Voters react to candidates’ crisis involvement

Holly Schoenstein

Obama, McCain’s views on economy leave voters unsure

Whether area voters support candidates Barack Obama or John McCain, their levels of satisfaction regarding their chosen candidate’s performance over the last few weeks is as varied as their political views.

Kent resident Gearin Mrofka, who works as a senior technician at Valvoline Instant Oil Change on East Main Street, is satisfied with Obama’s reactions during this crisis, including his response to the government bailout plan.

“It’s a very scary time,” Mrofka said, who is also a senior sociology major at Kent State. “I graduate in August, and six months after you graduate, you have to pay back your student loans.”

The uncertainty of bank security, coupled with a weaker job market, has created a bleak view for some college students who will graduate in the near future.

Emmanuel Dechenaux, assistant professor of economics, said voters should be concerned with how candidates handle themselves during this time of turmoil.

“This is really something that goes beyond politics, so people should be looking for reasonable answers to questions, not answers that fit the republican or democratic line of thought,” Dechenaux said. “This is a crisis that’s going to be with us for a while; there’s not going to be an overnight fix.”

About two weeks ago, shortly before the scheduled presidential debate in Mississippi, McCain announced he had temporarily suspended his campaign to work on the bailout plan, and he recommended Obama do the same. Obama responded that he would show up for the debate because the future president would need to focus on more than one issue at a time.

Some voters said Obama’s response to this situation was appropriate and that McCain did not stand up to the challenge.

“That’s actually surprising to me because as president, you shouldn’t put something off as important as that,” Arianne Robinson, junior art education major and Chagrin Falls resident, said. “If (McCain) can’t juggle this now, how can he do it as president?”

Even some solid McCain supporters were disappointed by their chosen candidate’s involvement with the financial crisis. Self-described conservative democrat and retired Brimfield resident, Brownie Sims, 64.

“I’m disappointed like a parent is disappointed with a child,” she said. “You expect good things from him, but it’s still disappointing. But, I’ll still vote for him.”

McCain’s reversal of his original decision to stop campaigning temporarily to work on the bailout was inevitable, Sims said.

“I thought that was a little vacillating,” he said. “Somebody should step up and take the lead, and he did not. I understand the politics of it, but it may cost him the election. On the same token, Obama is in the same boat. They want to bail, but no one wants to steer.”

President Bush signed the bailout bill into law last week.

Contact public affairs reporter Holly Schoenstein at [email protected].