Chicago Sun-Times
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"I feel we've got a righteous wind on our backs here," Barack Obama says in northern Virginia


LEESBURG, Va. -- This report about a Barack Obama rally Wednesday in this historic community, founded in 1758 in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, comes in a part of the state a John McCain adviser recently suggested was not part of the "real Virginia."

Now that's material Obama can work with.

For the first time since 1964, Virginia may likely give its 13 electoral votes to a Democrat. Obama stumped for Tim Kaine when he was running for governor, and Kaine returned the favor by becoming the second governor to endorse Obama's presidential bid when he started running almost two years ago.

Obama, running a coordinated campaign with Senate candidate Mark Warner, a popular former governor, is in a position to win this state (and the White House) bolstered by Democratic voters in northern Virginia, which includes several Washington, D.C., suburbs.

Obama has 50 offices in Virginia and has sent in one of his best organizers to run the Virginia general election campaign, Mitch Stewart, who was the Obama caucus director in Iowa -- Obama's first and most important victory. Stewart went on to be the Obama field director in Texas, state director in Indiana and senior adviser in Minnesota.

To this Yankee driving over to Leesburg from Washington, this town full of antique shops in horse country looks Virginian; for goodness sakes, I walked by a Civil War monument in "memory of the Confederate Soldiers of Loudoun County." I did not see any hammer and sickle flags. The bucolic landscape was disturbed by a stream of malls along Route 7 jammed with cars en route to the rally.

Last week, McCain senior adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer said on MSNBC that McCain could win because he would do better in southern Virginia or what she termed the "real Virginia."

Obama lives for those openings.

On this chilly fall afternoon, Obama told a cheering crowd in Ida Lee Park, "I know some folks may not think so, but this looks like the real Virginia to me. This looks like authentic Virginia. And y'all look like a bunch of Virginians."

Obama has stumped in Virginia eight times since June. "I haven't seen a real Virginia and a fake Virginia, I've just seen Virginia."

New polling shows Obama running about 2-1 over McCain in northern Virginia, where most of the state's Democratic votes are.

Said Obama, "I feel like we've got a righteous wind on our backs here."


I had to laugh to McCain's comment when he said he would give us all $5000 for Health Insurance. My health insurance keeps going up and it's now at $1,100 PER MONTH. So his plan would cover me for 5 months. What happens after that?

I cannot get another insurance because of previous conditions. So it this fair? How is the average person supposed to pay such an amount?

At the rate my insurance is changing, by next year I'll owe $2,000 per month. There is no way I can keep paying such a high amount.

I hope you'll be our next president and that your plan to reform the Health insurance programs happens fast - so a lot of us don't end up dying from illness that we cannot afford to pay.

San Diego, CA

I also pay for my own health care as a self employed individual. While costs are rising, I would suggest that pre-existing conditions are not precluding most Americans from finding affordable health care. When there are so many unhealthy habits that increase insurance costs for businesses, it's sometimes more affordable to seek insurance as an individual rather than join a company plan. So, the problems with the health care market are the insured in many cases, and if we make wise choices as individuals, the care is out there.

I'm not suggesting that pre-existing conditions can be controlled, but I would think a program that covers half (90% in my case) of insurance costs is superior to a government run health care system.

I for one, don't believe the American government can provide adequate health care for all, therefore it's best left to the market. Socialism is NEVER better than our current system. Take a look at any socialist health care program. I suppose it does encourage healthier living because you won't be able to have needed surgeries or treatments. But those programs also offer no relief for folks with pre-existing conditions.

Frankly, neither candidate is offering the radical change we need in this arena. The best plans so far have been the Health Savings Accounts brought about by George Bush. They offer a plan with affordable premiums and at least knowing what your out of pocket expenses will be with so surprises.

I wish you the best and better health. I feel your financial stress of rising insurance costs, but I must disagree that Obama has the right answer.

Lori, I had cancer as a child, and was denied health insurance in Oregon when I went there for school in 1989 (age 23). What do you, with your mighty righteousness suggest I do if my employer stops providing coverage due to John McCain's health insurance program (which the National Chamber of Commerce has said would happen under McCain's plain - many businesses would drop health insurance as a benefit)? Gosh, maybe I should have excercised more as a child to prevent all this.

You self-righteous people who have never has to face the perils of having a serious illness with our current health insurance make me sick! Sure, can all try to live healthier, but if you don't realize that good health is more about luck than anything else, you are kidding yourself. And I PRAY that you will be struck with some form of cancer, MS, or other seriously debilitating illness so that you can get a reality check. People like you who don't have any empathy for other peoples' reality are incompassionate idiots. I guess Republicans have to experience things like this before they can empathize - so here's hoping you have this experience to open you eyes! Couldn't happen to a nicer person ....


I cannot believe you just said what you did. In all honesty to wish cancer upon someone is wrong.
Go to McCains website and read all about his health care program. Also go look up articles on national healthcare programs.They don't work.
I agree, the cost health care is out of control and neither candidate frankly has a good or understandable plan. What would work for you?Maybe for people who are in your situation there should be sometype of national healthcare plan, that takes care of issues related to your cancer, and then your everyday insurance can take care of everthing else. That way the insurance company wouldn't have to maintain the cost, and you would be covered irregardless.
If the candidates can't come up with a plan that works maybe we should. After all it is our lives.
I wish you nothing but good health - oh by the way I am a Republican blessed with good health and I do empathize with you and your situation and John McCain is a cancer survivor.

With corporations laying off workers right and left, more and more Americans face life without health care coverage, or must pay out of pocket for it, a situation McCain likes, but I find appauling. With capitalism in the dog house presiding over 8.3 trillion dollars in losses and growing, and the need at its greatest, now is the time for single payer, universal health care. For the small and medium sized businesses, the ones that hire the most people, not having to insure their employees would mean more jobs and more PERMANENT jobs. Take the load off both the employers and employees by severing the link between jobs and health care. Cutting the bloated defense budget would provide all the funding needed and a more realistic defense position.

Obama's Plan for health care leaves employers with no incentive to continue covering any portion of health care at all, in fact for businesses to even continue existing at all.
It would be really great if so many people weren't always looking for what the "government" could give to them. I am sure that our grandparents and great-grandparents if they can see us now are turning over in their graves at what a bunch of sniveling people we have all turned into, looking for what other people can "give us" we sound like a bunch of spoiled children.
Grow up and face the facts, it was the free-market insurance that has you here today so that you can snivel and whine and in your own "self-rightous" writings ask for a give out from people you don't even know.

All I have to say is Lori was very polite. Liberals never fail at being extremely vitriolic.

Nice curse Lori--you must be a witch cuz only the devil would answer prayer like that. Just a thought maybe if you checked out why you are so bitter and repented, maybe at least your heart might feel better. You forget who the great physician is, he can heal you (Jesus), just trust him, but maybe you would rather stay sick? The government is as sick as the people who run it. "We the people of the United States of America,in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice and ensure domestic tranquility, do ordain and establish this constitution...". Now does it say anything about the right to health care. Maybe you want a dictator like Kim Jung Il in PRNK, where they have no health care program and no food what so ever for anyone. Just a few miles south of the DMZ there is a vibrant country that is generally flourishing despite the world economic downturn. You want socialism?

Whiny liberals:
Don't want to pay for health insurance or use Medicare. They want other people to pay for their medical care.

Obama's Big Idea:
Take money from the people who work and give it to the people who don't, until everybody's poor.
Except him and fellow left-wing political fascists, naturally.

England's Big Idea, Obama's Communism in Practice:
Pay the lousy doctors who stay behind when the good ones flee, whether they provide decent care or not. People die in their beds, untended. Patients lie in their own filth for weeks. The terminally ill can't get a bed to die in.

Great plans.
Good judgment you've got there, socialist moonbats.

I'm the previous "Lori" above (the one who was called self-righteous). I do face health issues - not cancer, but other chronic problems that are yet undefined, but lean toward Lupus or MS. I have many friends who suffer with cancer and I long for a day when there is no such disease. I also know that my only help does not rest in the government, and thankfully so. I would also never wish misfortune on anyone, and do not consider myself righteous in any way.

My major problem with the programs that resemble socialism is that I can help my neighbor much better than the government can. And I can help myself and my family much better than the government can. But if the government continues to take 30+% of my income, I'll be doing well if I feed my family. (By the way - don't kid yourself! They will raise the money they need by taxing SOMEONE, and in the end we all pay for it. The problem is not taxing, but spending.)

I do believe that abandoning community resources and relying on Washington to serve the people across the country in health care is a huge mistake. Did you know that each state regulates the cost of health insurance? We all have an official and it's his/her job to say how much an insurance company can charge. So, contact your insurance commissioners! Reform at the state level - but imagine if it moves to Washington!

Economically speaking, why do we expect to have a booming economy in a time of war and unrest globally? Where is the sense of sacrifice for one another on a personal level that existed in previous generations? I believe lack of government interference in our lives and bank accounts gives us freedom to serve our communities and neighbors. If I give $100 to our local food bank, it goes much farther than if I pay $100 in taxes that are supposed to go to programs to provide health care, housing, etc.... If that makes me a self-righteous republican, I'm proud to be one.


Keep in mind that health care under Obama's plan IS being paid for by a tax increase for businesses, and businesses will be forced to pay any additional costs or be fined - yes, those businesses who provide permanent jobs. So the theory that eliminating health care as an optional benefit will help businesses is faulty. Instead of providing benefits for its own employees, under his plan, businesses would be forced to contribute to health care costs for ALL. Nothing is free, and every decision (whether to act or not to act, whether good or bad) has a consequence. We need to see clearly the cause and effect in order to offer permanent solutions to long-standing problems. I disagree that McCain likes the thought of Americans being out of work. That's why he proposes no tax increases for anyone, a government freeze on spending, a substantial health care credit for all Americans, and doubling the child tax credit.

Lori (the one who wants Socilaized medical care),

People come to the US from all over the world for major medical treatment. Since you believe that the health care situation is so bad, please tell us which country you would turn to for major medical care for yourself.

Don't take Joe's dough but let's not give Jo any extra. I work just as hard as Joe the Plumber--perhaps more since single mom me pays my taxes ON TIME. Why am I not entitled to equal pay for equal work? Why am I not entitled to keep more of what I make in my own checking account?? I won't qualify for a single of McCain's tax cuts. I have no assets & my kid is now an adult, even though I still support him. How is McCain's plan a benefit to me?

How's this for a tax compromise: Republicans pay lower taxes & Democrats pay higher taxes. The catch is that that your taxes stay local. Democrat taxes in urban areas would not be redistributed to rural Republican ones. No extra money for rural schools & you're on your own to fix the only bridge linking the two sides of your town. Good luck keeping your infrastructure intact without money from the elite. Heaven forbid we "redistribute wealth" to anyone.

Palin is an insult to women & women's rights. Do you really think women just wake up one morning and say, "I'm bored. I think I'll go get knocked up so I can have an abortion"? Give me a break. It's a horrible choice but it's MY choice, not yours. So much for government & nosy neighbors staying out of my personal life.

Palin is an insult to anyone with a high school diploma or GED. How she has not read the Constitution in order to comprehend that the Vice President is not a lobbyist is beyond me. Or does thinking that a good education & the ability to read are important make me an elitist?

What about ethics? Do you really think Palin will be ethical in her quest to change what she doesn't like? Her own state says she's got issues there. McCain himself has stooped to name-calling & character bashing, like he's returned to junior high. Neither seems to care about shouts of hatred at their rallies. This is NOT the McCain of years past and his close friends continue to say so. More and more Americans believe Palin is a worse liability than W himself--that's saying a lot, isn't it?

I also have cancer, one so rare it has no stupid ribbon or research funding. I currently have a wonderful job & amazing health care, but what happens to me under McCain if I change jobs? I now have a preexisting condition I didn't ask for, so I should get screwed again? What did I do to deserve that?

I survived the horrors of cancer and torture of treatment just so I could vote for change.

John McCain & Sarah Palin are NO friends of mine.

Proud REAL resident of Leesburg, VA

Dear Jo The Virginian,

I'm Dean, The Californian. I live in a city that provides cutting edge health care for the rest of this world to follow. Almost everybody I know has health insurance. I don't have the same. I guess I just never got that jackpot job. Darn. I should have stayed in the Army (27 years ago).

Both my father and my brother died of esophagal cancer, though they weren't smokers nor drinkers. Sadly, I'm in the age range they were in when they died of it. It only has a 4% survival rate. You know, there's not much I could do even if I had health care insurance, unless you count getting the morphine injections needed to attempt to overcome the indescribable pain as "much". Actually, I'd like to have that much. But I don't. But, hey, who knows? Maybe the democrats who run our local hospitals will give me care even when I show up with no way to pay for it. Talk about a pre-existing condition.

My great desire is that, though my body has exibited the very signs of death which my father's body showed to me in those few short months before he died, that I may get to see John McCain elected as a President who cares about the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness to babies who are too small and defenseless to prevent their own mothers from murdering them.

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Lynn Sweet

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

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 23, 2008 6:54 AM.

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