Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I'm not bitter #17 - Barack Obama in 2004

Here's what Barack Obama had to say in an interview with Charlie Rose after his speech to the Democratic National Convention back in 2004:

There’s a town that I spoke about in my speech actually in Illinois that I think is representative of many towns in the Midwest: Galesburg, Illinois. They’ve got 36,000 people; they’ve lost 4,000 jobs in the last 2 years - 20% of their employment base collapses because companies move out to Mexico. So you sit down and talk to union workers, 50, 55 year old guys, who the best that’s being offered to them is retraining to be nurse’s assistants - these guys with beards, you know tough guys used to handling heavy machinery. They’re not optimistic about the prospects for them to be able to attain to the kind of economic security they had under the old system.

So they’ve got insecurity in their economic life. They don’t know where their health care is. They don’t know what is happening with their pension. What they do know is that they can go out with their friends and hunt and feel a sense of camaraderie. And there’s a connection between hunting and them going out with their father to hunt, just as there is a connection maybe for their wives to going to church and going with their grandmother to church. And if we don’t have plausible answers on the economic front and we appear to be condescending towards those traditions that are giving their lives some stability, then they’re going to opt for at least that Party that seems to be speaking to the things that still provide them something solid to stand on.

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