It’s been more than a month since Election Day, but the economy is still the number one issue Americans are looking to hear about from Obama when he delivers his inaugural speech on January 20.
“I would like to see him touch on his plans for the economy,” said Adam Short, a lecturer in political science at Elon University. “He has stayed in the background in the past few weeks on the auto bailout and plans for an economic stimulus package, so I would like to know more on day one what his plans are.”
Tony Williams, an employee at Wal-Mart from Burlington, North Carolina, agrees that the economy should be the top issue for Obama to address.
“I’d like him to talk about the economy, to continue to do the things that are necessary to get the economy back on track,” Williams said.
Williams, a veteran of the United States Air Force, also says Obama needs to address his course of action in removing troops from Iraq.
“[He should] also concentrate on getting the military people out of Iraq. I don’t feel like they should have been there to start with,” Williams said.
Obama made the campaign promise of a 16-month timetable to remove U.S. combat troops from Iraq.
Harlen Makemson, an assistant professor in the School of Communications at Elon, also wants to hear more on the specifics of Obama’s economic plan.
“I’m encouraged by the people he’s putting into place but the problems are so many and so immense I’d like to know where he’s going to go first to tackle these sorts of things,” Makemson said.
Makemson also hopes that Obama will help bridge the divide between conservatives and liberals.
“There seems to be some good things he’s done on that aspect as well but I think there’s so much work to be done and I worry sometimes that perhaps its too big to be crossed,” said Makemson.
Even those who supported McCain are ready to hear about Obama’s plans for the economy. Joni Grooms, a McCain supporter during the election, wants to hear more of the specifics on how Obama will manage the economy.
“Mainly what I would like him to talk about is how he’s going to pay for all of the things he’s proposing; the new jobs and the changes for America and how he’s going to pay for them,” said Grooms.
Pauli Hawkins, a Wal-Mart employee from Burlington, North Carolina, wants to hear about Obama’s plans for job creation.
“What’s he going to do to help people with jobs?” Hawkins said.
Hawkins supported Obama during the election and has high hopes for the president-elect.
“He’s such a good man, anything he says I’ll be happy with. We have someone now who I can understand and who is intelligent, for the first time in a decade,” said Hawkins.
Mary Morrison, director of the Kernodle Center for Service Learning, hopes that Obama will address public service.
“My hope is that Barack Obama will be able to inspire a whole new generation of people who are committed to public service, [that he] can restore the next generation’s belief in government and the power of government and also in their own efficacy for addressing issues on a local level,” Morrison said.
Brian Collins, associate director of Residence Life for community building at Elon, wants to know what Obama will do to improve America’s standing in the global community.
“I’m hoping that he talks about improving the way America is viewed by the rest of the world and talks about how we need to come together as a community and that there is a world community and that we all play a part in that,” said Collins.
Elon senior, Chika Kusakawa, says that, judging from his Election Day speech, Obama should handle the inaugural speech well.
“I think he’s always a good speaker and very motivational. I’m sure he’ll say what his goals are, what he plans on doing, and how he plans on achieving those goals,“ Kusakawa said.
With the continuing dismal news coming from the economy, it’s no surprise that American’s are ready to hear Obama’s specific course of action. With more than a month to go until inauguration, most Americans are ready to hear the leadership Obama plans to take to halt the economic recession.