By Laura Smith
December 11, 20008
In exactly 40 days, President-elect Barack Obama will be sworn into office and give his first address as President of the United States. Many are anxious for what he has to say and the main issues he will address.
The Elon community is one of the many populations that have an opinion about what they would like to see in his address.
DiAnne Enoch, Town of Elon City Clerk, would like to see Obama discuss the economy.
“Everyone is affected by the economy and everyone is expecting a solution to that,” she said.
With the recent recession, the economic situation of the country has been written about on the front pages of hundred of newspapers in the past week.
Obama explained to the American people that 533,000 jobs were lost in November, making it “the single worst month of job loss in over three decades,” in an address given on December 6.
Obama also announced that he has asked his economic team to develop a recovery plan for “both Wall Street and Main Street” which he hopes will save or create at least 2 and a half million jobs.
Clerk is optimistic about Obama’s recovery plan but is being realistic about its timeline.
“What he’s done and said thus far is great but it’s not going to happen immediately,” she said. “The economy has to come back from eight years of havoc; people need to be patient. It’s going to take the whole cabinet and everyone working together.”
Clark is looking forward to hear what Obama has to say.
“I want to hear what we can look forward to, what can gives us some hope,” she said.
“I also hope he will acknowledge God to lead him in his decisions.”
Mike Milano, Elon University junior, wants to hear a specific plan for the country in Obama’s inaugural speech.
“The stuff he says is fairly legitimate and it has the potential to be really beneficial to the country, Milano said.
“If he follows through and gives us a plan, step- by -step, then I think that will be alright.”
Milano also wants to hear about the country’s situation with other nations.
“There has been so much animosity towards the country but when he [Obama] got elected everyone [people in other countries] was really happy,” Milano explained.
“I’m hoping he’ll have some kind of foreign policy that addresses that.”
Sarah Hindle, Milano’s fellow peer and Elon junior, feels as though the most important thing Obama can discuss in his speech is “the war and his plan for withdrawal.”
“I just hope he’ll talk more about what his plans are for the future and get our troops out,” she said.
Jay Anhorn, Director of Greek Life at Elon University, wants to hear about Obama’s plan for higher education most.
He wants to hear about “higher education, and education in general,” he explained. He is also hoping to hear about “funding, financial aid and more open access to people for not only state but also private school funding.”
“There’s been talk and discussion in higher education circles about if parents are losing their jobs or funding is not as available,” Anhorn said.
“Elon’s investments didn’t take too much of a hit because we had some great investing… but if other schools are taking the hit, they can’t offer as much financial aid. What we’re finding is that a lot of schools that may be considered second tier for students coming in are being flooded with applications because it’s more affordable.”
“I’m wondering what his thoughts are on how to help that because that $700 billion bailout is going to affect corporations and businesses in the private sector but I’m wondering what his plan is for the higher education debt.”
Retired insurance agent and Burlington resident, Ruth Proctor, is mostly concerned with ethical issues she wants Obama to address.
“I would like for him to do away with partial birth abortion and gay marriage; they are wrong,” she said. “I do pray for him that he does do the right thing.”
Proctor also hopes Obama will address the elderly and the issues that surround this population.
“He needs to do something for the elderly that have worked all their lives,” she said.
Proctor doesn’t believe he can do anything about health care though she said.
She is also concerned about another stimulus check from Obama similar to the one given by former President Bush, which she was not happy about.
“The elderly and the poor people got the least money and the rich people got the most; that’s just turned around to me.”
Eleonore Dunn, the owner of Eleonore’s Hair Design hair salon in Burlington, is also concerned about Obama’s plan for the poor.
“I have customers who need help,” she said. “I have one woman who gets food stamps for $10 a month, what can you buy for $10 a month?
The American audience as well as the Elon community will just have to wait to hear what Obama has to say in January.
DiAnne Clark sees a good future during Obama’s presidency.
“The people have wanted a change,” she said. “He will be the one initiate the change, I really believe that.”