Young Democrats At DNC Chime In: Are ‘Hope And Change’ Still Alive?

MTV News talks to young voters at the Democratic National Convention to find out what they expect from President Obama.

As the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, ramped up on Tuesday, many young people across the country were wondering if “hope and change,” a common theme from Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008, are still alive. Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said just last week that “hope and change has become attack and blame.”

Tuesday night, First Lady Michelle Obama took the stage at the DNC to send a different message, reminding the audience that “we are playing a long game here. … Change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once.”

When MTV News caught up with Common, the rapper echoed much of what Mrs. Obama said in her speech. “It’s a process,” Common said, adding that the president needs to “come up with different strategies to go to where the young people are and get their attention.” Jack Fader, 21, added, “I didn’t expect to wake up on January 22, 2009, and say, ’Oh my god, everything is better’ — that’s just not realistic.”

Many of the young delegates acknowledged the problems young people are facing: a rough economy, a hard job market and rising student loans.

In her speech, the First Lady attempted to address these issues head on, saying, “Barack has fought so hard to increase student aid and keep interest rates down, because he wants every young person to fulfill their promise and be able to attend college without a mountain of debt.”

But young people are ready to hear more specifics on what the next four years will bring. “I really want to know his specific plan for the cost of education,” Nadia Farjood, 21, told MTV News. “I am really excited to see about what he will do for students in public service. … I want to hear more specifics.”

Alejandra Salinas, 22, made a point of saying the President was just getting started. “In 2008, we were changing the guard. In 2012, we are guarding the change,” Salinas said. “Since President Obama has taken office, he has passed so much legislation that is dramatically changing our generation. He’s doubled the investment of Pell Grants, he ended the war in Iraq, he repealed ’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ … These are tangible examples of how college students are being impacted by the president’s incredible policies.”

What did you think of Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention? Leave your comment below!