Americans at ballparks react to Obama's first 100 days
From Angel Stadium in southern California to Fenway Park in Boston, fans laud and lampoon the president's early initiatives.
The Monitor sent reporters to baseball stadiums to ask people to take part in another national pastime – assessing a sitting president. Here are their critiques of Barack Obama's first months in office.
Fenway Park / Boston
“He’s optimistic. He’s got charisma. He appears willing to say when he screws up. [He’s thoughtful], and would have moved faster if Republicans hadn’t been blocking the stimulus package. We are going to have alternative energy and a solid education plan. I think he has about a 75 percent chance of having about 75 percent of things happen.”
DAVID LITTLEFIELD, owner of the 'sausage guy' cart:
“I think he’s doing great, given all the things that are going on – war, economy, the state of affairs left behind for him to deal with. I hope that he will make the country a more equitable system. Everyone should be able to make as much money as they want to but should [also] bring people up with them and not use people to get there. There hasn’t been a rising tide for all boats for a few years now.
He may have had some youthful faux pas, but the country needs to see a White House with a swing set in the back and a young family concerned about them.”
He’s running our great-grandchildren into the ground with his tax policies.
I’ve worked since I was 14, and I don’t want someone telling me I should share my wealth.
I’m waiting to see what he does in Iraq. We have to do a pullout strategically or our kids will have died for nothing.”
ED and LILL GRABOWSKI, retirees who own a commercial building:
ED: “With the stimulus package and the bailouts he’s given, there’s going to be so much money owed by our kids and our grandkids.”
LILL: “Nationalization is socialism. GM failed years ago. And they should fail now.”
MICHAEL ENGLERT, school administrator:
“My primary concern is the amount of money being spent, that we don’t have, by way of bailouts. I believe that one of the things a bad economy does is weed out either those individuals or businesses that aren’t doing their job well.”
CAROL JACOBS, retiree:
“He may be doing too much. Because he’s taken on so many things that need to be fixed, it’s hard to focus on just one thing.”
RODNEY GARLAND, driver of a hazardous-waste truck:
“I give him … credit [for] trying something [on the economy]. I’m not going to knock him about that. I’d rather he tried than not do anything.”
KAUFFMAN stadium / Kansas city, MO.
FRANK WILLIAMS, emergency medical technician:
”The people that he’s got in his cabinet – to me, he’s picked A-plus people.... But I want to see results. He’s got a lot of good ideas. I just hope they actually pan out.”
PATSY HART, manager of a Catholic church in Omaha, Neb.:
He’s got so many fingers in the pie right now that I’m not sure he really knows how things are going, but he seems very confident. And I like the fact that he made it over to Iraq to see the troops. I like the fact that Michelle is very supportive of the military, since we’re retired military. With all the negativity, people have to give him a chance. Why shoot him down when he hasn’t had a chance to even do anything?
CARLOTTA PARHAM, accountant, Oklahoma City, Okla.:
“I would like to see him be a little more aggressive with the people in the banks and Wall Street, but I think he’s taking his time and thinking about what he’s doing.”
“Of course, I think the fact that he’s bringing our troops home is a good thing. As a mom with young men who might have to go overseas and fight, I think the fact that he’s taken under consideration bringing those kids home is a good thing.”