Contextual Content

What does Barack Obama’s "change" mean?

Obama fans in Concord, New Hampshire, explain

obama_change

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Story Transcript

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR: We’re here at Concord, New Hampshire. As you can see behind me, a banner which says: "CHANGE: WE CAN BELIEVE IN." The average age here must be under 25 years old. Clearly, the Obama campaign is trying to make a statement here, and that statement is there’s a movement happening.

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BARACK OBAMA: We want change in this country.

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But the question is: A movement for what? Well, we know it’s a movement for change. But what kind of change?

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PARTICIPANT 1: I mean, Bush and Clinton, it’s time for change.

MATTHEW PALEVSKY, TRNN JOURNALIST: And it represents change. What does that mean?

PARTICIPANT 1: Well, fundamentally, you know, it means new ideas. It means responsiveness to a whole new set of trends. I mean, he’s going to shake things up.

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PARTICIPANT 2: Change means improving economy, and getting us out of Iraq, and just a lot of things.

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PARTICIPANT 3: Obama, I mean, he comes from a completely different background. He’s international. He’s inter-racial. He is inter-party. I mean, he represents everything that is America and that is the world, and that’s what we need right now. I think he’s going to change the way that politics is delivered to the American people and the way that American people’s voices are heard in politics, the way that America is seen in the international community, our relationships, everything.

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PARTICIPANT 4: And change is something that’s going to happen regardless of who the president is. But I think the person who can actually deliver on change is going to be somebody who has the qualities like Barack Obama.

JAY: What does change mean to you? In terms of fundamental change, do you think that’s coming? Or are you okay with incremental change?

PARTICIPANT 4: Well, you’re going to have to define fundamental change for me.

JAY: Well, for example, in terms of foreign policy, some of the other candidates have suggested as much as closing down foreign bases and changing the whole approach to foreign policy. But we haven’t heard that from Obama.

PARTICIPANT 4: I think fundamental change is going to be something we’ll see in some areas. It’s not going to be across the board, no matter what issue you’re talking about. There’s going to be incremental change as well in some places. But I think that regardless of the issue there’s going to be a collective voice that’s speaking about what’s going to happen in these different arenas. And I think that’s what Barack will bring to—will fill a void in our current democracy.

JAY: What will you say, "Yeah, that’s changed"?

PARTICIPANT 4: When will I see change? I’ll see change as soon as we have a dialog in this country and it’s no longer about having one more Democrat or one more Republican in the Congress, but when we have people working together to solve our nation’s problem, because I believe that there is a fierce urgency of now, and I really do believe that we need to in these next four years really re-correct the direction that we’re going in.

JAY: I’ll tell you something I’m concerned about his candidacy. On the climate change crisis, most scientists are suggesting targets that I don’t see how can be met with his climate change policy. Something more fundamental has to be proposed, and I haven’t heard it. Does that concern you?

PARTICIPANT 4: Well, I’m very concerned about climate change. And I think when I analyze a candidate right now, they all have really great plans, and they all have things that if they were successfully implemented could work and would achieve a certain policy goal. But I think right now we don’t have candidates other than Barack Obama who are capable of delivering the number of votes in Congress to have legislation passed. I believe it would be a step in the direction, no matter what the plan is.

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OBAMA: The American people are rising up. And we’re going to bring about change in America.

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DISCLAIMER:

Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.