Midterm, Part IV — Friendly Street Neighborhood Residents Lean Left

Reactions from local residents on the upcoming presidential election show favor toward the Democratic party.

BY Shawn Cook

EUGENE — Folks in the Friendly Street neighborhood shared differing political outlooks today, but tended to remain similar in their optimism about the country’s recovery. Aine Kennedy, Stuart Phillips and John McGinty stopped to be interviewed at different locations concerning their opinion of the current state of politics and what their thoughts were on the upcoming presidential election. While they had different ideas about why, Barack Obama almost immediately surfaced as the most likely choice for all.

The 2012 United States presidential elections have arrived. Televised debates and news coverage of the republican caucuses and nationwide primaries continue to skyrocket. People in small town neighborhoods, like Friendly Street, are going to be filling the ballot boxes and casting votes to change the leader of the nation. The remaining Republican nominees, well aware of this fact, are scouring just such neighborhoods as Friendly Street across the country in an effort to grab votes away from Obama.

Stuart Phillips, owner of Red Wagon Creamery and long time resident of Eugene's Friendly Street neighborhood, speaks fluently about politics on Friday.

Stuart Phillips, a former sports and editorial writer, owns Red Wagon Creamery, a small ice cream dispensary based locally. He believes that the Republican candidates don’t have as much interest in the welfare of the lower classes. He said that Obama was more into stimulating the U.S. and that Republicans throw “a false flag to say less government.” The way Phillips sees it, there’s a great need for more infrastructure, and the Democrats were more likely to get it done.

John McGinty takes it a little differently. A lifetime Oregonian, rusty yellow pick-up truck with a motorcycle tied up in the bed, McGinty spared no time before touting Ron Paul as the most likely candidate in any party to turn things around. He expressed sincere doubt, however, that Paul had any chance of even being nominated, let alone winning. As concerns the Republican primaries, he said, “I’m sick of ’em!” He sees Mitt Romney as the most liked and popular candidate to be elected to run against Obama, but admitted not paying much attention to the ongoing debates. “Obama care scares the hell out of me,” McGinty said. He believes government should get rid of entitlements entirely.

Aine Kennedy, on a walk with her dogs, worries about school program cuts at South Eugene.

Aine Kennedy is a 16 year old high school student at South Eugene. Obviously too young to vote, she nevertheless is aware of a preference to Obama, who she believes represents change. As a public school student, she has noticed several elective programs and employees who ran them being cut due to lack of funds. She also mentioned a lowering of quality food in the cafeteria. Public school improvements and policies are set by government and budgets supporting them suffer during weak economical times. Kennedy confessed to knowing very little about politics, but she will vote some day, and things she sees will effect that vote.

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