Velma Hart 'Overwhelmed' By Well-Wishers After Layoff
WASHINGTON -- Velma Hart, the middle-class Maryland woman who told President Obama she was "exhausted" from sticking up for him, was not surprised when she lost her job.
"I don't know that a CFO can ever be surprised that a layoff happens for financial reasons," Hart told HuffPost on Wednesday, less than a week after losing her job as the chief financial officer for a D.C.-based veterans' service organization. "No surprise, just disappointment."
What has been surprising, she said, is the outpouring of support from people across the country after news broke that she'd been laid off. "It has been absolutely overwhelming," Hart said. "I didn't think people cared that much. That's been really a nice outcome from this."
Hart's remarks to the president in September about her family's economic anxiety resonated with lots of people. She told the president that she was a member of the middle class and that she was exhausted. "I'm exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for and deeply disappointed with where we are right now. 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'm one of those people, and I'm waiting, sir," she said.
"My husband and I joked for years that we thought we were well beyond the hot dogs and beans era of our lives," Hart continued. "But quite frankly, it's starting to knock on our door and ring true that that might be where we're headed again."
Now that misfortune has knocked loudly, Hart is grateful for the tons of emails and even phone calls from well-wishers she's received. "I'm honored and humbled and somewhat taken aback with the interest in the fact that I have lost my job," she said.
She stressed that she considers herself more fortunate than lots of people.
"There are some who've been looking for a job for over two years," she said. "You know the saying, 'It takes a village'? It's village time."