STAMFORD, Conn. -- Nancy Pelosi breezed through her weekend tour of Connecticut Congressional Districts, stopping in Stamford on behalf of Fourth District Democratic contender Jim Himes and holding a press conference on the steps outside of the home of the Richard Gonzalez family, a family especially hard hit by health insurance and economic issues.
Pelosi, Himes and Richard and Susanne Gonzalez holding their 2-year-old twin daughters Ava and Chloe came outside to greet the press after a "Kitchen Table" discussion about the Gonzalez's middle class struggle with unemployment and the enormous healthcare costs for their daughter Chloe. Chloe was born with a birth defect that has required 15 surgeries and 24/7 care.
"This is an American story, a loving family trying to do the right thing, but they ask, how will we make ends meet?" Pelosi said outside the home. She then said that the middleclass is the backbone of the country but that middle income families are living a fragile existence. She described Christopher Shays (R-CT), McCain's Co-Chairman for Conecticut as an enabler for Bush policies in Congress. Regarding the energy bill they hoped to pass this week, she called McCain's Drill Now mantra "A Rip!"
"This is our oil," she said. "Big Oil drills it. We the taxpayers subsidize them to do it. And then we pay to use that oil." Pelosi argued that instead of advancing a meaningless "drill now" platform that caters to oil companies, lawmakers need to protect consumers, increase alternative fuels, lower and reduce dependency on foreign oil and reverse global warming.
"This year, Democrats have an extraordinary opportunity to bring change for families in Connecticut's 4th District by replacing Congressman Shays and electing Jim Himes," Pelosi said. "He understands the needs of middle-class families, having been raised by a single mother, and having attended public schools. Jim Himes is committed to creating jobs, rebuilding our housing market, making health care more affordable, and fighting for energy independence."
When a reporter asked if she caught Sarah Palin's interview, she allowed that she had not since she was attending a Bocce Tournament in Hartford at the time to the amusement of these reporters. Although she did not address Palin's interview or lack of knowledge directly, she did say John McCain's choice for Vice President reflected more poor judgment from a man who has voted 90% in line with George Bush.
Parroting Senator John McCain, Christopher Shays has told Connecticut voters that the economy is fundamentally strong. But in his latest ad, Shays tried to have it both ways, conceding that McCain may not bring votes to down-ticket candidates. The ad includes snapshots of Senators Obama and McCain with a voiceover that says: "The hopefulness of Obama, the straight talk of McCain. It's what Christopher Shays has always stood for."
Shays voted for the S Chip bill that would have grated 10 million children affordable access to healthcare. Pelosi pointed out that McCain supported both of Bush's vetoes of the bill. The president and John McCain share priorities, Pelosi said. They don't believe we can afford $40 billion for children's healthcare but that we should spend the equivalent every 40 days in Iraq.
The Gonzalez Family has faced grave financial concerns after the birth of their twin girls. They took their troubles to to Connecticut State Representative Andrew MacDonald, a high school friend who helped them find adequate healthcare coverage.
The Gonzalez's home is part of a small group of neatly manicured townhouse style condominiums on a side street not too far from downtown Stamford. Stamford part of Fairfield County's gold coast is U.S. Headquarters for financial services like UBS, Gartner Group and soon, RBS aka Royal Bank of Scotland. Attracting great wealth, there are also deep pockets of poverty and within a mile of the townhomes is the newest Trump Tower Parc at 34 stories high and featuring 170 luxury condos priced between $750,000 and more than $2.5 million.