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Ozren Jungic

Stumping for Obama

November 7, 2008

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Ozren Jungic’s voice is hoarse from cheering for Barack Obama. A fourth-year history and business administration major at SFU, he has just returned from a five-day stint in Virginia, stumping for the Obama campaign.

He spent his time there canvassing door-to-door and calling supporters to ensure they knew when and where to vote. In the wee hours of election day, he helped distribute leaflets saying “Vote Today”. And on election night, he waited on tenterhooks to see if Virginians would break with tradition and vote Democrat.

“I was very impressed with the sophistication and organization of the campaign,” says Jungic, who is president of SFU’s Young Liberals of Canada and volunteered for the Liberals during the Canadian election.

He paid his own way to Virginia, where he joined a handful of other Canadians, including SFU students Benjamin Lee and Wei Li and recent grad Glyn Lewis.
“I’m a student of American history and I wanted to be there when this happened,” he tries to explain. “And personally, I’m a fan. But I must admit I was surprised by how caught up I became in it.”

He attended Obama’s last campaign rally in Virginia, standing within 15 meters of the man. “He was an amazing speaker but I was struck by the crowd. I can’t imagine a more diverse crowd—white, black, Hispanic, native American, Muslim, young, old—crying and hugging.”

Once the Virginian election results came in, he and other excited supporters drove to Washington, D.C. to join the crowds at the White House and later, the Capitol. “It was one of the most impressive spectacles I’ve ever seen in my life,” he says. “People were jubilant, happy, hugging each other, crying and chanting.”

So why is Obama so compelling? “The man is the symbol of unity in America that people want to see,” suggests Jungic. “People are associating him with political ideals like the unity of humanity, and peace and participation.”
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