My Vote is up for Grabs!



I’m an old high school friend of Mr. Wood. I had the pleasure of catching up with him recently at his MSU tailgate @ the Northwestern game….blocks from my house. HIs was the only tailgate with an Obama sign staked in the ground next to the food….and a picture of Obama himselt on the cookie jar!
Anyway, he said you all can help me with my dilemma….my vote is up for grabs!

Not sure there is enough room to lay out my dilemmas….so I’ll just start with Education:

  • I like that McCain wants to give more money to Community Colleges….anything to support extended education.
  • I don’t like his idea of giving parental choice of schools and vouchers for private schools….just not practical.
  • I like that Obama wants to change the No Child Left Behind law as it is flawed and not working! I’m all for changing the current status of teaching to standardized tests.
  • I kind of like his tax credit plan for college expenses for students who perform 100 hours of community service a year.

Anything else you can add for or against these guys to help me decide who gets my vote on this issue?

Thanks.  Sharon

And I, Mr. Wood will provide you a little bit more info in order to get to know Sharon. She grew up in Kalamazoo – was an All-State tennis player at Kalamazoo Central. She went to MSU when I went to MSU. Sharon graduated with a degree in Business or Advertising…either way – she was a big time executive on the East Coast with Pepsi – for a few years. Nutrasweet Corp hired her away from Pepsi – she moved back to the Midwest, married Todd who also went to MSU, and they live in Chicago just north of Evanston. She has two kids, who both attend high school at New Trier High School in Wilmette. It’s one of the finest public schools in the United States. She currently does some business consulting and has her own small business creating jewelry. She’s a pretty smart gal..or she wouldn’t be asking for your assistance in this decision.

One more thing…she really is undecided. Locally, she’s voted as a Democrat in the past, nationally as a Republican. Any questions that you have for her – or thoughts that might help provide her some insight into your candidate selection in this Election, I am absolutely sure will be contemplated with total sincerity.

So, please say “Hi” to Sharon Grover.

Comments Off on My Vote is up for Grabs!

Filed under X 09 SCI

0 Responses to My Vote is up for Grabs!

  1. Corey Swanon 1st Hour

    Hello, Sharon, my name is Corey Swanson and I am a student in Mr. Wood’s Senior Current Issues class. As the title of his class suggests, I’m a senior at Oakridge High School. Over the past two months, I have worked hard for the Obama campaign and have met people you wouldn’t believe.

    First, let me tell you a bit about myself…

    I have been going to Oakridge my whole life and I have been poor just as long. My dad has lost three jobs (with an extended period of unemployment in between each of these losses), my mother has been unemployed the whole time, and I am making minimum wage working at the same place as my father… McDonalds. However, my life is not all melancholy. I am the president of my class, I am the Drum Major of our High School Marching Band, and I pull a 3.8-4.4 g.p.a.

    These things alone are typically enough to place one in the Democrat camp, but I am not such an impulsive voter. There are three main reasons I am voting Democrat this November fourth… 1) The people behind the Obama campaign are some of the most inspirational people I have ever met; 2) The Obama campaign has encouraged youth involvement and given me the opportunities to get involved; and 3) Obama has the plans to address the people like me who are not particularly privileged.

    1. The People for Obama

    There are a few people I’d really like to mention here… first off, the campaign manager, Krystal Unwin, has done everything in her power to make working for Obama pleasurable, relevant, and convenient. She’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and she has come from the same meager roots as me. Second, there is a woman who works for the campaign who has a brain tumor… she could be spending the last moments of her life working for Obama, but this election is so important to her (and she likes Obama so much) that she is happy to do it. There’s Chad, who went to college for Journalism but is unemployed right now because the financial crisis forced his company to downsize, yet he still smiles all of the time and retains a sunny outlook on the future. There’s Steve, who does god-knows-what, but has been there to help, not only me, but anyone who needs it… without ever asking anything in return. You see, Sharon, a big part of our Democracy is how well our leaders inspire us to get involved in the process… and Obama doesn’t just succeed at this, he excels to a level beyond that of any candidate in the history of the United States of America.

    2. Youth Involvement

    The Obama campaign has given me the chance to make a difference. I always held the belief that, if you’re not involved in the process, you have no right to complain if things don’t go the way you want them to. Sharon, things have not been going the way I want them to. The upper 5% of the United States has seen the biggest tax breaks in the history of our country while people like me live in squalor. While poorly written free-trade agreements give CEO’s the chance to ship their jobs to the places with the loosest labor laws are, my father and mother have to go through unfair Temp Agencies and flip burgers. While the markets were deregulated, including a lack of oversight over the medical industry, my girlfriend’s mother was given the short end of the stick on a medical malpractice case, costing her a job. With all of these things happening, it’s time for me to do my part to fix the United States.

    3) Obama’s Plans

    You mentioned John McCain’s plan to give community colleges money. Well, Obama has said that he wants to make schools like Muskegon Community College free… entirely free. Not only this, as you have also mentioned, he wants to give a yearly $4,000 tax credit for 100 hours of community service… that helps me. By the time I graduate with my doctorate in Political science… he’ll have given me $32,000 in scholarships. Obama also wants to give tax breaks to companies that create Green Jobs, generating about 5 million jobs… that helps my family.

    Thank you, Sharon, for reading this lengthy post. Hopefully I’ve answered some questions and if you have anymore… about taxes, Obama’s character, medical plans, foreign policy, etc… Please write me back…

    Thank you,

    Corey Swanson

  2. Sharon Grover

    Hi Corey,
    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. First of all you are quite impressive! I LOVED reading your story and have no doubt you will have a bright future.
    You have given me a few things to think about and I thank you for that.
    You are right, Obama appears to be an impressive leader and he’s definitely an eloquent speaker. He has done an amazing job inspiring our youth. Overall, I think he is giving many people hope….particularly those that haven’t felt it under Bush.
    I don’t disagree that our economy is lopsided and the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. I am concerned though about how Obama plans to cover the cost of many of his proposed programs. Raising taxes on the top 5% of our population won’t do it alone. I would feel more confident that he is the right person to lead our country; not only out of our current economic crisis but also to a more balanced/secure/healthy economy, if he brought significant credentials and experience with him. It’s shocking how little he has accomplished in his 47 years vs say, Jack Kennedy or Bill Clinton.
    My concern with his lack of experience doesn’t just apply to how he’ll handle our economy but I’m also frightened about his current thinking on the war in Iraq. I don’t want to be in that war, nor do I want you or my son to go over there and fight. We are in a war, however, and pulling out now and leaving Iraq (and soon Afganistan), in disarray from our own doing…..could be disastrous. Pulling out before we have secured those countries could very well put us at a greater risk than before we got started in this whole mess. Not to mention the risk of handing these countries over to their neighbors.

    My vote is still up for grabs….

  3. Jeff L.

    Hi Sharon,
    I am a teacher at Oakridge with Mr. Wood. I am a registered independent and in the past have voted mostly for Republicans in the national elections.

    I am convinced that Obama is what our country needs in order to get back on track.

    As a former economics teacher I know that the one sure way for our economy to get back on track is for the American people and the rest of the world for that matter, to have confidence that our country is headed in the right direction.

    Our current economic problems have many causes. Consumer Confidence is, I feel, at the root of the problem. It began declining for a number of reasons well before the recent stock market collapse and nothing was done by the current administration in order to stop the slide. What we ended up with was a collapse of the worlds financial markets that anyone who has paid attention to the major indicators over the past few years could have predicted. If we feel the economy is going in the toilet, we stop spending and actually cause the economy to go in the toilet because of our change in spending behavior. It is that self fulfilling prophecy, which I am sure you already know about, that has such a huge impact on our world economy.

    (link to time magazines article,8599,1847792,00.html)

    I feel that Obama’s calm and confident leadership style will give the world the confidence that it needs to get our world’s economy going. People have to believe that the future will be better. That will have a direct impact on world wide spending, which as I am sure you know, allows companies to continue and even increase production which results in increased income for workers, which results in increased spending.

    Sharon, there are a number of reasons why we should choose Obama over McCain. The number one reason is that Obama will give us that confidence in the future that we need so desperately.
    I hope that this helps. E-mail me if you would like to discuss it further at

  4. Sharon Grover

    Thank you Jeff L. for posting your thoughts. So it sounds like for you and Corey Obama seems like the stronger leader. I do agree, he has run an amazing campaign–raising $600 million is unprecedented. His style is appealing. One that clearly speaks to the two of you and gives you confidence that he will get our country back on track. Jeff, I liked your thoughts on consumer confidence and how that will translate to economic health.
    I don’t disagree when I watch Obama speak. He has me eating right out of his hand. When I watch McCain speak, I don’t feel the same way. When I close my eyes, however, and think about what each candidate brings to the party, red flags start going up around Obama. Big time. Jeff, if you are right and all we need is a confidence boost to start turning things around here in the U.S., I have to wonder, are the other world leaders using the same criteria, filters, sensory touchpoints, to evaluate our president and will he instill confidence in them. One might say, actions will speak louder than words and when our economy starts recovering, they will of course have confidence in him. I just don’t know if this is a neat and tidy equation that applies to international relations and the security of our country.

  5. Corey Swanson

    Obama’s leadership qualities are, perhaps, his most distinguishing features. And I think that the resurging confidence in this new leader will translate into a better world-view of the United States.

    Consider this…

    McCain may be a very experienced individual, but I feel me must strongly consider his health as presidential criteria. To be honest… I don’t think a 72 year old man with recurring melanoma (perhaps the deadliest skin cancer) can be expected to handle the enormous pressures of our economy, a divided populous, and world pressure. The presidency is one of the most stressful jobs on the planet… and it would be difficult even for a man in pristine health.

    Also–and god forbid this would ever happen to Senator McCain– if he died, we would then have Sarah Palin as our president… something that should be sending up serious red flags for you. This is not just a speculation, but a completely viable possibility.

    On Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama does not want to pull us all out… he wants a phased withdrawal. In fact, his plan is the one already being implemented by General Petreaus. By slowly giving up sections of Iraq, we can pull troops while still closely monitoring the situation there. If things were to begin to deteriorate, we would see re-offensive to restore stability. Obama’s plan is not to leave Iraq high and dry, but to slowly return the sovereignty of that nation.

    We mustn’t misunderstand Obama’s stance of Afghanistan either. He does not want to pull out there at all. In fact, he has said this himself; Obama wants to focus our efforts there because he considers it the true frontline on the war on terror. There will not be a withdrawal in Afghanistan, but a surge of sorts…

    Finally, Sharon, actions most certainly do speak louder than words. Obama stood against this war when it was an extremely unpopular thing to do… proving that he would not follow the crowd simply to further his political agenda. He has organized one of the greatest campaigns in the history of the United States of America, proving that he is a savvy and politically acute leader. He has defeated one of the finest political minds in our nation (Hillary Clinton) and is running a great campaign against a very experienced senator. He has remained calm in the midst of a very serious financial crisis while McCain has been spastic and, I daresay, reckless: suspending his campaign, nominating Sarah Palin, and failing to control his emotions.

    These actions, I feel, draw the starkest contrast between both candidates. I challenge you… mute any of the debates and tell me which candidate you feel has the best body language… who is handling better under the pressure? I bet you’ll find an impossibly relaxed No Drama Obama and a very spastic McCain.

    Watching these muted displays… who would you rather have speaking to Vladimir Putin? Who would you rather have handling our infinitely complex economic crisis? Who would you rather have handling our problems in Iraq? And who would you rather have as President of the United States?

    McCain… or the calm, cool, and collected Obama…

    Hopefully this has helped you Sharon. Thank you so much for speaking with me!

    Thank you,

    Corey Swanson

  6. Sharon Grover

    Corey, I can’t tell you how much I have appreciated your input. Once again I am reminded that if we listen really hard, our children can sometimes teach us more than we teach them. You (and my children as well) have been telling me they support Obama. You are the generation that needs to be inspired and your generation is saying they are inspired by Obama. And so, my vote is no longer up for grabs…….I’ll be voting for Obama (my first vote for a democrat in a national election). Thank you Corey.