The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Hoping there is still some change to spare: resident perspectives

Despite the all-too-common student assumption that the Grinnell community is generally a conservative small town, Grinnell residents questioned said they voted for Obama in last year’s election and continue to support his presidency, through a little bit of thick and a lot of thin.

“I shared many of the same philosophical views with him,” said Grinnell resident Seth Kite, a school psychologist, said. “I saw him as a change, something that would be productive for our society.”

For Craig Cooper, owner of Bikes to You in downtown Grinnell, Obama represented what he said was a welcome change from the eight years of Former President George W. Bush’s executive reign. “I was hopeful that he represented a wholesale change from the Bush administration, primarily in respect to [U.S.] foreign policy and the ‘wars’ in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Cooper said.

As it turned out, the Grinnell residents questioned were not so tough on Obama, similar to views expressed by students and faculty. “I think you’re going to have a hard time finding [someone that does not support Obama],” said Stan Greenwald ’55, a retired Grinnell physician, an opinion that some may call patriotic, others one-sided.

Regardless of support for Obama, residents expressed issue with the media’s often positive treatment of Obama. “He’s certainly been a ‘media darling.’ As an Obama supporter, I recognize the media has not been very tough on him,” Cooper said.

Cooper cited the economy, more specifically “monetary policy,” as something the media could have been tougher on Obama about. “I am very, very apprehensive about the economic future of our country. The monetary policy in the last 18 months, which is not all Obama’s doing, is unprecedented,“ Cooper said. “There has been more money pumped into our economy in the last 18 months than there was in the previous 45 years—I don’t know if it’s exactly that, but it’s been very close.”

Cooper admitted he could not blame all of recent policies on Obama. After all, one-third of the time in which the money pumping into economy that Cooper described, was implemented while George W. Bush was still president.

On the other hand, Angela Harrington, president and CEO of the Grinnell area Chamber of Commerce said, “This is a brand new economy. I hope that most plans of the past are thrown out because this a whole new day.”

Harrington talked about a new level of government support to “keep the economy running.” She tied much of Obama’s proposed and enacted policy to the role of the local Chamber of Commerce and how it needed to take on a new role.

Despite his anxieties regarding Obama’s economic policies, Cooper pointed out that Obama is not the only figure responsible for enacting change. “It would appear that maybe his ideals have been shackled by Congress,” Cooper said. “It seems like he’s spent a fair amount of political capital trying to get some things done, and has not been super successful.”

Kite, too, was sympathetic to the difficulties Obama has faced with so much pressure placed seemingly solely on his shoulders. “I think Obama has a lot of different challenges as president, and it’s been difficult to implement change. Different parties have also made that even more difficult to do.”

Kite pointed to the need to combat these issues of cooperation in order to make progress. “I see him as a collaborator,” Kite said. “Finding that middle ground is important.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *