
“Students here at Howard are preserving democracy by being here and realizing this is not a spectator sport,” Braun said.
Braun declared she is fighting for inclusion for all and hope.
“I am here because this is a historical moment. This a very powerful time for women, especially African-American women. I am very proud to be here at Howard while history happens,” senior mathematics major Lakesha Robinson said.
Braun’s campaign slogan is “Peace, Prosperity, and Progress.” During her speech, she explored her campaign platform and where she stands on certain issues. Braun openly shared her opposition to the war in Iraq as well as how she will interact with the country if elected president.
Braun plans to ensure quality public education, health care, and security for all, regardless of race and status.
“As president, I will give you an America as good as it is promised,” Braun said passionately. “I can fix the problems of the current administration. I believe America is ready for the next step.”
A native of Chicago, Braun worked her way up the political ladder, starting at the state and county levels. As US senator, she was the first woman to serve on the Finance Committee of the US Senate.
“Out of the fourteen times I have run for office, I have won all but one,” Braun said. She engaged the audience and laughed with students as she shared her fight for lower interest rates on college loans.
“I am very happy that a black woman is a candidate for the US presidency. I am further delighted that the senator decided to speak with us here at Howard to declare her candidacy,” Cornell Williamson, former Howard University Student Association (HUSA) president, said.
Howard was the first of three stops for Braun in announcing her candidacy. Braun will also be visiting the campuses of Benedict College in South Carolina and University of Illinois at Chicago.
“We choose Howard because of its legacy as an HBCU and its location in the US capital. There is a large minority population in the Washington area and the primary will be held here in January,” Preston Bradley, Braun’s campaign office manager, said.
Although Braun expressed much hope for success as US President, she admitted that her campaign is extremely modest and on a low budget.
“I just do not have the resources to enlist large private donations. I have always depended on the support of the everyday people. Not just money, but their time and their vote,” Braun said.
After Braun’s speech she answered various questions from the audience about subjects ranging from Operation: Iraqi Freedom to the worldwide AIDS epidemic.
Not all Howard students had complete faith in Braun’s chance of victory, however.
“I hear a mother and a US citizen when she speaks. I do not believe the nation is ready for this type of candidate,” Alex Blackshire, theology graduate student, said.
Braun was the second of Democratic presidential hopefuls to visit Howard’s campus following Joe Lieberman.
“I felt very inspired,” Leah Taylor, senior marketing major said. “I am happy she spoke on the AIDS epidemic and actions she would take to help. I see good things to come from her.”