South Philly Voters Have a Message for Obama at the DNC: “Please Don’t Leave”

“President Obama, why isn’t your wife running for president instead of Bill’s?”

 

President Barack Obama will take to the Democratic National Convention stage in Philadelphia on Wednesday night to push Hillary Clinton’s case for the White House. Obama has made no secret of the fact that he thinks fighting for Clinton also means securing his own legacy. “I consider myself a runner,” he told a group of students in London in the spring. “And I’ve run my leg of the race. But then, I’ve got a baton, and I’m passing it on to the next person. And hopefully, they’re running in the right direction.”

Obama will also speak as a very popular president facing the end of his term. For the last two months, he has enjoyed his highest job approval ratings since the beginning of his presidency, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll. So I decided to ask voters on the streets of South Philadelphia—locals shopping at the historic Italian Market, rather than convention-goers—what they consider to be Obama’s greatest successes and failures, and what they will miss about his presidency.

“I’ll always love him,” said Sheila Kendall, 67. “I will miss his cool walk, the way he talks. He’s just a real genuine guy.”

Dominic Cappuccio, a butcher, was less than enthusiastic, saying that policies like Obamacare hurt small businesses like his. “I don’t agree with some of his programs,” he said. “I think the little guy, the small businessman, has basically been forced to—with their hands behind their back—obey what the powers that be want them to obey.”

There was no disagreement, however, about Michelle Obama. “The first lady’s been class,” Cappuccio said.

 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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