The Herald BUlletin - OBAMA: Talking Job Loss, Lagging Economy
"Families in Madison County make over $7,000 less than other American families," said U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., on Saturday at Anderson High School. The Democratic presidential candidate held a town hall meeting before a crowd of 1,500 and began his speech by addressing the economic situation in Anderson and other Indiana communities.
Obama referring to the 2007 closure of Delphi, emphasizing that such job loss does not only impact workers. "The whole community takes a blow."
The senator said some had asked him why he did not wait to run for the presidency when he was older.
"In such circumstances, we cannot afford to wait," Obama explained. "We can't wait because the families across America are having a tough time. I was convinced that the American people are ready to do better."
A familiar face
Anderson's Tiffany Dzerve shared the stage with the senator, explaining her own life in post-GM Anderson. Dzerve, one of many workers who received buyouts, said the severance did not include insurance. With two young children, Dzerve and her husband, Chad, were unable to afford health coverage. "It costs my family $1,600 a month," she said.
Obama told the crowd of his time in Chicago, working in depressed neighborhoods that had been adversely affected by steel mill closures.
"People from all walks of life came together," he said, proclaiming that communities like Anderson were not unlike those he worked with in Chicago. "What is true for Chicago is true for America. It is true for Indiana. It is true for Indiana."
Before mentioning his Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama focused on GOP's presumptive nominee, Sen. John McCain.
"He's a genuine American hero," Obama said, "but John McCain is running for George Bush's third term."
Obama said McCain's plans for handling the war in Iraq and other American issues mirrored those of the current president. "We can't afford four more years of failed foreign policy."
Referring to McCain's comment that the economy was making great progress, Obama said, "He must not be talking to the people in Anderson.
"The straight-talk express lost a wheel," Obama joked, referencing McCain's comments.
"I know they don't want four more years of Bush's economic policy," Obama said, sending the crowd into applause.