Obama Faces the Frustrated and "Exhausted"
Normally, when a politician, regardless of their persuasion towards the left or right, holds a “town hall” meeting, the proceedings are usually kept relatively low key and relatively calculated. In more extreme cases, they might even be unabashedly scripted.
This was not exactly the case on Monday when Barack Obama made an appearance at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. for what was referred to as “a Wall Street to Main Street reality check” that “sounded like a therapy session for disillusioned Obama supporters.” No, ladies and gentlemen, there was no script or major calculation to the President’s appearance, or least that’s how it seemed anyway. There didn’t seem to be any plants, as has been implied with various town halls or debates held by past presidents.
It was dubbed “Investing in America,” a gathering of Americans from many walks of life and various locations in the political spectrum, some who voted for Obama and some who presumably did not, and airing their grievances and frustrations...to Obama’s face.
The first person to speak gave the president a somewhat larger jolt than if the world’s heaviest man was in bed and gave his wife a Dutch oven. This first questioner, who the New York Times felt it necessary to point out is African-American ahead of the fact that she is a mother, military veteran, and chief financial officer, very bluntly said, “I’m exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for.” She went on to state that “I’ve been told that I voted for a man who was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class and I’m waiting sir, I’m waiting. I still don’t feel it yet.”
In a way, this lady was expressing frustration that many who voted for Obama in 2008, and millions who did not, are feeling these days. Change was expected of this vibrant, young politician, and in a way, change was delivered in a fashion well below the expectations of many.
It was at least somewhat of a relief to know that the president had a general understanding of the gripes being thrown at him when he stated, “Even though economists may say the recession officially ended last year, obviously for the millions of people who are still out of work...it is still very real for them.” Reuters, however, reported that “Obama stuck to his guns, arguing the measures he had undertaken since taking office in January 2009 were slowly pulling the country back to health.” For a little bit of support, he can fall back on the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recent economic downturn that has often been referred to as the “Great Recession” ceased in 2009.Continued on the next page