While the Governors Conference was in town, three women governors took the time to hold a local event Sunday in support of Sen. Obama. It was originally going to be five governors but Delaware’s Ruth Ann Minner and Washington’s Christine Gregoire weren’t able to attend. This was the advance notice:
As the nation’s governors gather in Philadelphia this weekend, five of America’s leading governors will host a Town Hall Meeting on the Economy. They will hear from Pennsylvania middle class families about the economic challenges they face, and discuss Senator Obama’s agenda to ensure all Americans can find affordable health care, lower gas prices, and a good paying job to support their families.
The event will be moderated by Margi Casey McGrath, whose brother Bob Casey, Jr., is Pennsylvania’s junior senator.
About 200 people attended the event, held at UFCW Local 1776 in Plymouth Meeting.
Gov. Janet Napolitano (Arizona), Gov. Kathleen Sibelius (Kansas), and Gov. Jennifer Granholm (Michigan)
These are my rough notes. As always I apologize in advance for any errors or misconceptions.
JG: former Clinton supporter. Michigan has lost 400,000 jobs since George Bush took office. We need to negotiate fair trade deals and level the playing field. Obama is a fighter. It is important to replace jobs with growing sectors, like renewable and clean energies. Last year more cars were built in Ontario than in Michigan. Canada has similar regulations and labor. The reason the jobs went to Canada is health care. This is an economic as well as moral issue.
KS: Spending time with Ed Rendell is fun. Early supporter of Obama, whose mother was from Kansas. We need to get a handle on health care. Pay equity. Obama is a fighter for women’s issues. Illinois has six times the amount of child care money as federally mandated. Obama understands child care needs. Affordable college and training. [pitch for us to work and volunteer to get Obama elected, must win PA]
JN: Can get public funding for gubernatorial elections if you get 4,000 $5.00 donations. Lived in PA as a child, learned to read here. Knows something about John McCain. McC voted with George Bush 95% of the time, McC is a tireless campaigner. Arizona is in the top group of home foreclosures, McC has no plan on this. Obama will make a huge investment in renewable energy. Barry Goldwater, Mo Udall, and Bruce Babbitt all Arizonans who ran for president and lost. Let’s continue with that trend.
There were several questions afterwards. Here are just a few:
Q: Will McC’s plan make things worse for governors?
JN: McCain says he will cut spending, usually cut funding for things that must be funded, leaving it to the states, like homeland security.
JG: Look at costofwar.com for how much the war is costing Pennsylvania.
KS: states picking up more and more and more. McCain vetoed CHIP (children’s health care program)
Q: What incentives will Obama use to encourage industry to use renewable energy?
JG: Obama will invest $150 billion in renewable energy [mentions ethanol made of wood waste not corn]
KS: In the Bush administration $1.4 billion invested in alternative energy research and development. To put that in perspective, last year Americans spent over $5 billion on Halloween. Green jobs are good jobs.
Granholm had the last word of the event:
JG: to Clinton supporters – there is no time to waste. The daylight between Clinton and Obama is nothing compared to the different between Obama and McCain.
Personal observations: This was a fun event to attend. The three governors were all great speakers. Granholm was a little fiery. Sibelius was a little quieter but spoke with authority. Napolitano was the most casual speaker. It was really interesting to watch the interplay between them. Moderator McGrath had very little to do as they were very collegial about sharing the microphone and building on /complementing each other's comments. I had a blast.
(Wardrobe notes: I've read that there isn't a neutral clothing or hair choice for women which is why so much attention is paid to what women wear. A standard may be emerging, all three governors work black pants and a monotone jacket -- red for Granhom, pink for Sibelius, and blue for Napolitano. All three sported a similar hair length, between shoulder and ear.)