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The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

    Hanging on to hope

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA delivered the State of the Union address last night. Photo: Sarah Andrews

    On Jan. 20, 2009, President Barack Obama was inaugurat­ed as the 44th president of the United States after the Ameri­can people, inspired by hope and ready for change, elected him by an overwhelming majority. How­ever, in a year where polarizing debates over health care and the economy flooded the American political discourse, public support decreased and the momentum seen on Election Day now seems unfamiliar.

    Pollster, a organization that finds trend estimates from many of the major polling companies in the country, lists Obama’s job approval rating at 48.8 percent, with 46.7 percent in disapproval.

    Nevertheless, for the Drake students who played a pivotal role in both the caucus and gen­eral elections by interning or vol­unteering, the hope still remains after the first year of Obama’s presidency.

    Julia Conte, who graduated in last May and now is a graduate student at the University of Chi­cago, had a field internship dur­ing the Iowa caucuses. She said that by studying in the university that Obama once taught at and working in the neighborhood he had worked in as a community organizer, she has gained a tre­mendous respect for what he has done professionally.

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    “I think he’s made a positive push toward social policy in terms of education and heath care to a place where there’s more equal access,” she said. “I’m still a fan, obviously.”

    Among some of the issues President Obama spoke of in the State of the Union address last night, health care stood out. Junior English major Josie Berg-Hammond, who interned as a volunteer coordinator and precinct captain for the Obama campaign, looks to 2010 as the year a health care bill might fi­nally be signed into law.

    “I do hope that we keep mov­ing on health care,” she said. “I think it’s scary watching all the debates on health care and watching everybody flip back and forth. I look forward to some sort of settling coming. I hope that people on both sides of the is­sue can be helped in some way, but I don’t think it’s a completely one-sided thing. I just hope that whatever we finally figure out is something that isn’t going to di­vide us more.”

    Steven Bieret, a junior sec­ondary education major, assisted a field worker with voter regis­tration drives during the general election campaign. He said that change has already come in some re­spects.

    “I still have faith in President Obama,” he said. “It’s gone so fast and not a lot has happened, but if you do pay attention there are some things that have changed.”

    Some, including Vice President Joe Biden during the primaries, have called Obama’s call for hope and change empty rhetoric. Bieret said that the message of hope was exactly what the world needed.

    “If you look around the world, what President Obama has meant to not only us, but everywhere,” he said. “The clean slate—looking at Ameri­ca a different way than through eight years of people disliking us—I think the world looks at us differently.”

    Political pressure still remains as issues like “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the war in Afghanistan and the floun­dering job market fill the president’s plate. Berg-Hammond said that people shouldn’t expect Obama to accomplish all that he set out to do, but to be patient.

    “I think he’s up against a lot be­cause people expected him to be so perfect because they had so much hope for him, but when anything that isn’t perfect happens, they freak out,” she said. “It’s impossible to get every­thing right all the time.”

    For these students, the campaign was an amazing experience that they will cherish forever. Berg-Hammond said that she will continue to re­tain the hope from the campaign as Obama continues his tenure of the presidency.

    “I’m so happy I was in college when it happened and that I was able to put that much time in it and be young and stay up until 4 a.m. stapling packets together and walk around Des Moines talking to people about the campaign,” she said. “It’s awesome to say that I was a part of that.”

    DRAKE’S ROLE IN OBAMA’S VICTORY
    Sept. 5, 2008- Former Democratic Chairman Howard Dean visits campus.
    Sept. 18, 2008- Iowa Gov. Chet Culver campaigns for Obama in Aliber Hall.
    Sept. 26, 2008- “Superman Returns” actor Brandon Routh visits Drake.
    Oct. 15, 2008- Early Voting held in the OlmstedCenter.

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    • M

      MattFeb 2, 2010 at 9:38 pm

      There is absolutely no ideological or political balance to this piece. I can’t call it news, just an author and her sources spouting about how they “helped” the Obama campaign. Absolutely insignificant and un-newsworthy.

      This is unfortunately the kind of drivel one can now come to expect from campus political “reporting” these days. How about some hard questions, like why their hero Obama hasn’t come through on many of his campaign promises, or why his signature piece of legislation so far was a massive, bloated “stimulus” bill that cannot possibly achieve its stated goals?

      Maybe it’s a little too deep for a college paper, but how about some reporting on the effect of Scott Brown’s election in the People’s Republic of Taxachussetts? How about something on the newly needed bipartisanship?

      The impression I get from this piece is that there are at least 3-4 (probably a big-time underestimation) starry-eyed Obama supporters still willing to spout off on the Drake campus. Break the bubble that surrounds you, and welcome to reality!

      Reply
    • M

      MattFeb 3, 2010 at 3:38 am

      There is absolutely no ideological or political balance to this piece. I can’t call it news, just an author and her sources spouting about how they “helped” the Obama campaign. Absolutely insignificant and un-newsworthy.

      This is unfortunately the kind of drivel one can now come to expect from campus political “reporting” these days. How about some hard questions, like why their hero Obama hasn’t come through on many of his campaign promises, or why his signature piece of legislation so far was a massive, bloated “stimulus” bill that cannot possibly achieve its stated goals?

      Maybe it’s a little too deep for a college paper, but how about some reporting on the effect of Scott Brown’s election in the People’s Republic of Taxachussetts? How about something on the newly needed bipartisanship?

      The impression I get from this piece is that there are at least 3-4 (probably a big-time underestimation) starry-eyed Obama supporters still willing to spout off on the Drake campus. Break the bubble that surrounds you, and welcome to reality!

      Reply
    • A

      Aaron HarrisonJan 29, 2010 at 12:13 pm

      This is clearly news because we need to be aware of how delusional these people can get and how much help they really need.

      Reply
    • A

      Aaron HarrisonJan 29, 2010 at 6:13 pm

      This is clearly news because we need to be aware of how delusional these people can get and how much help they really need.

      Reply
    • O

      observerJan 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm

      how is this a news story? it’s written by someone who is an obvious obama supporter. What about the other side? what a joke.

      Reply
    • O

      observerJan 28, 2010 at 8:19 pm

      how is this a news story? it’s written by someone who is an obvious obama supporter. What about the other side? what a joke.

      Reply