*In a town hall-style Q&A hosted by CNBC Monday, President Obama faced a question from an African American supporter that made instant headlines.
The woman identified herself as a veteran and an executive who is raising two children.
“I am one of your middle class Americans and, quite frankly, I’m exhausted,” she said. “I’m exhausted of defending you. I’m exhausted of defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for. And I’m deeply disappointed with where we are right now.”
The woman’s voice shook as she continued: “I have been told that I voted for a man who said he was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. I am one of those people and I’m waiting sir. I’m waiting. I don’t feel it yet. And I thought, while it wouldn’t be in great measure, I would feel it in some small measure.”
She went on to explain that she and her husband have put their kids in private school and, next year, will deal with college bills. They thought these and other achievements meant they had strived past the point of struggle, but now they struggle consistently to make ends meet. “And quite frankly Mr. President,” she concluded, “I need you to answer this honestly: Is this my new reality?”
The president’s answer to the woman and throughout his time in office has been that the hole into which our economy fell during the Bush era is historically deep and it will take time to climb out. With the stimulus bill, financial reform and new credit card regulations from his administration, we are much father along than we would’ve been had they not been enacted.