Dear Mr. President…

Dear Mr. President,

Now that the election is over and the American people have chosen you as our leader for the next four years, please don’t let us down.

President Obama during his speech in Iowa July 2012. (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

For the past four years, we have stood behind you while others tried to discredit you. We had Hope that the economy would get better. We have had Faith in you. But we have been waiting for something to happen that would revitalize the country.

As close as the race was, maybe you should look at why so many people wanted Mitt Romney as their president.

I voted for you because I believed that you planted a seed in the past four years that would flourish in your next term. I voted for you because I could not imagine a country that did not let women choose what happens to their own bodies.  I did not want the gap to widen even more between the upper and lower classes. I could not fathom a nation where its leader does not have Faith in its people.

That’s why I voted for you; it’s because I believe you do have Faith in us.

You know what it’s like to have to live paycheck to paycheck, and how it feels to have to choose between medicine or food, or whether or not you can afford to go to the doctor when you’re sick.

You have seen the struggles of the American people and you genuinely care what happens to each and every one of us.

Most people who voted for Romney did so because they are tired of a lousy economy. They believed that Romney could get us out of debt because he has the reputation of being a shrewd man.  He has the business-sense; he just doesn’t have the empathy and compassion you have.

You said in your acceptance speech that you would meet with Romney and talk about how to get the country back on track.

I think that’s an excellent idea.

Congratulations on your victory, Mr. President. Please don’t let us down.

The president and me

My first experience seeing the president of the United States in person wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be.

I had to work when he came to Cedar Rapids July 10 to speak at Kirkwood Community College, but my boss, who had obtained a ticket herself, excitedly told me when I

President Obama speaks in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 10, 2012

asked for time off, “Sure! We can ride together!”

But it was tough pinpointing exactly what time we needed to be at the college to avoid the crowd. I found out later that some people were there at 6 a.m. to stand in line.

Tickets at that point were pointless because according to one police officer manning the yellow tape, “They give more tickets than they have seats, just to get you out here.”

My boss had a meeting so I went ahead and met my daughter in the parking lot. We saw many people walking back to their cars and I was going to ask them why, but the look on their faces told me, “Don’t do it.” We found out that people were being told they wouldn’t get in but we had to try anyway.

Lori and I spent the next 1/2 hour trying to figure out how we would get into Johnson Hall. We had our press passes, after all, but I was told we needed a “special” media pass. (And now I know.)

We looked at the two long lines that merged into one line toward the scanning machine and picked the shortest one (which wasn’t that much shorter).

That’s when I saw my boss walking toward the front of the line and I took off after her.

Connie’s husband had gone to Kirkwood a lot earlier and was standing closer to the scanners, so when Lori and I got to them, I invited myself to budge.

Lori was worried people would be mad at us, but I assured her by saying, “We’re with the press; they can’t be mad at us!.”

Soon after we got through the scanners and into the “over flow” area, President Obama arrived and they locked the gates. I was really surprised that he came out to speak to the crowd at all, so I quickly got into position to take photos.

As I snapped pictures, he talked briefly about why he was here and how much he liked the Midwest. He shook a few hands before he entered the building to speak to the crowd inside. We were able to listen to his speech through a loudspeaker, and so being stuck outside wasn’t so bad.

So my first experience with the president wasn’t the greatest, but it sure wasn’t the worst, and I look forward to paying close attention to what will surely become a more heated race as the November elections draw closer.

*Read the news article July 17 in the Hiawatha Advocate!

Countdown to the Iowa caucuses

Republican candidates are preparing for the Iowa caucuses Jan. 3 by attempting to expose each other’s weaknesses. However, through the several debates that have already been held and the ridiculous commercials that have aired, they are also doing it to themselves.

Though Ron Paul has a strong following, he says in his recent commercial that he promises to cut $1 trillion from America’s budget the first year he is in office. Paul said he will do that by “eliminating five cabinet departments (Energy, HUD, Commerce, Interior, and Education), abolishing the Transportation Security Administration and returning responsibility for security to private property owners, abolishing corporate subsidies, stopping foreign aid, ending foreign wars, and returning most other spending to 2006 levels.”

Really? End the Department of Education? Yeah, that’s a  smart move.

And how about Mitt Romney? His “$10,000 bet”  to Rick Perry during a debate at Drake University in Des Moines caused a Twitter outbreak that immediately set him up for criticism from all sides. Many Iowans took offense to it, reminding them that many politicians live in a much higher income bracket than the average person, Many Iowans came forward after the debate and said they wondered if Romney even understands the plight of many Americans, who are still out of work or can’t pay their medical bills.

And let’s not forget Perry, whose outrageous commercials paint the picture of an arrogant and extremely conservative man; who thinks that changing the Constitution and making gay marriage and abortion illegal in all U.S. territories is going to fix what’s wrong with the country. What America sees is another man who is all talk and doesn’t seem to really care about what the American people want.

Then there’s Newt Gingrich. He had an affair with his current wife, Callista Bisek, in the 1990s. And though people do make mistakes, and he said that he has asked God for forgiveness, shouldn’t we be just a little worried? Just because he didn’t try to cover it up, it does not make him a righteous man. Do we really want someone in the White House who would cheat on his wife? What does that say about his morals?


This race is already becoming a circus and we’re running out of respectable candidates.

Maybe the solution isn’t looking for someone else to run the country. Maybe the solution lies in putting our faith in the man who is already in office and giving support to what he can do for us at the present moment. Listening to the Republican candidates talk about what they “could” do doesn’t help us much now. One of the reasons that nothing seems to be getting done in America is that the Republicans are putting all their efforts and energy elsewhere, when they should be helping the president put this country back into shape.

Think about it. It’s like looking at four stooges running around, slapping each other, and making each other look ridiculous.

Instead of giving them our attention, we should be thinking about what needs to be done right now.