By: Kelly Karpenske
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain addresses supporters at a women’s town hall meeting at the Sheraton Denver Grand Ballroom October 2, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The event comes the same night as the Vice Presidential debate. I was fortunate enough to attend this town hall forum and found it quite insightful.
I would see this women’s town hall as an attempt to woo the women voters who so closely followed Hillary and those who moved on to follow Obama. Although it seems unlikely that a well educated voter would support Clinton and then move on to support McCain/ Palin, seeing that they hold entirely different views on almost every issue, I met more than a few women who were there to support McCain solely because he chose a woman as his VP, women who had first voted for Hillary.
Colorado’s high potential to be a swing state is another reason for his stop here. It is a key state and he needs those electoral votes if he foresees winning. He is desperate for these votes and was willing to stop and make a rather convincing appeal toward the women of Colorado.
With a discussion on Social Security, Taxes, college costs, the war on terror, taking on partisan politics, McCain’s history of “ruffling feathers” in Washington, Obama’s opposing issues, small business, job creation, the economy, the bail out, health care, Sarah Palin, and many more issues this meeting was informative and issue filled. I found the town hall forum quite helpful and relying on our discussion today, on scripted debates and rehearsed answers, I applaud McCain for his confidence and conciseness during this forum. He took random questions from people throughout the audience on random issues, one woman even offering him a medal of honor for his military services. He seemed unscripted and grateful as he took the questions and answered them boldly.
When asked about taxes McCain claimed, “at this time in history we should not raise anyone’s taxes. He attacked his opponent saying that Obama has voted to raise taxes 94 times. When asked about social security McCain says that the present form of social security will not be available and that government, a McCain government would make sure that future generations are provided for. An 18 year-old college student asked McCain how he intended to make college more affordable for her. He went on to describe a system that allowed students to repay their loans after a longer period of time after graduation and also promised to look into why education is so expensive for college students these days. McCain, when asked when he was going to “take the gloves off” replied that he respects the stark differences between him and Obama. When asked what the most important issues he and his opponent differed on McCain addressed the budget. Obama voted to increase government spending by $860 billion in order to expand bureaucracy while McCain wants to restrain spending and bring in the out of control government.
A young woman stood up and told a heart breaking story of her own failures, the downfall of her own business, being let off from multiple companies, her less than luxurious life and her lack of ability to pay for her health care. “What are your plans? What are you going to do to help my situation?” she asked him. McCain claims he intends to create jobs and healthcare, to provide tax credit to individuals to allow them to find their own health policies. He wants to keep taxes low for businesses and support entrepreneurs who create new jobs. We need to fix America.
“This is a though time for America.” He claimed. He wants to bring change. He addressed the recently approved bail out bill and the problems that arose from the “corrupt practices in Washington.” He proposes reform.
McCain continually thanked the audience of women for allowing him to come to Denver. He thanked them for their support and asked that it continue in the 33-day count down to the election. He brought up his running mate Sarah Palin and brought a huge approval from the audience.
McCain emerged from this forum as a man who knew what he was doing. He answered each question well and brought approval from the audience.
“I will always do what I believe is right for this country, and I will always put my country first.”