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. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    censored by CNN again…Thank-you sir may I have another?

    February 9, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. Carl

    I see all the bush people are hoping our President fails, well I can say he will do alot better then conservative have over the past 8 years. Give him a chance and hope he suceeds. If is successful then we as Americans are better off.

    Go Obama...yes I am a Republican who wants change!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 9, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. MARYANN ILLINOIS

    President Clinton knew how to get the republicans to work with him...maybe President Obama really needs the Clintons more than he thinks????

    February 9, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. simplyred

    It is truly a shame that it is true if you hear something long enough you will begin to take it for truth. Most people don't know enough about Economics to make an informed decision because of the complexity of the whole concept of economics.

    We have a lot of people listening to the doom and gloom rhetoric of the Republican Party who ran the government for 8 years and are now mad as hell they are running it now. They have no intentions on working with the present administration in good faith. For 8 years they took over with a budget surplus and ended with trillions of dollars in debt and I can not believe these are the same people that so many of you seem to be listening to. If they know so much why didn't they correct this situation a long time ago.

    If any of you who are condemning the bill would listen to most Economist this is a bill they are advocating. We either take it somewhere are we will continue to go nowhere. While millions of people loose their jobs, the Republicans will keep saying the same things they have been saying for the past 8 years, and look where that got us.

    February 9, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. Peejay

    We need stimulus, say the experts, that is timely, targeted, and temporary. Throw out the long-term stuff, the wasteful tax cuts, and the obstructionist tunnel-visioned Republicans. If moving to the middle doesn't work, then move the middle. Bring on the nuclear option, stop the filibuster, and let's get this thing working!

    February 9, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Bill from GA

    I voted for Obama, but he is not impressing me with the wasted use of Air Force One. Bush would hop in the 747, fly half way across the country, and tell us we're addicted to oil. I don't need that out of Obama. Park the 747 and get to work. We can hear you fine from your White House.

    February 9, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. rachel

    Those of you who speak negatively of Barack Obama's attempts to stimulate the economy need to check yourselves. This man has been in office 3 weeks and already you are shelling out put downs. For what? Because he does not hold the same position about how to stimulate the economy as yourself. Well, fortunately for us Barack Obama was appointed President. Set your negative attitudes aside. Allow this man to do the job the people asked of him.

    February 9, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. ray

    can all the republicans just vanish one day of the face of the earth so this country could be a better place?. these people are obstructionist.

    February 9, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. Griff

    "Well, I have a Pile Of Cash this high, but it is all in pennies...
    "Change is Good"????"

    February 9, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. carlo

    Let me ask you ditto heads something. When Bush was pushing bills through that mandated that over 4,000 American lives be sacrificed, that we spend trillions on a war that was unnecessary, after the Katrina debacle, how many times did he even care what even YOU thought? No answer? Don't worry, I'll wait.

    February 9, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. Joe in NJ

    Maggie said:

    "So what if the stimulus package doesn't work? "

    ARE YOU SERIOUS? If it doesn't work, do you realize how much worse off the country will be then it is now? The reason so many people are opposed to it is because even on paper, it doesn't look very good. While we do need a stimulus package, we don't need this one. We need one that actually looks promising and provides real solutions to the problems.

    February 9, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. Steve Tyler--Indianapolis

    President Obama is making the best out of a terrible situation. I appreciate his leadership and his sense of morality–a clear contrast to the past 8 years. We need to support the president.

    February 9, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. Had It

    I know several East Indians on a major contract in CA that intend to max out their equity in their homes just as the contract ends and leave US with the bad mortgage as they go back to India with the cash. They brag about it.

    No more green-card holders - NO MORE. We need jobs for Americans.

    February 9, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. Ben

    Joan – you are soooo clueless it isn't even funny. Are you actually stupid enough to think that cuttng taxes is a BAD thing?

    February 9, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. John

    It amazes me that so many repubs are more eager to see the Pres. plan fail than to see jobs returning and therefore help themselves. Pride is a terrible thing and so is Predjudice. Obama said it best when he said we have to start thinking as Americans not as democrats or republicans if we are to improve the conditions in this country. What a shame that the Bush legacy continues through the works of these obstructionist scoundrels.

    February 9, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. Jackson Johnson

    Do the folks in Elkhart believe they have a saviour in Obama? Won't they be fooled!

    February 9, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  17. Scott, Tucson

    Yo Obama! You won so quit campaigning please.

    February 9, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. CharlesinFL

    Personally, the part that always gets me is how these articles end up boiling down mostly to commentary by both sides' "fans" (die-hards? fanatics?) about how the other side is so horrendous and such.

    Democrats and liberals use any commentary not 100% in support of President Obama to indicate that Republicans and conservatives are horrible people, only interested in themselves, etc.

    Republicans and conservatives scream about how the President's plan will do this and that, how he's a terrible leader, doesn't know what he's doing, going to tear th country down, etc.

    I am a Republican. I am a Conservative. I did not vote for President Obama. But I will not take that road taken by so many 8 years ago, and again 4 years ago – I will not go about saying inane and idiotic things such as "he's not my president".

    He is my President. Period. I did not vote for him, I do not agree with much of those things for which he stands, but he is my president. As such, I shall give him the benefit of the doubt, and let him actually do something before I start going off in support of him.

    Currently, both sides are damaging the start of his presidency. Those in government need to get back to the old style of doing thing. They need to learn that "compromise" is not a dirty word.

    In fact, the country needs to learn how to stop arguing, and start working together.

    February 9, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. Nancy

    Amazing. I look at the comments here. After the last 8 years of either do nothing or help the wealthy, we have a President that is actually trying to do something. All you naysayers out there, come up with something rather than just attack.

    Pork is an interesting word. Pork in a bill is something that doesn't benefit you personally. When it benefits you personally it is not pork, but a necessity.

    The first part of TARP that Bush controlled, absolutely no accountability. Every day the news gets worse and the Republicans dig in their heels and talk about tax cuts. Talk about a one horse party. I am getting more information from this administration, through information now available. We never knew what the Bush administration was up to. Do I agree with everything, no; but let's move forward!

    February 9, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. White sheets and pointy hats

    we love Rush Limbaugh and hate American.

    February 9, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. Fernandez

    Obama should be in Washington instead of Elkhart, try convincing Congress.

    February 9, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. Robin

    The stimulus is a bad idea and has much potential for failure. The government so far has hinted at nationalizing banks, healthcare, and our 401Ks. What part of this is a good idea?

    If this plan fails, we will be paying the price when inflation goes sky high. Our children will be paying for it, and maybe our grandchildren. We don't have this money, and we don't have gold to back this money.

    Ronald Reagan said it best, "The 10 most dangerous words in the human language are, 'I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you."

    February 9, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. Virginia

    I thought the election was over on November 4, or was I mistaken. Why is this man still electioneering instead of getting us out of this mess he keeps calling a catastrophe???? Instead we hear how he bumped his head-big deal!

    February 9, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Ken in Dallas

    Obama the marketing machine February 9th, 2009 10:22 am ET

    Things that make sense do NOT need to be sold.
    ---------------------------

    Nothing makes sense, if you lack the capacity to comprehend it.

    Tax cuts don't stimulate the economy, unless you start with taxes that are unreasonably high. Right now, the bulk of the population lives with a tax rate down around 28%, excluding payroll taxes. Since the people who pay higher tax rates don't need anything they haven't already got, "stimulus" measures that hand money to such people don't stimulate the economy; instead, the money goes into hoards and sits idle. The tax cut portion of the stimulus is wealthfare.

    If you hand $15000 tax credits to anyone who buys a house, most of that money will go to foreclosure-flippers, who will buy and flip, pocket the tax credit, and sink the profits into his private hoard. That money will disappear from the economy. It's a scam.

    The aid to states stripped from the Senate bill was the most immediately useful portion of the stimulus, because the states have the apparatus established to put that money to use immediately. Much of it would have gone directly into payrolls, to support police, fire, sanitation, and other vital services. You'll miss it when your trash service goes bi-weekly for lack of funding.

    Indecision is not an option. If you want to talk about trading on fear, look at the headline of this story. This country is in such trouble as no American under age 75 has ever seen, and here we are again, pontificating about how the world should be, rather than trying to deal with it as it is.

    February 9, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. David in Houston

    How appropriate that the people who had no problem spending a half a trillion dollars in Iraq (not to mention the vast toll on human life) are the very same folks who are now up in arms about using a similar amount to give help to fellow Americans. Makes perfect sense...

    I for one am ready for some new leadership.

    Obama...lead the way.

    February 9, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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