Locals react to Obama's first year in office

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Shortly after the election of America's first black president, a flurry of local readers sent in their viewpoints about his election and what his presidency would mean for the nation. A handful of responders were chosen for an article in the Nov. 30, 2008, edition of The Augusta Chronicle . Three of them were interviewed last week about whether their opinions have changed about President Obama after his first year in office.

BRUCE STUART

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Andy Olson  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Andy Olson

BACKGROUND: A lifelong Republican; maintenance manager at Savannah River Site, lives in Aiken with his wife of 21 years and his 17-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter; born and reared in western Pennsylvania

What he said then

"I felt like everything was based on the economy tanking recently. Politically, his giveaway promises will only cost taxpayers money. I also question whether his loyalties are to this country or to Mideast allies. My hope is that I'm wrong about his motives."

What he says now

"I would have liked to have seen Barack Obama publicly recognize God and Jesus Christ, and not have a religion-less Christmas and continue with policy that focuses on creation rather than the creator. He's shaping the country in a socialistic direction. I base that on health care. I, as well as fellow believers, continue to pray for him and would like to see him come to repentance and see him acknowledge Christ. My motives are not anti-Obama."

Biggest surprise

"I guess even though it was way too slow in coming, the additional troops that are supposed to be going to Afghanistan is a positive surprise."

---

ANDY OLSON

BACKGROUND: Republican who voted for President Bush (twice) and for U.S. Sen. John McCain; former Marine aviator, served two tours in Vietnam, flew 560 combat missions and retired after 24 years of service; currently general manager of Cedar Creek Development in Aiken County

What he said then

"I think we need to be very careful and watch ourselves and not do the same thing that was done by the Democrats and the liberals, the 'Hate Obama. Hate Obama.' We don't want that. When you do that, and that's what happened to Bush, it goes international. People all around the world listen to that and see that. When they hear it enough, they start believing it. I don't want to see that happen to Obama."

What he says now

"In 2008, I wanted to give him a chance, and frankly I think he's blown it. I'm very disappointed in his staffing and the way he's gone about things - the bailouts for Wall Street. He's ignoring the biggest industry in the country, and that's construction. There's more and more big government. I think this is the wrong approach. We need tax cuts, not all this spending."

Biggest surprise

"He promised transparency and cooperation between the two parties, but everything's being done in secret. There has been very little effort to have joint meetings. I'm very disappointed."

---

EDWARD MANER

BACKGROUND: Lifelong Democrat; works as a customer service specialist at the Georgia Department of Labor; has self-published two books, A Common Sense Guide to Parents Who Want to Send Their Kids to College and Looking at Real Life Through the Eyes of an American Bad Boy

What he said then

"I think in the final analysis he will be compared to John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton - those two for sure. What he has in common with them is that John Kennedy was brilliant, Bill Clinton is brilliant, and I see Barack Obama in that same light. I think that in the years to come, when you mention names like John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton, Barack Obama will be mentioned in that category also."

What he says now

"President Obama is doing an excellent job considering the mess he has inherited. The country's still together. It hasn't fallen apart, so that means he's doing something right. I don't think we can ask for any better in leadership. In the midst of all the problems he has inherited, he has shown Americans he can deal with it."

Biggest surprise

"I'm surprised at the people who have hated on him, conservative Republicans across the United States. I think with the stimulus package he has really helped. It has been an asset to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs. He hasn't surprised me."

Previous story: Speaking out on president-elect

Read the locals' full reactions to then-President-elect Obama as recorded in a Nov. 30, 2008, news story.

Comments (81) Add comment
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cajunnana2000
2
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cajunnana2000 01/17/10 - 01:38 am
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@Maner- We all have opinions

@Maner- We all have opinions but politics and religion are two different things. Think about what you are saying. Would you please learn to respect others peoples's religion. I guess u would disagree with a Jewish, or ANY other religion of choice selected by any President. It is wrong to think that your way is the ONLY way.

to tell the truth1
210
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to tell the truth1 01/17/10 - 01:52 am
0
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Bruce Stewart commented on

Bruce Stewart commented on Religion, not Edward Maner. LOOK at and read the article again.

LancelotLink
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LancelotLink 01/17/10 - 01:55 am
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thanks truth, I myself was

thanks truth, I myself was confused trying to figure out what she meant. The cooyon strikes again.

kisa2796
0
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kisa2796 01/17/10 - 02:13 am
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This prez has been an

This prez has been an unqualified disaster up to this point. it will be a very long time before we have another black president because of obama. He has let his mind be filled with hate for this country's success and is trying to move this proud nation toward third world country status in a hurry. Who will then save nations' such as Haiti when disaster strikes if the usa is reduced to a socialist state? think about one thing - a similar earthquake shook the Bay area in Oct 1989 with only 63 dead and we are talking about tens of thousands of dead in Haiti?

motorheadaches
0
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motorheadaches 01/17/10 - 02:36 am
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Edward Manner - lifelong

Edward Manner - lifelong democrat; well that explains the blinders.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 01/17/10 - 05:17 am
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Mr. Manner - you are just

Mr. Manner - you are just like the liberal posters om the AC. You think because someone doesn't like an Obama POLICY or DECISION that we are Obama haters. You can dislike or hate what someone does without hating the person. Think of it this way - if you have any teenagers you may hate something they do like break a law for example. Do you hate your child now that they have performed an action you hate?

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 01/17/10 - 05:50 am
0
0
Kennedy and Clinton had two

Kennedy and Clinton had two things in common. They both belonged to the Dem party and they were both out of control womanizers. Their politics has absolutely nothing in common. Obama, so far, has proven the most incompetent president in the history of this country, but we have NO evidence the he's a womanizer. Kennedy was VERY fiscally conservative, lowered taxes and tried to shrink government. Clinton did what Hillary told him to, politically, and played the rest of the time in office. How can Obama be compared to EITHER of these presidents, let alone both? The only thing he has in common with them is his party. So far, the intelligence Mr Manner eluded to appears to be mostly p.r., as far a Obama goes.

crackerjack
153
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crackerjack 01/17/10 - 06:41 am
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I wonder at what point in

I wonder at what point in Obama's presidency, will he quit blaming Bush.

crackerjack
153
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crackerjack 01/17/10 - 06:43 am
0
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If you created the mess,

If you created the mess, stand up and take it like a man. Don't do like the rest of your Party and their sheep, and blame everyone but themselves.

freespeech
0
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freespeech 01/17/10 - 07:08 am
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Obama is not qualified to

Obama is not qualified to lead our great nation. He has not been truthful with the American people, and can not be trusted. This nation was founded on Christianity. He is not a christian and has lied about it to get elected. He selfishly spend Christmas away from Washington keeping many from spending Christmas with their families. I don't believe a word the man says.

willienelson
5
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willienelson 01/17/10 - 07:21 am
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Do any of you truly believe

Do any of you truly believe the Democrat party will ever be relevant again after the Obama administration? I am surprised that the Dems in the House haven't begun impeachment proceeding against this snake oil salesman.

LEO
0
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LEO 01/17/10 - 07:21 am
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OT, I think Mr. Maner truly

OT, I think Mr. Maner truly believes Obama critics hate the man because, in their criticisms of Bush, they were demonstrating their contempt for him. The hate, disrespect, mockery and utter vitriol directed at Bush was their frustrated way of dealing with the fact that Bush WAS a strong president who put America and its security first (there were, however, other valid criticisms of the Bush administration, which I won't go into). Democrats hated Bush and will most likely hate any Republican who is elected President, because as a rule, Republicans love this country more than its Government. Republicans believe America's best days could be ahead of us, if Government would just get out of the way. Republicans aren't Statists (as opposed to their man) - and that just bugs the hell out of Democrats!

Runner46
0
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Runner46 01/17/10 - 07:50 am
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Obama is definitely a

Obama is definitely a different kind of leader. He promised "Change," but never described what kind of change he was willing to make. We never hear "Hail to the Chief" anymore. He bows at the waist to foreign kings, as if he was something less. Obama wants everyone on the government dole as he drives this country into Socialism.
Given the choices of the last election, I think we got the best candidate in office. However, I know the Parties can field a much better selection for the next time. Let's hope the do!

justus4
113
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justus4 01/17/10 - 07:55 am
0
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What kind of printing
Unpublished

What kind of printing operation would ask people, who have nothing but contempt for the president and did NOTHING to get him elected, "how is he doing?" That's like going to the local minority community and asking, "How is the local printing operation doing?" Wow! The thought going into such efforts is glaringly suspect.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 01/17/10 - 08:09 am
0
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Mr. Maner. There was a

Mr. Maner. There was a letter written to the paper titled "whatever happened to personal responsibility" - might be a good thing for you and Obama to look over. After 12 months, Obama owns the economy. His weak fiscal policies and tax increase threats are scaring the pants out of businesses and have directly caused unemployment to rise out of control. The ramming through of healthcare, auto bailouts, printing money out of thin air, the potential closing of Gitmo, the communists, union thugs and socialists he has surrounded himself with in the white house liken him more to a dictator than an elected president. I only hope we can survive the next 3 years. I am "hoping" for a "change" from him that will enable this country to survive but I'm afraid that he could be intentionally messing around with the economy to ensure more government dependancy. So far its working.

confederate american
0
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confederate american 01/17/10 - 08:36 am
0
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lets just sum it up in one

lets just sum it up in one word,"F A I L U R E "

Notreally
4
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Notreally 01/17/10 - 08:55 am
0
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The always faithful, race

The always faithful, race baiting chronicle on the verge of bankruptcy does it again. Every Democrat is going to say and post he's doing good, and the republicans will say the opposite. DUH. *YAWNS*

HollyHoly
0
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HollyHoly 01/17/10 - 08:58 am
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Motorheadaches - lifelong

Motorheadaches - lifelong republican; well that explains the blinders.

db16
95
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db16 01/17/10 - 09:00 am
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@Runner46...WELL SAID! I am

@Runner46...WELL SAID! I am not exactly happy at how things are going right now and I firmly believe that Obamanomics are going to destroy this country and all of the founding framework. You are absolutely on the mark with the statement of 'we got the "BEST" candidate in office.' Lord knows that McCain is a good man but his running mate was about as dumb as a coon dog named Fred. I think many Americans Cringed when they thought about 'what if something happened to McCain?' and she had to run the show...Complete Chaos! His running mate destroyed his chance...

HollyHoly
0
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HollyHoly 01/17/10 - 09:00 am
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Exactly Notreally. So so

Exactly Notreally. So so predictable

bushwhacker
39
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bushwhacker 01/17/10 - 09:02 am
0
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He's done an a+ job

He's done an a+ job controlling the congress and senate! He's definately outshined any president we've had in the last 9 years.

justbeasy
0
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justbeasy 01/17/10 - 09:09 am
0
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Overburdened its not about

Overburdened its not about the fact that many of you disagree, that's cool. I voted for Obama and I don't agree with everything He's done. But it's the way, (not necessarily you) some of you go about expressing your views. Disgreeing shouldn't equate to name-calling, condemning the man to hell, and then I've even read insults about his family, who have nothing to do with what
s going on. That's where people construct the idea that it may be more than just plain disagreement!!!

justbeasy
0
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justbeasy 01/17/10 - 09:12 am
0
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Questin, how are we so sure

Questin, how are we so sure about his faith. Clearly he couldn't have been this radical Muslim and attended Wright's church. Which one is it? Then let's not just play the Christianity card with Obama, then we have so-called procliamed Christians screwing up day by day. Again this is how hate is portrayed!!! Focusing on things that cannot be proven and that have no to do with his actual job.

RammaJamma
0
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RammaJamma 01/17/10 - 09:14 am
0
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Epic Failure. Hows that

Epic Failure. Hows that change working out for everyone? The stimilus created I think around a million jobs. Well those are permanant jobs btw. Oh and pulling out of the war in afghan. Yea thats going well too considering he is sending more troops over there.

ispy4u
0
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ispy4u 01/17/10 - 09:16 am
0
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Well, at least we know who

Well, at least we know who Andy Warhol is.

justbeasy
0
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justbeasy 01/17/10 - 09:17 am
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Another thing, while I don't

Another thing, while I don't agree with everything Obama has done, aren't experts agreeing that we are coming out of the recession. Did people just expect things to take a drastic change over night. Didn't most analysts say it would get worse before it got better. We just don't make common sense arguments anymore. Yes, they should stop blaming Bush, I agree...but you can't deny the fact that there was a problem and it takes some time to fix the problem. Our blues and reds just blind us to the fact we don't think with common sense. I am 24 and by the talks of things, the upcoming generation will be in a better position to better our country because we simply know how to talk issues out, well most of us anyway.

ispy4u
0
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ispy4u 01/17/10 - 09:21 am
0
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Amazing! Permanent or not at

Amazing! Permanent or not at least they are jobs. Ask that person who was unemployed with zero income whether or not he/she has a problem with these jobs that were created.

justthefacts
24891
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justthefacts 01/17/10 - 09:26 am
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justbeasy, at 24, do you have

justbeasy, at 24, do you have any idea what your tax rate is going to be in your lifetime? You are the one who is going to have to pay off social security, medicare/medicaid, the national debt, and now, Obamacare. Good luck.

YellowHammer
0
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YellowHammer 01/17/10 - 09:27 am
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Obama=FAIL

Obama=FAIL

nofrills
0
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nofrills 01/17/10 - 09:30 am
0
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You can take your Obama and

You can take your Obama and send him back to whatever rock you found him under, All his spending and helping did nothing to put money back in this economy. As a small business owner I can tell you that the money should of went into construction not roads. Do the math yourself. Now all you non union workers have to pay for the union workers health plans, what was that? Obama said he won’t raise taxes on the middle class? I say everybody refuse to pay taxes and let the chips fall where they may. They can’t arrest all of us and when they see they can’t get their fat checks cashed and there health care is broke then they will listen….

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