Posted tagged ‘obama’

Elon and Burlington residents expect Obama to discuss economy in Inaugural Address

December 11, 2008

Miriam Williamson

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

At 8 a.m. on a rainy first day of exams, President-elect Barack Obama’s inaugural address was the last thing on Elon students’ minds. Instead, they were either sleeping, studying or starting exams.

Some simply had no opinion, others were “too busy to care right now” and there was even the embarrassingly uninformed response of, “Oh, I didn’t watch it yet.”

But outside of the bubble, Elon and Burlington residents are well-aware of what an important part of history is in the making. The words economy, turmoil, mess and help all seemed to be top words on everyone’s mind.

Residents express concern for economy

“I think it’ll be a big event,” said Glen Rudd, a retired Burlington resident. “I hope he’ll get across the points that he had in his campaign. The economy is the main thing … and Iraq. I’m looking forward to seeing if he can do what he said he can do. I didn’t vote for him but I’m behind him.”

Other residents shared a similar concern for the economy.

“Obviously he needs to talk about the economy,” said Kim Debrito, a Burlington resident and mom of two. “Just here locally people are losing their jobs left and right … so job loss and what he’s going to do to turn it around.”

Even residents who did not support Obama are eager to see what he will do to improve the economy.

“I hope he gives ideas to help the economy,” said Pat Christie, an Elon resident. “It can’t get much worse.”

“In general the economy and specifically the automotive bailout need to be addressed,” said William Barham, a 1960 Elon alumnus.

Junior Sammi Miller expressed concern for the individual industries being affected by the current economic situation as well.

“I think it’s important to work on the auto industry because that’s a mess,” Miller said. “I think also he should say something about the tribune company and that our print media is really having an issue right now keeping afloat, and that’s the biggest source for in-depth news.”

Aside from the economy, residents expressed concern for every aspect of Obama’s plans to help the country, from medicare to education.

“I want to see what’s going to happen,” said Robby Wheatly, an Insurance Adjustor in Burlington. “I don’t know if there’s anything specific he should address; there are just so many problems. He’s not going to be able to address it all in one speech. The bailout and his new medicare system are probably the most important topics I can think of.”

Elon senior Leah McLeod couldn’t pinpoint a single idea she wants Obama to discuss, but she wants him to show concern for those who have supported him.

“Already a lot of people have given him a hard time and we’re not seeing a change,” McLeod said. “I’m pretty liberal and it seems like right now conservatives are thinking he’s doing an OK job so I think he needs to make some liberals happy. Just as far as  a very specific plan goes to bring change to America.”

Obama’s inaugural ceremonies, which will take place on Jan. 20, 2009, will have the theme of “A New Birth of Freedom,” according to Ian Bauder with The Washington Times.

Elon experiences the inauguration

The junior class of Elon teaching fellows will have the unique opportunity to be in Washington, D.C., to experience the event first-hand in January.

Janice Richardson, Associate Professor at Elon and Director of N.C. Teaching Fellows Program, said this will be a moment they will all remember for the rest of their lives.

“They will be there in the midst of everything, all the emotions,” Richardson said. “That’s something they will be able to tell their grandchildren. This is such a historical event, and being there in the moment is so exciting.”

Like everyone else, Richardson expressed concern for the economy. But her biggest concern was the future her students will be highly involved in.

“I hope he addresses the future of education,” Richardson said. “I think that is something the students will also be concerned about and want to hear.

As Obama begins his term, his inaugural speech will be an important way to set the tone for his presidency. People are primarily concerned about the future of the economy and want to hear what Obama plans to do to fix it.


Barack Obama wins election, Elon students celebrate

November 5, 2008

By Miriam Williamson

Elon students join the parade to celebrate Obama's victory.

Elon students join the parade to celebrate Obama

As Barack Obama claimed victory, hundreds of Elon students opted to skip his acceptance speech and instead rallied to show their excitement and pride. The group started small, but as it marched through campus more and more students joined despite the rain.

The crowd grew to hundreds of students and could be heard chanting “Obama,” “Yes, we can,” and “Yes, we did,” from the opposite side of campus.

dsc_1266c“I was walking out to go to Varsity and I heard a commotion in the distance,” freshman Adam Lawson said. “I decided to go see what it was all about and I decided to join up.

The group culminated in a giant circle at Young Commons, joined hands and sang the national anthem. Afterward, everyone rushed to the center.

At the innermost circle of the mob, one student encouraged everyone, regardless of religion or beliefs, to say “The Lord’s Prayer” together. The hundreds of students’ voices could be heard echoing across campus in unison.

“It was like nothing I’d ever seen before,” Lawson said.



Video by Derek Noble

Obama refuses to ignore middle class, economic crisis

September 30, 2008

Democratic presidential nominee holds rally in Greensboro

Miriam Williamson

Sept. 29, 2008

GREENSBORO, N.C. — As the economic crisis worsens, Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, says the priority should be meeting the needs of the people of Main Street before the people of Wall Street. In his speech at a rally here Saturday, Obama, who was joined by his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, focused on the economic changes he would make as president to help release America from its current financial quagmire.

“We need a president who will fight for the middle class every single day,” Obama said. “And that is exactly what I will do when I am in the oval office as president.”

A crowd of Carolinians holding signs and shouting “Obama” and “Yes we can” greeted Obama and Biden.

“I love North Carolina,” Obama said. “Every time we come to North Carolina we end up having a great experience. The people here are some of the best people in the country.”

A subject both Biden and Obama focused on was the seeming lack of concern his opponent, Republican Sen. John McCain, has for the middle class.

“More important than what we heard from McCain was what we didn’t hear from McCain,” Obama said of the first presidential debate Friday evening in Oxford, Miss.

During the debate, McCain failed to mention the middle class once, Obama said.

“The truth is, through 90 minutes of debate, John McCain had a lot to say about me,” Obama said. “But he had nothing to say about you.”

The Economic Crisis

Obama said that he, on the other hand, has a plan to help middle-class Americans and the United States get out of their economic crisis.

He plans to cut taxes for 95 percent of all working families, he wants to implement lower tax rates than those enacted by former President Ronald Reagan. He said his plan offers three times the tax relief for middle-class families than McCain’s does, which encouraged Greensboro resident Katana Sinclair.

“I’m going to vote for him because I’m from the middle class and everything he said is basically what we’re going through,” Sinclair said.

Obama also pledged to stop giving tax breaks to companies that outsource jobs overseas. Instead, he will give them to companies who will help alleviate the high unemployment rate by offering jobs in the United States.

As for the $700 billion bailout plan, Obama said he would not accept it without four core conditions:

1. It requires an independent board compromised of both Democrats and Republicans to “provide oversight and accountability” so that the money is used in the most efficient way possible.

2. Taxpayers need to be treated as investors. He said he thinks Americans should get back the money that is put into this plan once the economy stabilizes.

3. Assistance must be provided to individual Americans who have been greatly impacted by the economic failings.

4. The agreement should not create a “welfare plan for Wall Street.” He said many CEOs are unwilling to help the rest of the country in this time of crisis, saying they are in greedy and selfish positions.

“We cannot and simply will not bail out Wall Street without helping the millions of innocent homeowners,” he said.

Obama explained that one of his main reasons for choosing Biden as his running mate is because he is familiar with what many Americans are experiencing today.

“The reason I’m so proud to have Joe with me [is that] he knows what it’s like to struggle,” Obama said. “He knows what it’s like to see your father or your mother pinch pennies a little to get by.”

Obama said the United States must live up to its economic promise: That everyone has the opportunity to make it.

“America prospers when all of America prospers,” he said.


“Now is finally the time to provide every child with a world-class education,” he said.

To do this, Obama wants to raise salaries for teachers and raise the standards for education.

He said teachers should not be teaching to the end-of-grade tests because that only prepares students to pass exams. It doesn’t give them a world-class education.

Greensboro resident Victoria Kearns said her concern for her children is the reason she is going to vote for Obama.

“My kids need hope for the future,” she said. “A great education and opportunities.”

Obama also wants to make it possible for more Americans to attend college. He promised that young people who work for the country in programs such as the Peace Corps and the U.S. Army will be ensured the opportunity to attend college.

“If you are willing to invest in America, then we are going to invest in you,” he said.

Taking on McCain

Obama said the amount of money being spent on the war in Iraq is not appropriate considering the economic crisis Americans are experiencing at home.

“[McCain] had nothing to say [in the debate] about the fact that more and more Americans can’t afford to pay for a college education,” Obama said. “Sen. McCain talked again and again for the need to spend $10 billion in Iraq.”
Biden expressed concern that McCain is not even knowledgeable about the situation in Iraq.

“We cannot afford a commander in chief who does not know where the central front of the war on terror is,” Biden said. “He does not instill confidence.”

Regardless of all the troubles the United States faces, Obama said he is confident it is possible to make the changes necessary to move past it all.

“Here in America our destiny is not written for us, it’s written by us,” he said. “Nothing can stop us when we are together. I know times are hard. I will not pretend that bringing about change will be easy.”

He said President George W. Bush has dug the American people into a hole and that John McCain will continue to carry the shovel.

“It’s going to take time to dig ourselves out,” Obama said. “If you want the next four years looking like the last eight I’m not your candidate. But if you want real change, I need you to give me your vote.

Video by Derek Noble and Kaitlin Buck from The Pendulum