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August 01, 2014

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Obama’s got a friend

Singer James Taylor performs at the Barack Obama support event in Blowing Rock. Photo by Kellen Moore
Singer James Taylor performs at the Barack Obama support event in Blowing Rock. Photo by Kellen Moore
Published: 8:53 AM, 10/18/2012

Source: The Blowing Rocket

Musician James Taylor visited the High Country on Oct. 5 with a singular mission: to raise money and enthusiasm for the re-election of President Barack Obama.

With only a few days remaining before early voting begins, Taylor, at the Obama field office in downtown Boone and at a longer concert and dinner at Westglow Resort & Spa in Blowing Rock, encouraged Democrats to stay active.

“We need another four years of healing,” Taylor said to campaign volunteers in Boone. “We need another four years of good government.”

Taylor, whose fame exploded in the 1970s with hits such as “Fire and Rain,” “You’ve Got a Friend” and “Carolina in My Mind,” played several of those fan favorites at both stops Friday.

He punctuated the songs with commentary about the state of the nation, volleys against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and a few jokes.

Taylor spoke of his grandmother, born in 1891, who would walk to the mailbox in older days to pick up her Social Security check.

“That enabled her to stay in her house well into her 80s,” Taylor said. “She would have never thought of herself as a victim or someone on the dole or on the take.”

The crowds at each of the events were in stark contrast. At the field office in Boone, spectators included a number of young Obama volunteers, although numbers were diminished with ASU on fall break.

At Westglow Resort and Spa, the audience included plenty of party faithful, but also a few candidates themselves: Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, who is running for governor, U.S. House candidate Elisabeth Motsinger, N.C. Senate candidate Roy Carter, N.C. House candidate Cullie Tarleton and others.

Tickets for that event ranged from $500 for “youth” younger than 30, $1,000 for adults and $2,500 for packages that included the performance, dinner and a conversation with Taylor.

Taylor’s schedule this year has included numerous such fundraisers and performances, and the singer-songwriter said he always enjoys addressing “gatherings of people doing the right thing.”

Lori Wiederspiel of Boone, a volunteer working to re-elect Obama, said she was proud to be among her fellow volunteers on that exciting day.

“We really feel like we’re a part of something, more so than in 2008,” she said.

Bob Cambron of Blowing Rock walked away from the concert at Westglow on Friday with a smile on his face and kind words for Taylor.

 “He’s very heartfelt in his passion for the president,” Cambron said. “We share that.”

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