January 23rd, 2008
05:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Real People, Real Issues: The Pink Slip

Employment insecurity is driving the votes of many.

Employment insecurity is driving the votes of many.

Veda Hardy received a present last Christmas that no one would want. Had it arrived by postage, she would have handed it back to the mailman with a simple message: Return to Sender.

Hardy said she was one of 80 people laid off by her company in December 2006, while another 350 workers from another business nearby were let go. At 46, receiving a pink slip can be particularly hard. But Hardy, who lives in nearby Searcy, decided to do something about it. She went back to school.

Hardy had seen coverage of our cross country trip from South Carolina to California, where we are making stops along the way to talk to Americans about how the economy is impacting their lives, and possibly their votes.

She approached us to say that the number issue for her is job creation.

“I am currently going to school with a lot of 40-plus age bracket, and I think our concerns are with the job market,” Hardy said.

The issue of jobs even trumped Iraq, a war her son served in for 14 months as a gunner on a M1 Abrams Tank. She supports the U.S. efforts in Iraq and quotes her son about how we hear very little about the achievements being made in the war torn country.

“We tend to look at the negative so much of the war, of the cost, and yes we have loss of lives, oh my goodness,” Hardy said. “But he came home and said ‘Mom you just don’t hear the news reporting about getting electricity, getting running water, clean water. Women can vote.’”

Still, for Hardy it is about jobs.

“We just need more businesses brought back into our community, and especially the smaller communities, the ones that are hometown communities,” she said. “We need that economy, we need that boost, we need the manufacturers to come into these small towns, and give people that are out in the rural areas an opportunity to boost their income.”

For now, Hardy does not have to worry about a job. But when she graduates with a degree in marketing and management, she fears that will change.

“My concern is when I get done in December am I going to have a job after or am I going to have to relocate to some place like Memphis or St. Louis or Fayetteville,” she said.

Hardy said she is voting for the state’s former governor, Mike Huckabee, on Super Tuesday. She likes his stand on the flat tax, and his commitment to children’s health care.

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Angel Valenzuela

    Hillary needs to start acting like a President Not A high schooler with a Playground fued whats next " after school im gonna have bill kick your butt " !!
    come on I hope they realize that california isnt so carolina and out here we wanna see leadership not snipping !!!

    January 23, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. Mike T

    Outsourcing and immigrant visas tend to do that – and you can thank the Clintons. As then president, Bill Clinton expanded H-1 and L-1 visas to bring in millions of immigrant visa workers. As senator, Hillary Clinton brought TATA Consulting, the #1 outsourcer of American jobs to India into NY. Combine these immigrant visa workers taking high tech and skilled jobs with George Bush's open border that allows unlimited low cost unskilled workers, and you can see clearly what Lou Dobbs has been screaming about for years – and why people are finally waking up to the fact that we have a serious problem with jobs in the US.

    January 23, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  3. Deb

    For me it is about Electing a President that can unite this Country , and that is sure not the CLINTONS.

    January 23, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. C. Marie

    I wish americans could afford electricity clean water and healthcare. I have a job in retail and know that with the ways things are going I will have to get more education and be ready for something else or I will be in trouble. I encourage my children to do well in school and ca only hope in a few years when they go to college we will be able to find some other moneys to supplement their tuition.

    All that said it scares me about where we are in america that there is still somebody supporting that crackpot Huckabee A minister who threatens to tell me where to stick a flagpole is not the conventional idea of a Christian conservative.

    January 23, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  5. Tejano Tater

    Gee golly wizbang....it's AWFULLY STILL AND QUIET IN HERE..HERE..HERE...here...here...hello...hello...hello...echo chamber...is that CRICKETS I HEAR CHIRPING????

    Wonder where all the rabidly anti-American propaganda spewing DEMOCRAT LIEBERALS are with their usual venom, and spiteful bile blurping and belching against America's men and women serving OUR nation in harms way PROTECTING the people of Iraq from the LEFT'S jihadist/communist internationally recruited terrorist buddies???

    Is there actually beginning to be signs of PEACE in Iraq? As opposed to all the DEATH and VIOLENCE that the left sooooOOOoo longed for in order to ensure a victory in the 2008 elections??? Could it be that our "good", "PEACE ACTIVIST LEFT" isn't very HAPPY that PEACE could be REALLY HAPPENING RIGHT NOW??? WHERE ARE YOU ,OH DEAR LEFTISTAS???....Hello??? HEY...HEY...hey..hey....

    Where have all my lefty pals disappeared to...hmm...crickets...chirp..chirp...

    January 23, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  6. Romney = Economy

    This is the time we need a stong business like President.

    When economy Romney said JOBS JOBS JOBS he earned my vote.

    Rambo McCain is more interested in a nuclear launch and pushing that button.

    January 23, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  7. mr.fair tax


    January 23, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  8. Pink Slip Mcain

    McCain could careless about jobs, he wants to be comander and chief of the rmy without out economic muscle we can't have that bigg deterence we need.

    Romney brought the world together at the Olympics he can bring the world together in global sanctions against threats.

    Economy Romney seems to be catching on, the other candidates tax plans seem like a far fetched joke.

    January 23, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  9. Anti Clintons

    God for her, this is what the Clintons will do to the country if they get into office again, go after company's that have a large work force. don't vote for these fools. If you do, that is what you deserve.

    January 23, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  10. charlotte

    They are all over on the Clinton and Obama Radio Ads . Spewing the usual venom. If Obama had his way we should get rid of Wal-Mart. Their anti-union stance is unacceptable to him. Well, let me clue you all in, all companies are anti-union. They have changed their policies a lot. They hire a lot of people and many seniors who can't make it on social securty. I shop at Wal-Mart, some of the best prices in town, not to mention a place to park your RV overnight.

    January 23, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  11. hillabeans

    She should get a job picking tomatoes with with tejano tater.If your so hot on WAR sign up for the border patrol .Maybe your not legal JOSE.LOL

    January 23, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  12. C. Marie


    I do advocate peace as do many of my conservative friends. Peace isn't left or right wing, it is just preferred. I am a little alarmed at your blood thirstiness.

    As for spewing venom against serving men and women, when? Every American has been touched by this war through family, church, friend or coworker. No, liberals do not hate our sons and daughters who are at war, we in fact love them so much it breaks our heart to see them put in harms way, especially when it seems so unnecessary.

    As for peace happening right now, please remember that no one said putting more of our children in Iraq would not momentarily suppress violence. The proof of the success of the surge is not in this temporary lull but in the ablilty of us to bring our family back home without the violence rising again. Some people seem to have forgotten that we do not want them over there a hundreds years. We want them home to raise their children. We want them home because yes, we leftist liberals are selfish and want our husbands and wives home to be with us.

    January 23, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  13. Tempered

    My first thought when reading "tejano's" post:
    Now who's gone and let Dubya onto the internet??

    You tell 'em, C. Marie.

    Just because we oppose the Iraq war doesn't mean we don't support the troops. We support them and want them home safe and sound, not getting blown up fighting this *particular* war. (For example, you didn't hear a lot of anti-war talk about Afghanistan, did you?) How hard is that to understand??? Stop your rabid, brainwashed diatribe for a minute and think about it, "tejano".

    January 23, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  14. charlotte

    My grandson is a Marine fighting in Irac and he tells me not to listen to CNN,FOX etc. He says the average Iracies love America, it's the extremist that are the problem. We are here to help them, and they appreciate it. He said this after I came down on the whole country. I said they don't care for anyone, not even themselves. He made me rethink this mess, maybe they do care. He is there not me.

    January 23, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  15. David in KC

    Hey C. Marie, Best not to feed the trolls.

    January 23, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  16. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    C. Marie

    Thanks for the most intelligent response... I just wish tejano would have the decency not stop trying to bait us liberals into a fight, espcially when no fight was warranted in this case (at least not as of this posting).


    spiteful bile blurping and belching

    This in a nut-shell describes your very own post....grow up and act like an adult. Fact is, us liberals have different opinions than you and for the most part I can at least respect the opinions of the standard bearers of the GOP, even if I don't agree with them. You, on the other hand prefer to go on a tangent whose only purpose is to bait other liberals into a blogging fist fight. Nice try, I'd rather spend time debating a real thought provoking conservative.

    January 23, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  17. jclonestar


    Although you may believe what we want is for more blood to flow that is not the case, what we truly want is true leadership that represents the people of this country. As we can utimatley see poor leadership has delivered countless mistakes that will take years and possibly decades to correct.

    January 24, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  18. Bridget

    Corporated Giants take jobs away from the citizens of the United States of America and the executives make profits with the stock exchange!!!!!!!

    Corporate Lawyer from a Retail Giant does not have any respect for the American People!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    War is an Issue and a Corporate Lawyer should not be involved in any speculation of what is righ for the citizens of the United States of America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 24, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  19. S H Connerry

    Everyone seems to be hating the Iraq war.I beleived the American have lost their meaning of Freedom and peace.Freedom have a cost and if we did not try to bring peace in Iraq and fight the terrorist,the terrorist will followed us home.It's better to fight over there than fight over here.Has American forget about 9/11?They came to us...Trust me,I'm a muslim and even Koran did not encourages us to create war but people uses the word Jihad just for political uses.All of us wants our brother,sister,fathers,and husband home but we have to realised,it might seems pointless now but we are creating a better future for our kids and grandkids against the terrorist.For now I SUPPORT THE TROOPS

    January 24, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  20. JohnS

    Before and immediately after IOWA, Edwards was SEEN as ANGRY; yes, very different and ANGRY. How short minded are we as a nation?

    In NH, Hillary cried being close to losing to a "black man." Women rushed to her rescue to save the day. Now, Bill is out there daily. If Hillary wins this nomination, can we say that she did it at the backs of women and her MAN? I guess it is hard for such people to stand alone!!!

    Well, after all the previous and ongoing negative commercials about a "black man," are we to say that he has no RIGHT whatsoever to CLEAR his own GOOD name even if he does not get your vote?

    I guess the reasons above validate the thinking for NOT taking the "popular votes" very seriously; thanks to the ELECTORAL COLLEGE, there are tons of simply "ill-informed" people out there who should certainly stay out the voting process; the system cannot depend on the judgments of such people. As a result, your popular votes will really count LESS, thank GOD!!!!

    January 24, 2008 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  21. Donald

    I am absolutely sure that Tejano has NO liberal "friends"!

    January 24, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  22. Donald

    I am absolutely sure that Senor Tejano has NEVER had a liberal friend!

    January 24, 2008 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  23. Donald

    Or perhaps NO friends at all!

    January 24, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  24. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    electricity? for part of the day... in some places. Running water? still very limited. Woman in Iraq had more rights under Saddam than most Middle Eastern Countries. Wasn't it Afghanistan that women voted for the first time, not Iraq?

    If everything is great, everyone has a purple finger, an elected government and their constitution, why are we still there after 4,000 Americans have died, 10's of thousands have been horribly wounded and trillions of dollars poured into the desert sands, then declare victory and come home.

    You "want gold stars" for just beginning to put a country back together after you've ripped the infrastructure to shreds and killed over 150,000 of its citizens?

    As for nasty rhetoric, watch our for "common taters" ... no one does angry and bitter better than the grim old party supporters.

    January 24, 2008 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  25. Tikara, Warsaw, Indiana

    Peace and a lull in violence are 2 different things, we all want peace, Left or Right makes no differance. We Pray for peace same as everyone else, however we also know that getting all the sides together in a country that has been fighting amonst themselves over religous idealogy for hundreds of years, isn't going to stop because all of a sudden we decide to make them.

    I get upset when we're asked to send our troops over there, then not asked to sacrifice anything here to help in the war effort, when we have soldiers returning and we have facilities well below standards for them to convelese in, or when a soldier has died and our media has been banned from showing the coffins cause that makes Americans feel bad about the war. And all this is for what?? What were we there for, cause Bush knew they didn't have weapons, and that they didn't help Bin Ladden, so why are we there?? Why did those men and women have to die, what did they die for?

    January 24, 2008 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
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