An Obama campaign worker from Illinois called me this weekend to try and encourage me to vote. Being a journalist, I decided to interview him about his thoughts on some of the most important issues of the time. He agreed to go on the record and his answers offer a fascinating glimpse into the mind of an Obama fan.
The worker, Paul, is an Illinois resident and is working for the president in his victory office near Chicago. Paul called to ask me to support Obama this election cycle. I politely told him, “I cannot endorse anyone, but if you would like to go on the record I would be fascinated to hear the reasons for your support.” Paul graciously said yes and answered some of our most pressing questions, right from Obama camp HQ.
I began by asking Paul about the state of the economy. He said the president inherited the “storm of the century” economically but that things were “really turning around.” Paul then asked if I had seen the latest jobs report.
“Yes Paul, but it showed unemployment rate rising to 7.9 percent.” In the numbers game this translates to more people out of work today than when Obama took office.
Paul responded saying “believe it or not, that’s a good sign.” He continued: “This means that more people are looking for jobs.” Astonishingly, Paul is not the only one to assume rising unemployment is a good thing. CNN posted this analysis last week:
“The rise, to 7.9% from 7.8% in September, was due to more people entering the job market. Many of those who had stopped searching for work were encouraged enough by the economy to start looking once again.”
This peculiar economic viewpoint has also been adopted by many liberal bloggers as a golden spin on the lack luster jobs numbers delivered this week. The Romney campaign certainly did not follow that messaging, attacking the numbers as “a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill.”
On the topics of foreign policy, Paul mentioned his admiration for the president and how he has dealt with foreign leaders in “an appropriate way.” He also thinks the president showed “a great deal of courage” in killing Osama Bin Laden and has done an “amazing job” around the world.
I then asked about the Libya debacle. On the issue of Benghazi and the murder of four American’s in our consulate, Paul was hesitant. He proceeded in calling the issue a “flare up that is bound to happen from time to time” but admitted that there may have been “a lack of communication.” Paul insisted again that this “kind of issue” does happen occasionally but the terrorist attack was not “indicative of bad foreign policy or a lack of security attention.”
Paul listed other reasons informing him to vote for Obama this cycle, the president’s “inclusiveness” being one of them. The fact that he was “really afraid of tea party exclusion politics” was another. He finally mentioned his disappointment in the Bush/Cheney years as further influencing his opinion towards Obama.
When asked about what we can expect in the next four years Paul said “fair tax policies” and “appropriate foreign policy.” He expects Obama to “engage with both sides of the aisle” and provide four years of continued support for Obamacare.