A Memo to Clinton from the Delegates as Monitor Reporters Roved the Floor of the Democratic Convention, They Heard Recurring Themes from Many of the Delegates. Delegate Views Are Represented in the Following "Memo." Series: The 96 Campaign: Democratic Convention
Reported writers Kurt Shillinger, Linda Feldmann, and Sam Walker . Written Kurt Shillinger., The Christian Science Monitor
TO: President Clinton
FROM: Convention Delegates
RE: Priorities for Second a Term
We're feeling pretty confident, Mr. President, that you'll be reelected in November. Given that you're trying to balance the budget, we thought we'd spare Washington the expense of flying us back to the White House for policy sessions in January, and so pooled our thoughts on your second term while we were all under the same roof in the Windy City.
Let's get the ugly stuff out of the way first. Remember Mary Louise Williams? She taught Chelsea's kindergarten in Little Rock, Ark. You used to drop off your daughter on your way to the governor's office. Well, Ms. Williams isn't too happy about the welfare bill you signed last week. Neither are we. So here are some thoughts on how to undo the damage:
"Create more jobs," says Toby Ritch, a state representative from Wilson, N.C. If you're not going to guarantee assistance to poor people who need it, at least make sure there are enough jobs. And while you're at it, raise the minimum wage even higher.
"If you came to Texas," says Red Peters of Watauga, Texas, "I'd like to take you into the industrial plants, to the public-health hospitals to get the real story. All of these people they claim are on welfare - I find very few people that are able to do a day's work for a day's wages."
Your opponent, Bob Dole, seems to think everything was so much better back in the days before that great Democrat Franklin Roosevelt gave us a New Deal. Just so you're clear about this, Mr. President, those days weren't so great.
Our friend Gerald Underwood of Trinity, N.C., should know. He was there: "Back then, during the Depression, there was just as much drug abuse and crime and teen pregnancy. We just didn't hear so much about it. When a girl got pregnant, she was whisked off to her aunt's house in another county. Who wants to go back to that?"
Don't abandon the poor, Mr. President. And, Williams adds, don't forget the children.
Before we drift too far from the subject of jobs, sir, let us just thank you for the 10 million you gave us during the last four years. Our working-class brethren applaud you. But we need more than just new jobs. …