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. gl, Pittsburgh

    Jackie – Obama is President not MCcain. McCain is a old evil man that live in the 50ies like most of the Old man republicans nuts thinking tax cuts is the answer.

    February 9, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. honeychild

    For those of you criticizing Pres. Obama... you might be in line next for unemployment and food stamps. Keep HOPE alive!!!

    February 9, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. gg

    why do republicans think spending money in USA abad thing but spending money in irag and isreal a good thing

    February 9, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Teresa

    On a more positive note ...

    I'd like to suggest a few songs that make me think about President Obama and how he is going to small town America.

    Doobie Brothers | Takin’ It To The Streets. The instrumental version. President Obama, he's taking it to the streets !

    Also, a song by Marvin Gaye, not so upbeat as the other. What's Going On. Of course, instrumental part only may be more appropriate.

    So, am I hired for the Obama background music?


    February 9, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Brian

    When there is little support from the undecided and independent voters who elected him. He has to try to create some support. Its easier to hold a town hall than to have plan that actual targets ONLY projects that will jump start the economy with useful jobs and needed infrastructure. It could also be so simple. Create a list of projects with a budget. Send it out for bids. US companies bid on the projects. Us companies hire employees or use current underemployed persons. US businesses and employees pay taxes. Projects are completed. This plan in addition to all the earmarks and pork has layers and layers of government and government jobs to do the same projects. The gov'y doesn't pay taxes do they? Do they know how to work within a budget? Or will we have lots of partially completed jobs in need or additional money next year?

    February 9, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Richard

    Why can you Democrats earn your own money and quit stealing from people who earned it.

    February 9, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Sniffit

    @ Joan Buck

    Jesus tapdancing Christ will you people get it through your heads? The GOP filibustered and Bush set records for the number of vetoes in the period between 2006-2008 SOLELY so they could make the argument that the Dems had control and did nothing. DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT NOBODY BELIEVED THAT LOAD OF STEAMING CRAP? NOVEMBER 4, 2008 IS ALL THE ANSWER YOU NEED.

    February 9, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Phil in NJ

    What truely makes me laugh is that the liberals continue to blame Bush for everything. But if you actually know what you are talking about you would know that it was Clinton who de-regulated the banking industry. Bush inherited a ressession which only got worse due to the Enron and World Com scandals not to mention what happend 9/11/01. Was Bush perfect, definitely not. But for pompus liberals to be pointing the finger at 1 administration or political party is not only unfair, but irresponsible.

    This stimulus will do 1 thing and 1 thing only. It will put us into more debt then before. Japan did something like this in the 90's because they were struggling and you know what they refer to the 90's as in Japan? It is the lost decade.

    Does anyone realize that you do not get yourself out of debt by creating more debt? Let me understand, the country is in debt and the economy is in the toilet. The way to get out is to spend money on the endowment of the arts and $250 million on furniture for the dept of homeland security? What are they going to buy with that? The Mona Lisa?

    Keep throwing my money away liberals, because when the next elections come in the house and the senate the republicans are going to run rough-shod all over both branches because guess what? The economy will be worse off then when they started.

    February 9, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Ian

    Apparently Ron Paul was right.

    February 9, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. J in NJ

    Having a conversation with a bunch of people who know nothing about banking, accounting, finance or economics is rather pointless in the grand scheme of things.

    This spending bill will only postpone the real isue which is job creation. The reason this bill will not produce the results necessary to get this economy rolling again are simple. There is a limit to the spending. When a company knows there is only a certain amount of money allocated for a project they will do everything in their power to maximize profits. This will oly keep people in their jobs and not create jobs. What is going to happen when the money runs out?

    Our leaders will do more harm than good with this bill. Whenever we have resouces allocated by some force other than a free market we end up worse of than we were before we started. Do you really think 450 some odd politicians know more about the economy than the millions of us who make resource allocations every day? I don't think so.

    February 9, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. Lisa M

    Time to play the blame game.

    Here's where I think the blame falls for the problems that we are experiencing.

    Greedy people and greedy banks took on loans that were excedingly risky.
    Commodity traders ran the price of gas way beyond what it should have been. Who ever ended up holding the bag when gas prices started falling(after threats of investigation) lost a ton of cash.

    Regulation of trading in commodities and on the banks seems to be necessary.

    I am not sure that the banks should be bailed out or those who got mortgages that are too high for them.

    I am not stupid, when I saw the offer of a loan for 125% of the value of my house.

    February 9, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. kunk

    :Remember, McCain sacrificed and bled for this country…more than I can say for anyone else in this Democrat controlled Congress."

    Wow, Jackie. A bit loose on the facts there:

    Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) – Decorated Marine hero during Vietnam
    Senator Jack Murtha (D-PA) – Decorated Marine colonel with 37 years of service
    Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) – Army Ranger and reservist for 20 years
    Senator John Kerry (D-MA) – Decorated Navy Lt in Vietnam

    Also Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and at least 10 Democratic Reps are veterans.

    Try to think before typing.

    February 9, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Kathleen

    President Obama is doing all he can to get our country and economy back to being productive and back to Global acceptance. We have lost so much as a country...None of it was his doing. He has walked into a whrilwind of a mess created by our last administration. I see so many on all the cable networks ( ou Senators, our Congressman , analyst, econcomists, and a few nobodies the networks feel they should give 15 minutes of fame to) giving their opinion of what they feel our President should be doing. You are all talking, but none of you, and I strongly state "NONE of YOU" are feeling our pain, "NONE of YOU"are unemployed, "NONE of YOU"are wihtout healtcare, "NONE of YOU"are about to lose your homes to foreclosure, "NONE of YOU"are living from pay check to pay check (not all of us are buried in credit card debt) and I'm sure"NONE of YOU"are wondering how you are going to pay your next bill or how you are going to put food on the table for your family 's next meal. Until you are walking in these sames shoes and feeling these pains, don't speculate. He is right to go to the American people, the ones feeling and going through these pains , "YOU ARE NOT."

    February 9, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Smiley from Conyers, GA

    Furthermore, the Governor from SC is a nut. His position is to let these large firms fail and let the employees suffer the consequences because it's a free market. Allowing these large companies to fail would mean that tens of thousands of people would be out of work. He currently has 3 counties in his state with unemployment rates at over 17%. Someone please explain the logic to me. The ripple effect of allowing so many large companies fail reaches all levels of business. I understand the concept of free enterprise but when you allow companies like GM and Chrysler to fail, how do you rebuild the people's condfidence in these products?

    February 9, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. obama all the way

    a useless WAR that the last administration and REPUBLICANS spent TRILLONS of dollars on, a stimulus package that they spent billions on, and they can't even tell us what those BILLIONS were spent on, and now they are questioning our President, whom 75% of America agrees with, ARE THE REPUBLICANS THAT STUPID OR ARE THEY JUST PITIFUL.

    February 9, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. Alex

    Nice of Mr. Bush to leave such a divisive issue for Obama to clean up. These Johnny-come-lately Republicans with their "oh now we're fiscally conservative" attitudes are not helping the problem they helped create.

    February 9, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. BB

    I thought it was McCain and Keating 5 that started de-reglation with the S&L groups long before Clinton took office.

    Just saying ..............

    February 9, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. Rob

    People like walleye, ray, and Ken just show not only how clueless you Obamaholics are, but how much you don't know about govt. and/or economics. With this package, 1/2, that's HALF, that's 50% of it won't even be spent until next year at the earliest (conveniently that's also when a bunch of the Dem are up for re-election, so that 1/2 will be pork). Secondly, you want to give tax cuts to people who already DO NOT OWE ANYTHING ON THEIR TAXES!!!!!! To get this economy going, we need to stimulate the source of what can get us going – jobs. Not these piddly little 'green initiatives', real jobs, long term jobs. And the last time I checked the 'rich' people (evil as the are), were the ones hiring. I've never known a 'poor' boss.

    You people either life off you parents, live off the govt. already, or are the new breed of Democrat, where paying taxes is optional.

    The Obama stimulus plan – code-named B.O.H.I.C.A.

    February 9, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. Ken in Dallas

    Ben February 9th, 2009 11:36 am ET

    Mari – Another clueless wonder. While it's clear Bush had some skin in this game, the real culprit of the housing crisis that started this whole mess is 30 years of Liberal Democratic policies, starting with Jimmy Carter in 1977. Anyone who does even a little homework can see that.


    Idiot. Reagan dismantled Carter's policies during his first term. There hasn't been a "Liberal Democratic" policy in effect since before 1980. Even the Clinton years were burdened with a Republican Congress. What an ignorant thing to claim.

    February 9, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. Chris

    If he is out on the campaign trial for this spending bill, who is running the country? Didn't Iran just launch a satilite? Didn't Obama just prder a closure of GITMO? Don't we have to do something with those people? Isn't there a war in Iraq and another one in Afghanistan? Isn't Russia trying to flex muscle on missle defense? Don't we need to make a decision on missle defense?

    Obama needs to do his job and stop campaigning for a bill that the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) says will leave us in a worse condition than doing nothing.

    February 9, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. obama-mama

    PC you must have a job that why you can talk such gibberish

    February 9, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. Marc

    PC – It's really RIDICULOUS to pick a flawed data like 'There have been 21 recessions since 1904 (which includes the Great Depression). The AVERAGE duration was just over 14 months (which means that some lasted three/six months and others went on for years). They all reversed themselves (So even REAGAN didn't lifted one finger to reverse the 1982 recession? Wrong. All had some GOVERNMENT participation in their resolutions)' and expose it as why we should press the government to stop any attempt to interfere on the economy...
    History proves you wrong, today's economic editorials prove you wrong and common sense proves you wrong.

    February 9, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. Dorothy in NC

    I wish President Obama well in his trip to Indiana. Since the employment rate is so high there, I think it is a good place for him to be to explain his stimulus package. I applaud him for trying so hard and so soon to help us. It may not be perfect but at least he is trying to help. Maybe he could do more if Bush hadn;'t left a trillion dollar deficit.

    February 9, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. Bo

    What in the world are the GOP taking about. For the past eight years the Preisdenacy was a joke. We are The GOP increase the nations problem by forcing us into IRAQ. Bilions upon billions have been spent. That is the other major cause to our financial downturn.

    Whay are the GOP in the house and Senate trying so hard to bock every idea President Obama bring to the table. I bit secretly, they are pissed off the a black man is making the decisions for Amereica.


    February 9, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. chingawa

    As Blago would say, Steele Intestical fortitude, chutzpah, Repulicrap blarney about legality.
    What about morality?

    February 9, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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