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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Two views of the Obama presidency

The eight years of the Obama presidency may be like the opening of “A Tale of Two Cities.” Democrats may see it as the best of times, Republicans as the worst. Here are contrasting views of party members from the Spokane area:

Lynn Schindler, former Republican legislator from Spokane Valley, longtime GOP activist who “just remembers being mad for eight years.”

“There are a lot of people that were left behind, forgotten about, and I think you saw that in the results of the election. I don’t think he understood anything about what the working man was all about. … (Companies) were taking manufacturing out of the United States and the Democrats were saying, ‘We’ll teach you about technology and computers.’ That’s not their lifestyle, that’s not what they want to do. …

“Everything went over his head. He’s smart, but smart doesn’t mean you pick the right way to resolve things. His history as a neighborhood organizer (meant) you forget there’s a bigger picture. … I will admit that he tried (to fight the recession) but when you don’t understand the economy, it doesn’t work.

“There were too many executive orders, and people are very dissatisfied with Obamacare. It’s a mess. Now we have to start all over again. Keeping kids on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26 and (requiring coverage for) pre-existing conditions was probably good, but he didn’t know how it was going to be paid for. It’s not sustainable.

“I don’t know how history will judge him. I know it was amazing having a black president. He’s a great guy personally and everybody loved Michelle. But put that next to a president like Reagan, I don’t think he will measure up.”

Sally Jackson, former Spokane County Democratic chairwoman, legislative candidate and Valley activist, who “hopes the country survives the next four years.”

“I remember the Great Depression, and the fact that he pulled us away from going over that cliff is amazing. …

“As brilliant as he is, as energizing of a speaker as he is, I knew he had a feel for the people. The president isn’t someone I want to have a beer with. I want someone who is super smart. He didn’t disappoint me. …

“I think a single payer (health insurance system) would’ve been better, but I think Obamacare is a success. Two of my granddaughters have health care because of that. …

“I support him putting away more land (in wilderness and national monuments). I don’t want the U.S. government giving away our land.

“I think he’ll go down in history as one of our great presidents. He’ll be remembered for the class that he had and the love that he had for Michelle and their children, a loving husband and wife and a loving family. …

“I was so thrilled that this country elected a black man, and people said we had overcome racial prejudice. It didn’t prove to be true. There’s still a racial divide in this country. Maybe too many people have to feel superior to somebody else’s race or religion, ethnicity or gender.”

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