September 23rd, 2008
12:34 PM ET
14 years ago

Greene: A message to the candidates: "This is not a game"

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Nelson Roe, from left, Crystall Brandfass and Paula Smith are feeling the economic crunch."]


CAMBRIDGE, Ohio (CNN) - There are moments - sometimes fleeting and quiet - that make you stop and consider anew just how much is at stake on that day in November when a new president will be elected.

And some of those moments carry not even a sliver of partisanship. Not a hint of anger or acrimony.

We had pulled into Cambridge, Ohio, for lunch. It was a sunny afternoon in the town of 13,000, with a farmers' market on the courthouse lawn across from the Advantage Bank building. The setting felt like a vintage postcard; the local newspaper, the Jeffersonian, featured stories about a "Bark in the Park" event for the dogs of Guernsey County, and an announcement of the cast for the Deersville Community Players' fall theatrical production, "A Wing and a Prayer."

Some staff members of the bank came outside, and we started talking about the campaign, and one of them - Paula Smith, 43, a loan processor - said:

"I hope the candidates ask themselves sometimes if they're being completely honest with us about everything they put on the table."

I asked her what she meant.

"All this bashing of each other - I hope when they lay their heads down at night, they think about that. Because there are a lot of us out here who are depending on whoever wins, and I hope that in the middle of all the things they're saying, they pause once in a while to think about that."

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Filed under: Bob Greene • Economy • Election Express • Uncategorized
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Lala

    That's exactly how I feel. I am an Obama Supporter and while I know the road would not be easy, I hope each and every one of them are somewhat going to be accountable

    September 23, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. Shane

    But the Republicans were in charge of both the White House and Congress from 2001-2007. Aren't they to blame for this mess?

    Come on, Ohioans, you have an opportunity to make up for voting for Bush in 2000 and 2004.

    Time for a change!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 23, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. CR in WI

    I hope the loan officer thinks to herself as she lays her head down to sleep:
    "Do I want a president and Vice president who will look me in the eye and lie without blinking?"

    See: "She sold it on e-bay, For a Profit!"


    September 23, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. IWASP!-Intellgent Woman Against Sarah Palin!

    Please tell that to John Mccain and the pathological liar Sarah Palin that you would like to hear the issues because while Barack and Biden have been defending themselves against their brutal attacks and lies they have been defining his plans to run this country. I have yet to hear how Mccain or Palin will and mccain has been campaigning for almost two years.

    September 23, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. Shari, NY

    Everybody is feeling the economic crunch. Whoever wins the presidency has my condolences for trying to resurrect the dead. Whoever said that Sen. Obama does not have a plan is misinformed. He does have one but I bet if he reveals everything, Bonnie and Clyde will steal his ideas and flaunt them.

    September 23, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. VIRGINIA will be blue

    The republican party is treating this like it's a game. They are trying to get peoples focus off of the economy when that is what is on everyones mind. All the lies the McLame camp has put out, you tell me whose playing games.

    September 23, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. Roland

    Awww, Paula Smith, it all depends on which house they are in as to which pillow they lay their head down on at night. Vote for the candidate with one house.

    September 23, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Bruce

    I agree as this has been the nastiest campaign that I can remember, and they both need to focus on programs to make this country great again.

    September 23, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Lawrence

    You have a candidate in front of you with 26 years of fighting for wall street deregulation, less government oversight, against healthcare, for privatizing social security, and was a part of a previous financial crisis (Keating 5) and has less than half the education of the other candidate. WE NEED TO BE THINKING HARDER before we go to sleep, not the candidates! WAKE UP AMERICA, get over your racial issues, that's the "thing" thats keeping this close!

    September 23, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. Carol

    So true, which is why I am against McCain. This is his life-long dream – to be the POTUS – and he will do or say anything to get it.

    What scares me is – he's in his 70's. All he wants is his name in the history books – he doesn't care what happens to the rest of us after that – because HE WON'T BE HERE. I don't want Palin as my president. She is not qualified and this world is too complicated and dangerous to risk it. Obviously McCain does not care about anyone but himself.

    September 23, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. go away mongers-Ventura ca

    The people of Ohio have been hit even harder than many. I believe that the plans Barack Obama have will be a step in the right direction. We have seen over the last eight years what we get with the gop.

    September 23, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. nathan

    I would recommend to Mr/s. Smith that she try her best to convince her friends/family to pay attention and vote Obama. He is the only one actually addressing her economic issues.

    September 23, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Of course it's a game.
    The one with the most electoral votes (who really cares about the popular vote anyway) wins.

    Anything that shifts the electors attention to themselves–regardless of how petty or primitive–is alright.

    And when either one of these two icons of brown-nosing actually gets elected–the games of dodge ball (accountability), hide and seek (open government), chess (our foreign policy), and monopoly (our economic policy) will resume. One player will change–the President. But all the other players will be exactly the same as before.

    We (the American people) are the bankers. We pay for the losses during the executive play season which last from 4-8 years.

    Its all a game. Except for the bankers–they are using real money.

    September 23, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. Credit Card Republicans

    This race shouldnt even be close."Race" is the big factor,and everyone knows it now.If Republicans win it,they can thank the bigots.

    September 23, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. Independent for Obama

    It is a GAME to the McCain camp. Just look at how they have been PLAYING their cards.

    September 23, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |

    It is pathetic that Paula has to HOPE that elected officials think about us people once in awhile. That is because they have lacky dogs like CNN to cover up for them, if they are Democrats. Look how they are doing damage control for Obama all the time.

    September 23, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. concern


    September 23, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. Glen

    The Republicans have definitely turned this into a game when they were in control.

    If they really cared about governing our future rather than winning an election at all costs, they would stop lying and would have not chosen Palin.

    I actually think Obama is trying to do what is right.

    September 23, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    It might be time for voters to hold their own political rallies and tell the politicians what it is we want.

    September 23, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Vincent, Illinois

    I have lived with the decision of the voters for the past eight-years.
    Unless the voter educates themselves on the issues and not the points of the talking heads, our country will continue its downward spiral.

    I do not want another good ole boy in the White House. I want someone with an education who has a cool head on his shoulder and who's running mate is able to take over the position of President should it be required. I do not want a mayor from a small town nor do I think Mayor Daley or Gov. Blagojevich would be close to being able to be V.P and THEY have much more experience in running a City or State than Ms. Palin does. (I am using Illinois as that is where I am from).

    Sorry, I want someone who knows the ropes not someone because the only reason she was picked was because of her gender.

    September 23, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |