Illinois Senator Barak Obama visited Iowa last week. He spoke before an audience of approximately 600 people at Marshalltown Community College. The main room held about 250 of the total, while two overflow rooms, set up with direct feed video of his speech, caught the others. Obama, after entering to Aretha Franklin’s “Think”, shook hands and greeted the crowd, gave about a 30 minute speech, laying out his plans for universal health care – streamlining the healthcare system to bring down the overall cost ergo pass that efficacy along in the form of affordable insurance, intelligent withdrawal from Iraq, doing away with the “no child left behind” initiative that isn’t and implement a plan with teachers to set kids up to succeed – standard stump speech stuff. In typical Obama style, that was delivered flawlessly.

Then came the tough part – the Q & A portion of his visit. The questions didn’t challenge him. Mostly allowing him to reiterate the stump, until one man, wearing a worn jacket with POW-MIA and American flag patches stood up, took the wireless mike and said to Mr. Obama, “this is going to be a tough one.” Obama responded, “well, that’s okay”. The man’s question was about illegal immigration and the deterioration of the Democratic party.

 Some how, the questioner felt that one (America’s miserable immigration situation) grew out of the other (the deterioration of the Democratic party). Personally, I don’t think that follows, however, Obama did a fine job laying out his three prong approach to immigration 1. tougher border controls 2. fines and penalties for the employers who hire illegal workers and 3. fines for illegals, the requirement to learn English if the illegal immigrant wants to stay in the country and getting in the “back of the line” when it comes to applying for citizenship. He also pointed out the obvious to the crowd of folks from Marshalltown, who several months ago, lived through a Homeland Security raid on Swifts meat packers that resulted in numerous arrests of illegal immigrants working at the plant, that “rounding them up” isn’t an option, the US doesn’t have the manpower to facilitate a massive initiative like that and it is logistically, let alone humanely, impossible. Obama closed his speech by saying, “I haven’t been home for a week, I want to spend Easter with my family.” On the way out of the venue, there was a choke of people gathered around a table and a guy hocking Obama goods, buttons, banners, t-shirts, the most interesting one was perhaps a pink button that read “hot girls like Barak”. Yikes indeed.

Be Sociable, Share!