MANCHESTER, NH —As the New Hampshire primary draws near, Senator Barack Obama is gaining ground, earning the support of Granite Staters by continuing to engage directly with voters and offering straight forward answers to their questions. Here’s what some NewHampshire voters had to say about their recent interactions with Obama.
Jackie Lewis, a UNH student and Derry native, attended Senator Obama’s forum in Portsmouth last week and asked Obama about the crisis in Darfur. Here’s what she had to say afterward:
“He addressed both questions head-on, which already sets him apart from the other candidates I’ve asked. Of all the campaign events I’ve attended this year, this is the one event where I can say that I actually learned something.”
Greg Odell, Chairman of the White Mountains Regional School District, met Obama last week at a roundtable in Littletonwith other undeclared voters. Greg asked about education and No Child Left Behind. Greg said afterward:
“Prior to this event I hadn't really focused on Obama, but I have to say I was extremely impressed with what I saw. In the past I’ve mostly voted for Republicans, but to me, the most important characteristic of a candidate is honesty. There is no doubt that is what I got from Obama – no sidestepping, just a direct and genuine response to the question I asked. I’m definitely planning to follow-up and learn more about him.”
Also on his last visit, Obama answered questions at a Meet the Candidate Event in Berlin, a rally inLittleton, a stop at Brewbakers coffee shop in Keene, and a traditional New Hampshire house party in Durham.
Senator Obama’s latest trip was just another example of his ongoing commitment to campaigning the New Hampshire way. Throughout the campaign, voters have praised Obama’s direct approach to the tough issues. Mark Sanford had the opportunity to ask Obama about healthcare at a town hall meeting at Mack's Apples in Londonderry last month. He walked away inspired:
“He is a very inspiring guy. He answered my question as directly as possible, and made clear that health care was a top priority for him.”
Fred Kelley met Obama at small event for veterans this fall. The interaction motivated him to write a letter to the editor, which was recently printed in the Nashua Telegraph:
“ In NewHampshire, we have the unique ability to face political candidates on a very personal one-on-one basis .”
Kelley went on to say that while he finds many politicians unable to provide plain, direct answers to tough questions,“ try that with Senator Obama and I think you will receive, as I have, a direct answer .”