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Monday, October 20, 2008

Obama's Trip to White Diner Produces Mixed Results

It wasn't quite sitting at the lunch counter, but it was pretty damn close. Obama bypassed a predominantly all black BBQ joint and walked into a predominately white diner in North Carolina to meet with the church lunch crowd. It was a bit rocky, but promising. From Politico:
Obama arrived at the barbecue joint around 12:30 p.m., where an older and majority white clientele of several dozen were eating lunch after church services.

Many patrons applauded as he walked into the diner, but Diane Fanning, 54, began yelling “Socialist, socialist, socialist — get out of here!”
The gentleman next to Fanning, Lenox Bramble, 76, flashed an angry look at her. “Be civil, be courteous,” he admonished her. Another woman, Cecilia Hayslip, 61, yelled back at Fanning (per Reuters), “At least he’s not a warmonger!”

Bramble told Reuters’ pooler that he wasn’t voting for Obama because he didn’t think he had enough experience. Bramble’s wife, Kit, 75, said after meeting Obama, “He was very nice,” but added she’d been a conservative Republican since Barry Goldwater’s era and said she wouldn’t vote for Obama.


Later, Obama came to the long table where Fanning and other members of a local First Presbyterian church were gathered. He held out his hand to her and asked, “How are you, ma’am?” but she declined to shake his hand.
Fanning asked Obama about a North American union, and Obama responded: “Well, you know, I am opposed to it if it were happening. But it doesn’t seem to be actually be happening. The truth of the matter is there is no plans. I’ve talked to a lot of people, including folks down in Texas. There’s no plan to create a common government between Mexico, U.S. and Canada. That’s just not … that’s just not happening. I know some people have been hearing rumors about it. But as far as I can tell, that’s just not something that’s happening. We would never give up our sovereignty in that way. Any other questions?

In an interview, Fanning said, “I still think he’s a closet Muslim.”


Mike Long, 33, a first-time voter in furniture sales, said after talking with Obama about health care that he’d gone from less than 50 percent likely to vote for him to “98 percent” likely.

Sheila Evans, 39, who is biracial, told Obama, “I’m so proud of you.” She told your pooler Obama had chosen a restaurant frequented more by whites, while one a couple of doors down had predominantly African-American diners on Sundays.


But some of the other older white diners looked surprised and slightly uncomfortable as Obama stopped at their tables to shake hands. “I’m surprised, but I’m not going to say anything else,” said Pat Smith, who was joined by her husband.
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