RUSH: Now, I mentioned the hundred days and the obsession that the Drive-Bys have. ‘Obama scores high marks,’ and he does, ‘for how he’s handled his job the first three months in office, according to new polls released as the 100-day anniversary of his presidency approaches.’ I mean, all these numbers are sky-high, through the roof. After the failure to fix the automobile business, and after the banks continue to fail, after there’s-no-more-credit-in-the-financial system, after everything that they have taken on and they say gonna fix, after the stimulus bill, nothing of substance has improved — and yet the approval ratings are through the roof.
Which has produced, in addition to the fawning stories (I’ve got four here, two of them from the Washington Post) that are, frankly, surprising to me that they ran these stories. In the Washington Post, by Eli Saslow. The headline is: ”A Hundred Anxious Days — In a South Carolina Town Where the Downturn Has Deepened Since the Inauguration, Two Obama Supporters Have Struggled, Going From ‘Fired Up’ to Tired Out.’ Listen, I can’t read the whole thing to you. I wish I could, but it’s six pages. Listen to this: ‘Greenwood, South Carolina — Her cordless phone stores 17 voice messages, and tonight the inbox is full. Edith Childs, 60, grabs a bottle of water, tosses her hat on the living room floor and scowls at the blinking red light.
‘A county councilwoman, she spent the past 12 hours driving rural roads in her 2001 Toyota Camry, trying to solve Greenwood’s problems, but only now begins the part of each day that exhausts her. Childs slumps into an armless chair and steels herself for a 13-minute confessional. ‘Hi, Ms. Edith, this is Rose, and I’m calling about my light bill. It’s $420. … There’s no way I can pay that.’ ‘Edith, it’s Francine. … They stopped by my house again today, talking about foreclosure. I don’t know what to do. Can you call me?’ Childs leans her head back against the wall and closes her eyes. Her hair is matted down with sweat, and thin-rimmed glasses sink low on her nose. Every few minutes, she stirs to jot notes on a to-do list that fills most of a notebook.’ This story goes on about economic misery in South Carolina. All these people voted for Obama, and none of it’s getting fixed.
RUSH: As usual, my friends, half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair.
I want to return to this Washington Post story. It’s actually from yesterday about the failure — I mean, the abject misery — that’s out there in people’s lives who thought Obama was gonna fix all of this. So we’re picking up here with Edith Childs, who is 60. She is a county councilwoman in Greenwood, South Carolina. She was just listening to her cell phone, voicemail, with 13 minutes of complaint calls from people who can’t pay the light bill, their house is going to be foreclosed on. ‘She has to remind herself,’ it says here, ‘that she ran for county council in 1998 because she coveted this role: unofficial protector, activist and psychologist for her hometown. Back then, the hardships of Greenwood — 22,000 people separated from the nearest interstate by 40 miles — struck Childs as contained.
‘Now she sometimes wonders aloud to her husband, Charles: ‘When does it stop?” Hey, Edith? Have you noticed it’s spreading and getting worse, Edith, in the last hundred days? I just add that as an editorial comment. ‘Across the dark living room, one of Childs’s favorite pictures is displayed on a worn coffee table. It shows Childs with her arms wrapped around Barack Obama, his hand on her back, her eyes glowing. They met at a rally attended by 37 supporters on a rainy day in 2007, when Childs responded to Obama’s sluggishness on stage with an impromptu chant: ‘Fired up! Ready to go!’ She repeated it, shouting louder each time, until Obama laughed and dipped his shoulders to the rhythm. The chant caught on. ‘Fired up!’ people began saying at rallies.
”Ready to go,’ Obama chanted back. He told audiences about Childs, ‘a spirited little lady,’ and invited her onstage at campaign appearances. By the day of his inauguration, when Childs led a busload of strangers bound for the Mall in her now-iconic chant, her transformation was complete. She was Edith Childs, fired up and ready to go.’ Remember, now, the headline of the story is: ‘Going from Fired Up to Tired Out.’ ‘But now, as Obama nears the 100-day milestone of his presidency, Childs suffers from constant exhaustion. In a conservative Southern state that bolstered Obama’s candidacy by supporting him early in the Democratic primaries, she awakens at 2:30 a.m. with stress headaches and remains awake mulling all that’s befallen Greenwood since Obama’s swearing-in. On Day 4 of his presidency, the Solutia textile plant laid off 101 workers.
‘On Day 23, the food bank set a record for meals served. On Day 50, the hospital fired 200 employees and warned of [more]. On Day 71, the school superintendent called a staff meeting and told his principals: ‘We’re losing 10 percent of our budget. That means some of us won’t have jobs next year, and the rest should expect job changes and pay cuts.’ On Day 78, the town’s newly elected Democratic mayor, whose campaign was inspired partly by his admiration for Obama, summarized Greenwood’s accelerating fragility. ‘This is crippling us, and there’s no sign of it turning around,’ Welborn Adams said. On Day 88, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that South Carolina had set a record for its highest unemployment rate in state history, at 11.4 percent. Greenwood’s unemployment is 13 percent — more than twice what it was when Childs first started chanting’ for Obama in 2007.
And in this little town, his approval rating is in the nineties. There’s another story here, another woman, ‘Evon Hackett, 38, lost her job on Day 20 of Obama’s presidency. She was nearing the end of her Friday afternoon shift on the assembly line at Tyco Healthcare, stuffing three packets of diapers into each passing cardboard box for $8.59 an hour, when a manager asked to see her. Hackett cleaned out her locker on the way to his office. ‘What, was he going to give me a raise?’ she said. ‘Huh-uh. Not happening. Not in Greenwood,” South Carolina. And you go through the whole story and… Well, here. One more paragraph and I’ll give you the piece de resistance. ‘On Day 85 of the Obama presidency, Hackett wakes up and swaps her usual blue sweat pants for a pair of ironed capris and a denim jacket. Eight silver bracelets are divided between two wrists.
‘Her hair is pulled into tight dreadlocks, which a friend twisted until 11 the night before. As Hackett stands up to leave her parents’ house, she completes her outfit with a pair of pink high heels, purchased at the bargain price of $15.99 because she managed to squeeze into the children’s size. ‘I want people to look at me and think, ‘Classy,” Hackett says. ‘I don’t want nobody thinking I’m some know-nothing loser.” If you read the story, you find out that all these problems, it’s just getting worse and worse and worse — and they just say, ‘Well, I guess we’re just not that high on his priority list yet.’ I guess we’re just not that high on his priority list! In other words: He’s trying! He’s working in other parts of the country right now to pay people’s electric bills, and he’s stopping home foreclosures in other parts of the country. But these people know that their little town’s 40 miles away for an interstate. Now, this Edith what’s-her-name knows Obama personally; but still, ‘I guess we’re not that high on his priority list,’ meaning, ‘He’s going to get to us. He’s going to get to us, it just he must think that there’s something else out there he has to do first.’ (sigh) So it’s the perception versus the reality.