August 5th, 2009
09:35 AM ET
5 years ago

President Obama heads back to familiar city

President Obama takes a question at a town hall in Elkhart, Indiana, earlier this year.
President Obama takes a question at a town hall in Elkhart, Indiana, earlier this year.

(CNN) – President Barack Obama heads back to a familiar place today: Elkhart, Indiana. Today's visit by the president will be the fourth time in the past 15 months that Obama's appeared in the northern Indiana city, known as the RV capital of the world.

On May 4, 2008, then-Sen. Obama of Illinois made a short stop in Elkhart, just days before the Indiana primary. At the time, Obama was in a fierce fight with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. Obama's campaign bus pulled up to Riverview Elementary School. He stepped out, shook hands, signed autographs and then played a quick game of basketball.

Days later, Obama narrowly lost Indiana's Democratic presidential primary to Clinton.

Obama returned to Elkhart on August 6. Hillary Clinton had dropped out of the race two months earlier, and Obama was in the heat of a general election battle with Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Joining Obama was Indiana's popular Democratic senator, Evan Bayh.

Obama took aim at his opponent. "John McCain started running a TV ad yesterday saying that Washington is broken. No kidding. It's taken him 26 years in Washington to figure that out. But here's the thing, Elkhart: I have trouble squaring that statement with Sen. McCain that Washington is broken and that politicians have failed."

Come November 4, Barack Obama narrowly won Indiana, becoming the first Democrat to take the state in a presidential election since 1964.

Fast forward to February 9 of this year, with President Obama in a battle to win passage of his economic stimulus package. He took his fight to an Elkhart town hall. "Now is the time to act," he said. "That's why I'm calling on Congress to pass this bill immediately. Folks here in Elkhart and all across America need help right now. They can't afford to keep waiting for folks in Washington to get this done."

The president came close to Elkhart in May, when he gave the commencement address at Notre Dame in nearby South Bend, Indiana.

Now he's back in a town suffering from the economic recession, with an unemployment rate nearing 20 percent - a point addressed Tuesday by the White House.

"Obviously the people in Elkhart know firsthand... the type of economic devastation that this country has seen over the past many, many months," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

The Republican National Committee hit back hours before the president's Wednesday event. "As Obama Visits Elkhart, Indiana For 4th Time In 15 Months, Citizens There Realize Promises Made Are Promises Broken," they said in a memo sent to reporters.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Chad

    Obama is a joke, he is destroying this country.

    August 5, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. joshua

    I really cannot wait until 2012 when Obama wins by the biggest landslide known to man. Repubs might start jumping off bridges lemmings style. lmao!

    August 5, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. Kyle

    I'm almost ashamed to call myself a republican... let the man speak, he crushed McCain in the election. Who are we few sore losers to decide what the country really wants? The country voted Obama!

    Bush would not have campaigned for anything this hard, he would've shoved it down someone's throat.

    August 5, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Mississippi Mike

    This confirms that the only thing Obama knows how to do is campaign. Not only that, he only knows how to campaign in a few cities. Pretty pathetic if you think about it.

    August 5, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. You can keep your change, Obama

    What could Obama possibly say to these people? Are you kidding me? What a joke. Obama is running this country into the ground.

    August 5, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. I believe in ceiling cat

    Shouldn't you be in washington trying to figure out how to fix our MASSIVE DEFECIT instead of trying to spend more?

    Did California nearly going bankrupt not teach you libs anything?!

    August 5, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. AJ

    When does this guy stop campaigning long enough to do the job to which he was elected???

    August 5, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. Pat F

    You'd better keep campaigning, Barry, because if this dog of a health care destruction bill gets signed into law, you'll be lucky to get 20% of the vote, no matter who the Republicans nominate.

    And keep calling hardworking police stupid in favor of your elitist friends, and saying that Americans cling to their guns and religion, and calling for a 10 year elimination of employer coverage, and...

    Every time he opens his trap, more Koolaid drinkers wake up to reality.

    August 5, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. Rushdittoheadbot

    God Bless President Obama and may he continue to drive the right wing nuts.

    August 5, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Dont blame me

    He is buying votes again.

    August 5, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. sharon

    Less see......republicans in charge for how long?
    Things fixed how soon?

    Obama in the pres. for just 6 months and already he has done more in 6 months that all the years of rep......

    Do they just not remember?

    Or do they just hope we will forget?

    We will not forget.

    Rep =NO.
    Obama = yes we can.

    August 5, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  12. Matthew

    I am still amazed someone as unqualified as Obama is President. It sure does give you hope that you can do anything as an American but it sure does not translate into a strong leader. Can he do anything other than public speaking like governing?

    August 5, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Thanks President Obama,your doing a fine job.I can tell because the rightwing jihadists are blowing a hooty.I get a good laugh everyday watching their agony and pain.hahaha

    August 5, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  14. moses

    Does this guy ever stay home and work?

    August 5, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. Don't be deceived bt greedy, lying, dishonest Insurance executives and fradulent lobbyists working for them.....

    People.... don't be deceived by dishonest lobbyists and Insurance company exec's. CNN....stop diluting the issue with polls taken every 24 hours. it's official....70% of ALL AMERICA wants health care INSURANCE REFORM. Refiblicans represent Insurance companies and their interests.

    August 5, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
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