Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

In Oregon, Obama asked, "How do I know I can trust you?" Pool report.

| 17 Comments

WASHINGTON-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has a fund-raiser in Portland, Oregon on Saturday night...before that, he stumped in Eugene....where he said he was "rooting" for the recovery of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), and revealed he spoke to his wife this morning, Victoria Reggie Kennedy. He was also asked by a man during a visit to a hospital how he could know he could trust Obama. One way, suggested Obama, was to read his memoir.

Click for pool report by Matthew Mosk, Washington Post


TIME: 9:30am PT

EVENT: Barack Obama Visit to Sacred Heart Medical Center (Eugene, Oregon)

From: Matthew A Mosk [mailto:moskm@washpost.com]
Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2008 1:06 PM

May 17, 2008

9:25 a.m.

Sen. Obama stopped at Sacred Heart Medical Center on Hilyard St. in Eugene, a 432-bed full service hospital affiliated with the Catholic Church.

First, the news.

Obama paused before meeting with nurses and doctors, to speak to gathered reporters regarding Sen. Edward Kennedy.

“I know a lot of you are interested in the situation with Senator Kennedy. I have been in contact with the family. Obviously they are in our thoughts and prayers. They I am sure will be releasing some sort of a statement when they have a better assessment of what the situation is. But you know as I have said many times before Senator Kennedy is a giant in American political history. He has done more for the healthcare of others than just about anybody in history. So we are going to be rooting for him. And I insist on being optimistic about how it is going to turn out .”

Campaign said Obama spoke briefly this morning with Sen. Kennedy’s wife, Victoria Reggie Kennedy.

Obama met for about 15 minutes in front of the nurse’s station in the hallway of a 3rd floor medical-surgical unit. The gathered nurses, doctors and medical technicians stood in a loose circle around the senator, who spoke from his feet, in the middle of the group. They wore scrubs, some were in white coats, several had stethoscopes draped over their necks.

“We’re going to be talking about healthcare today and I figured that before we had some big town hall meeting on healthcare I should talk to the experts,” he said. “And nobody knows health care better than nurses.”

Obama told the group that when his two daughters were born, and when his mother had cancer, “it was not the doctors I spent most of my time with, it was nurses.” He discussed his familiarity with the national nursing shortage, and asked those gathered to share their concerns and advice about the healthcare system.

“How do we inspire younger people, men and women, to go into a profession that’s very inspiriing?” asked Kitty Schiffer, who is vice president for patient care servces.

The senator discussed the need for more slots in nursing schools and the need to make nursing school more affordable.

After a handful of other comments about the need for more mental health beds and more affordable medication, Sen. Obama was asked about insurance and he shared this story about his nine-year-old daughter Malia’s asthma. Forgive me if you’ve heard it before:

“She was only three when she came into the kitchen and said, ‘Daddy, I’m having trouble breathing,’ which is the worst thing you want to hear from your kids.” Obama said he and Michelle drove Malia to the hospital, which was five minutes away. “While we were there overnight, she was in this room, where there were four or five kids in there, and the doctors told us these kids come in once every week , once every two weeks, for something that should be entirely treatable, but they just didn’t have the coverage to get it. That’s costly for the hospital, and costly for society.”

The other noteworthy encounter occurred as Obama was wrapping up the visit, after posing for photographs with the gathered nurses, including Carol Ann Anderson, 66, a registered Republican, self-described conservative, and 31-year nursing veteran, who said she did not like any of the current candidates, including Sen. McCain, and that she is considering voting for Obama in the fall “given what the choices are.”

As Obama started for the elevators, Ron Spooner, 42, an x-ray technician, and a Republican, called out to the senator. Spooner, dressed in scubs, told Obama he is “torn between you and Sen. McCain.”

“How do I know I can trust you?” Spooner asked bluntly.

Obama first responded by saying he understood it was hard to take the measure of a candidate just by watching them on television. He suggested Spooner read his book to learn more about his life story.

“Look at what I’ve done for 20 years, starting as a community organizer. I think that what you’ll see is, the commitments I’ve made now are ones that I’ve been working on for 20 years.”

Spooner said “the two things that stand out to me” are that he didn’t like reading about Obama’s pastor, but he did appreciate the position Obama took on the gas tax.

“With respect to my former pastor, I think, as I’ve said before, the church is a wonderful church. I’ve said repeatedly, the things he said I found offensive. There’s nobody who knows me who ascribes those views to me.

“The nice thing is we’re going to have 4 more months, 5 more months of active campaigning where I think you can watch and see, am I consistent, do I stay honest,” Obama said.

Spooner said he’d like to hear Obama do more “things like the gas tax.”

“Let me take your advice and we’ll try to make sure I stay honest in what is sometimes a dishonest profession,” Obama said before turning for the elevators and walking away.

17 Comments

I have no illusions about Senator Obama, he is not perfect and he will not be a perfect president. That is one of the things I like about him, he says that all the time to anyone who will listen.

What he does promise is he will spend every day working to make our lives better and our children's lives better.

I believe him.

He came from a family that at one point took food stamps to this. He never made over 200,000 dollars in his life before 2001, he knows what is like for everyone of us in this country.

Deward, I have no problem with voting for Obama if he is the top of the ticket in the Fall.
I would hope you would have no problem voting for HIllary if she is the top of the ticket in the Fall.
But, to make a decision based on emotion is one thing---let's make sure it's straight--Obama was NOT living with his mother when she collected food stamps. He was off at school, no? Let's be accurate.

Obama is a total fraud. Got to hand it to the Dems for pulling defeat from the jaws of victory. Michelle Obama alone is going to destroy any chance he had, let alone his pastor, William Ayers, his voting record, etc. Obama = Toast.

Too add to Deward's comment:

And even if he doesn't know what it's like for some of us, he'll listen, and learn, and help. That's something a president hasn't been capable of in generations.

Obama's a player.  And so is his wife.  Just look in their eyes.

There is so much we don't know about Obama as we are learning almost on a weekly basis...he hasn't been vetted, he as already been caught in several lies about his past relationships with leftist radicals and unsavory businessmen (Rezko, now in jail for illegal financial deals, the one involved with a tract of land purchased for Obama by Rezko's wife. Two domestic terrorists who got away with bombing the Pentagon, the Capitol and other federal bldgs., and of course the anti-American mentor and former pastor, rev Wright. These are well documented, so what is it with 'adult' Americans wanting to close their eyes to huge questions surrounding the character of Obama and his wife, Michelle, who hasn't liked America most of her adult life, even though no other country would have given her such great opportunities to succeed as hers has. Come up for air, democrats - do you want to bring down your country by pushing forward a candidate who has lived under the radar in a murky underground of associtions?

A person or persons cannot or should not judge Barack by Rev. Wright, that is absurb and not even intelligent! We all of us have people in our lives whom we love who might have a radical differnt point of view than one that we have and do not ascribe too. Husbands and wives do... brothers, sisters, friends... We must be judged on our actions and words alone as God will do when we face that ultimate judgment day!

this man is our best shot at recovering from 8 years of unsustainable tax cuts, deficit spending, and un-necessary war. everyone always labels democrats as "tax and spend". however, i think that's a better alternative than republicans, who are "cut taxes and spend anyway", the result of which is more and more debt to other countries and a dollar that is continuing to sink and sink in value.

What he does promise is he will spend every day working to make our lives better and our children's lives better.

That's what he said that he would do while he was running for the Senate. That was also the reason that he gave when he said that he would not run for President.

YOU GUYS ARE MAKING OBAMA OUT TO BE A SAINT.......WOW CANT THIS MAN DO ANY THING WRONG WHAT DOSE HE HAVE TO DO PI$$ on the american flag in front of everone...IT MAKE ME SICK TO KNOW THE MEDIA BOOST HIM UP AND PUT A HALO ON HIM HE IS A TRADER TO THIS COUNTRY AND YOU PEOPLE KNOW IT HE WILL SPEND EVERYDAY WORKING TO GET US ALL KILLED HE NOT WORTHY OF BEING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HE IS WEAK AND ALL HE CAN DO IS DELIEVE A GOOD SPEACH AND PERTENDING TO BE POOR AND KNOW HOW IT FEELS TO BE POOR DOSE NOT MAKE YOU A SAINT HE IS A FAKE AND FRUAD AND WHEN THIS SMOKE SCREEN BLOW UP IN THE MEDIA FACE THE WILL SCRAMBLE TO TRY AND RECOOP THEMSELVES BY SAYING I THOUGHT HE WAS HONEST BUT BY THEN IT WILL BE TO LAST.............IT A SAD DAY WHEN THE MEDIA ACT LIKE POMPOUS A$$

Obama - the Candidate as Anti-Christ.
Consider his rockstar status among young voters, his ability to continuously lie without impunity, his connections to mob members and terrorist both real and wannabes. His strong and unscrupulous desire for raw power, at any cost, regardless what it does to others, (he became senator simply by disqualifying his opponents). His empty words and changing promises, his desire to be friends with those who wish to destroy us. His wife Michele has expressed her hatred for this country and has publicly announced her husband as the messiah.
Perhaps you will need to explain to God why you voted for an antichrist, but I am not going to be on that dark list on judgment day.

http://www.dontvoteobama.net/

Of course Obama isn't a saint. But he's brilliant, thoughtful, and he has integrity. I don't think one can look at his life and deny that. Trying to help people in poverty and without education has been a lifelong quest for him. I think it's a good thing that he doesn't have too much experience in Washington. I think it makes politicians jaded. Both Hillary CLinton and John McCain have compromised their values to get where they are -- we just have to look at both their careers in teh past few years to see that. I think that's an albatross.

And think about it -- can anybody do worse than Bush has? He has been the most inept president in the history of our country.

Mr. Obama:
Well I have said my piece. I had all of about two minutes to express my thoughts to the man who just may become the next president of the United States. It is exciting to read the news articles of our brief conversation, but it was brief and I felt neither you nor I were able to completely express our thought in a full articulate fashion on a conversational basis. On the other hand I was grateful to be able to speak to you directly. I would like to take this time to explain myself a little better.
Barak, “how do I know I can trust you?” You told me to read your book. Well, anyone can write a book and many have. I have read a lot of books to. Many movies have been made from books that have been written and the problem with that is the books and the movies don’t always depict event as they really happened. I guess what I am trying to say is that it is not what a person says that is important but what that person does. So, as you said you have five more months to show me the real Barak Obama and not the savvy campaigning politician. I don’t like fancy campaign slogans or empty promises. I have seen them time after time after time. Yes I want to know what you are going to, but I also want to know how you are going to do it. Taking on the Lobbyists seems to be an impossible task. From my perspective, the loss of the moral fiber in our country and the lack of accountability has caused so much corruption in our government that the people we put in office to fix the problem are corrupt themselves. I don’t want to hear from you what you opponents are going to do or what they are not going to do, but, what are you going to do and, most importantly, how are you going to do it?
Barak, “how do I know I can trust you?” I was found the comments made by your former pastor disturbing. It was disturbing not just because of what he said but where he said it. You said,” the church is a wonderful church“, but that is where I get a little confused. I always thought that the church should be a place of coming together, it should be a place where the word of God is shared and not used as a platform for one’s own personal opinions (there are other forums for that no matter how terrible those opinions may be because we do live in a free country), it should be a place of love and forgiveness. Mr. Wright’s Sermon is divisive and speculative and, as he speaks, he throws in a few words from the bible that gives it the appearance that it is biblical. As Mr. Wright speaks the congregation does not seem to find his word offensive at all but just the opposite. The congregation is standing and clapping, holding their hands up high as if his words were coming from the word of God. This is not a church style that is formed overnight and for you to say this is a, “good church”, is a false statement. I am not saying that the people are not good (because you are part of the congregation Barak and I do have hopes for you or I would not be writing this letter) I just don’t think that is how God intended the church to be. My fear Barak is that you would consider that information be part of the Gospel (The Good News). No, that is not a good church and I guess the church needs help just like our government does.
Yes, I want to trust you but if you get elected will you, once again, disappear into the old Washington ways or will you still be able to be able to spend a few moments with or even relate to an X-Ray tech from Pleasant Hill, OR.

REMEMBER BARACK OBAMA IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, NOT HIS FORMER
PASTOR!
LET'S KEEP ARE THINKING CAPS ON AT ALL TIMES!
DON'T ACT LIKE FOX NEWS, AND SEAN HANNITY, DON'T GET STUCK ON
STUPID!

So, Barack told someone that to read his memoir to learn if he could trust Obama.

Perhaps that man should also read some reports of embellished facts.

Many people above said that Barack Obama will work hard for us. I haven't found any evidence that Barack has worked hard for anything other than what benefits him. He's never been at a job very long. He seems to make his contacts and move on - without really impacting anything or displaying any leadership. Or developing any expertise about anything.

He also rubs his colleagues the wrong way by taking credit for their work. This was true in both the Illinois Senate and also the US Senate. The articles are out there - from fairly reputable sources, but you really have to look.

FOX NEWS SHOWED YOU SOME SNIPPETS OF SERMONS AND YOU STILL ARE
CAUGHT UP IN YESTERDAYS NEWS, YOU HAVEN'T HEARD THAT ONE PERSON
FROM TRINITY UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST HAS BEEN INDICTED OF A CRIME
OR ANYTHING IMPROPER, MATTER OF FACT IF THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF
THE UNITED STATES- BARACK OBAMA DIDN'T ATTEND THIS CHURCH, YOU
WOULDN'T KNOW IT EXISTED!
JUST A CHURCH ON THE SOUTHSIDE OF CHICAGO THAT BEGAN WITH 87
MEMBERS AND NOW HAS OVER 8,000 MEMBERS!
DON'T LET THE TELEVISION SET RULE YOUR LIFE!

I am sure that if you were brave and smart enough to run for President that the skeletons in your closet would be revealed. No one on earth is perfect and it's pretty arrogant to think that you are above these candidates.
Rather than whining on blogs like this get involved with your local politics and do something worthwhile with your life. Then you will be less apt to fall for the media propaganda out there and start to look at the really important issues candidates want to address.
The media needs to make money so they hype inconsequential issues to stay on the air. If it's a slow news day and there is only one issue plaguing a candidate they are going to have to repeat it over and over to fill their time up. And you are falling for it!
It sounds like many of you want to keep a Republican in the White House.
Is that what you really want?

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets

Video

Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 17, 2008 2:53 PM.

Obama's early years in California, New York. was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama in Oregon says “all of you have to be nice to Clinton supporters.” is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.