February 9th, 2009
09:52 AM ET
13 years ago

President Obama no stranger to Elkhart

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/09/art.boelkhart0209.gi.jpg caption="Then-Sen. Obama spoke with Sam and Dannielle Ericson while canvassing for votes in Elkhart, Indiana last May. Obama will return to the town as president on Monday."]
(CNN) - President Barack Obama's no stranger to Elkhart, Indiana, where he's holding a town hall meeting today to promote his plan to stimulate the economy.

Obama made a short stop in the northern Indiana city in early May, when he was battling Hillary Clinton for his party's presidential nomination. Clinton narrowly edged Obama in the primary, but she ended up dropping out of the race for the White House a month later.

Obama returned to Elkhart and held a rally in the northern Indiana city in early August, when he was fighting Republican Sen. John McCain for the presidency. Obama edged out McCain by 1 percentage point in the general election, becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state since 1964.

Elkhart's unemployment rate topped 15 percent in December, about triple what it was a year ago. The city's jobless rate is about double the national average - a number of the nation's top recreational vehicle makers are located in Elkhart, and hundreds of workers at those plants have lost their jobs.

Filed under: Indiana • President Obama
soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. Jean

    Hope has changed to FEAR.

    February 9, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  2. Rob Stumpf

    Can't wait until the Chosen One sends enough troops to get us hopelessly bogged down in Afghanistan. You won't need Republicans to bring him down, the liberals in his own party will do that job just fine. That, coupled with his ludicrous "stimulus" packages, will make him a laughingstock before much longer.

    It's going to be long, long time before Indiana votes for another winning Democratic Presidential candidate again.

    February 9, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. pk49

    The stimulus bill is a farce. Nobody is buying that it will stimulate the economy. They must think we are idiots!
    What a coincedence President Obama will be holding Town Hall in Elkhart. I believe the Jacksons are also at home in Gary for a movie documentary or something of the like.

    February 9, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Deb

    These stupid repubs are the cause of so many Americans going hungry and even at the point of killing themselves. The REPUBS MUST GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 9, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    President Obama should bring Senator Shelby along and have the good Senator from Alabama explain his rigid opposition to any financial stimulus package to the crowd in Indiana. Senator Shelby can also explain why he opposed any loans to American automakers. I am sure the 15 percent unemployed would love to hear his rationale. Personally, I don’t think southern obstructionism from a regional party will play well in Indiana, but I could be wrong.

    February 9, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Laverne

    That's right President Obama, take it to the people afterall it is the people's voice that SHOULD matter and not a bunch of folk on capitol hill who are having an identity crisis!

    February 9, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Mel of Alexandria, Virginia

    We the people are behind you Mr. President. The Republican cult with Limbaugh as their spiritual mouth-piece does not have our best interest at heart. They walked in lock step with George Bush to create the mess in which we are, and now they are walking in virtual lock step to hinder our getting out of the mess. However, they cannot lick the people, especially the ones who think.

    February 9, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Bridgette

    This is a very smart man. He knows what to do he's taking it to the people. When is the last time you remember a President after he is elected has gone out and spoken to the American public like we were adults. I like this guy.

    February 9, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Dan

    President Obama-

    You are awesome..

    I am so confident in your leadership.

    February 9, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. Karin

    Thank you President Obama for taking your message to the people. That is certainly more than we saw from the last administration which got our country in the mess it is in. Now the Republican's have so many fixes and expect miracles from you in only a 3 week time frame.

    February 9, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Darko

    Campaign strategies don't work once you're in the office... get a clue.

    The public is realizing that this bill is not stimulis, it's payback to those who put the dems in power.

    There are 100's of better proposals on how to better use the money and Obama and Nancy are now showing their true political colors.

    Obama's going to have a tough time convincing us that this steaming pile is really a bouquet.

    February 9, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. Worried Democrat

    The President can talk all he wants but Americans are getting tired of this reckless spending, which is more about political agenda than it is about helping the housing crisis and creating jobs.

    The Congress is ripping off the American public.....

    First Bank Bail Out for 700 Billion Dollars
    Then the Stimulus for 800 Billion Dollars
    and now the Second Bank Bail out being announced tomorrow for ANOTHER what 700 Billion?


    The average American when asked to spend or donate large amounts of money, will normally ask for a detailed expenditure report, so why is Congress not providing us with ALL the Details and ALL the facts?

    February 9, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. terri sel

    I think the Republicans need to get the message - we are in a disaster! President Obama is doing the right thing by talking directly to the American people – who are actually living in the real world and feeling the pain of the last eight years.

    February 9, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. See America by Can!

    Elkhart, you'd better retool as those "land yachts" aren't coming back. The RV industry is dying. It's nice of President Obama to show concern, but, in the end, it's up to each community and state to determine how best to adapt to a changing world.

    February 9, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. Deb

    We seen the same behavior out of the repubs when Clinton was President.

    February 9, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  16. Shelby game

    Get it done already,theres nothing worse than people who are clueless while Rome burns.

    February 9, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. Mark

    This stimulus doesnt even hardly pertain to jobs. Better learn to speak Chinese liberals!

    February 9, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. Earthchild

    Mr. President, we support you all the way.

    February 9, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. Mark

    This stimulus doesnt even hardly pertain to jobs just liberal favoritism. Better learn to speak Chinese!

    February 9, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. MEL

    We working with you President Obama, we walking with you. thank you.

    February 9, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Dave

    The unemployment rate in Elkhart is MUCH higher than 15%. Its more like 20-25% and rising week by week! An ominous crime wave has enveloped us. How long before chaos and anarchy? Looting in the streets? The situation is much worse than we are being told. As a now FORMER Republican voter, I want to thank Obama for coming. Its now obvious that the G.O.P. has not only abandoned us, they are actively working to hold us down even further. See what you get for voting G.O.P.? We now reap what we have sown. The curse of 100,000 dead Babylonians has been placed upon us. Dear God...

    February 9, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. American who speaks the truth

    The one and ONLY reason the GOP's are being so stubborn and obstructive is because they KNOW, they absolutely KNOW stimulating the US economy with jobs will help save our economy. When it succeeds, and it will, every GOP will be history with egg on their faces. TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY DO NOT WORK!!!! and BTW: What good is a tax cut if you have no jobs. Cutting taxes for the rich doesn't create jobs, especially when those same companies ship jobs overseas. GM just invested over $1B of OUR money in their South American auto plantd! How does this create or save JOBS for AMERICANS? It doesn't.

    February 9, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. FrankP

    Elkhardt nees gas not hot air! The Stinkulus is a pig that he is trying to put lipstick on! Impeach Obama!

    February 9, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. Joan

    After watching the Senate as it worked on the stimulus package, I regret that I voted for McCain, thinking he had better experience to deal with the issues facing America. It is now obvious that he had/has no new ideas of how to handle the complexities of our economy. He, and other Republicans, simply want to cut taxes and little else....which is what got us to this disastrous point in the first place.

    Americans know that if we are going to fix the economy, get people back to work, keep people in their homes, repair our infrastructure, and fix our banking and financial institutions, we are going to HAVE TO PAY MORE TAXES. We are not the idiots that George Bush thought we were.

    Obama and the Dems need to start moving legislation! Forget about bipartisanship. America is desperate! Stop trying to move mountains. The Republicans are playing a strictly partisan game, and Obama and the Dems need to start doing what the American people voted them into office to do.

    So, forget about saving me $1,000 on my taxes. Fix roads, bridges, dams, schools and other public buildings, research better energy production. I know that I'll have to do my part......but Obama, you and the Congress must do yours. I'll support you, just start moving legislation!

    February 9, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. blue stater

    bho. you are the president. you are not running for president. go back to washington and lead. now you are campaigning with taxpayer money. quit wasting taxpayer money.

    February 9, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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