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Mary Ann West Headshot

A Dozen Joe Six-Packs at the VP Debate Party

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Norwalk, CT: That Bailout will help no one out, it doesn't help me, my family, my company or anyone I know, it only helps the banking industry and those who aren't struggling to live paycheck to paycheck like I am. You know who it helps? It helps those who stand to loose millions on paper, not my neighbor who wants to start a small company. The banks aren't investing in Main Street USA, they're not lending to small businesses, small farmers or entrepreneurs who need small loans to get started or expand. They just aren't funneling money to those who need it. And who do you know who needs to be worried that the FDIC is now going to insure accounts up to $250,000, like how many people do you know who have $100,000? These sentiments are some of what I heard from a dozen self proclaimed Joe Six-Packs speaking after the Vice Presidential Debate Watch Party about the economy and politics and how it effects them on a personal level. These are the people who reside on Main Street. These were men who wanted to hear about the substance of the candidate, not sound bites.

They may have come to the non-partisan Watch Party at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center in Norwalk, CT for the food, beer and companionship but none were shy in letting me know exactly how irritated they are with the Presidential candidates, our leadership and the direction the country on the whole is moving towards. These blue collar Electricians voiced their thoughts not only regarding the debate, but also their frustrations of how politicians are talking of helping Main Street but they are not giving concrete examples on how they are going to implement ways they will help those who are threatened with house foreclosures, jobs lost to other countries or downsizing due to the economic crisis. Health insurance payments, less coverage and higher pharmaceutical co-payments along with concerns of the costs of higher education and increasing taxes for less service and lowered quality of life topped the list of their concerns.

The hotel setting brought together a divergent group from across the country, of all income levels, those who came to watch the debate while others headed into the Cocktail Lounge for a drink and ran into a party. Some attended because they just happen to be staying at the Inn. As a group they indicated they were Republican, Democrat or Unaffiliated in a pre-debate survey (see separate box) that about half answered and later post-debate questions.

On the post-debate results from the attendees: What confused most was Governor Palin not answering the question that was being asked leading to much confusion, she would return back to the earlier question or go off on an unrelated tangent. Palin, by not screwing up completely showed that she is not the airhead that America thinks she is. She had the bar set so low that anything she said would be a plus, but even they guys couldn't understand the winks and down home pandering and that josh darn Hillbilly noise from the woman who can see Russia. After all, she did better than her Katie Couric interviews.

Did the Debate exceed expectations? Yes, but Biden had larger expectations to do well than Palin. Biden was more professional, came across as more knowledgeable and looked more Presidential. Overall the sentiment was that Biden did what he needed to do while Palin succeeded by contrasting her record as an executive to Biden's 35 years of experience. Palin did not show her experience beyond the small limits of Alaska.

The folks at the Norwalk Inn were very accommodating and graciously welcomed all who attended. But I need to make the readers aware there are legal issues regarding a historic building next door that the Inn purchased to tear down in order to expand the Inn.

To read more: http://www.cttrust.org/9929?highlight=Grumman+St.John+House