Beth, Bea, and I left Fort Smith around 9:00 a.m. with my three kids and one of Beth’s kids in tow. We didn’t know what to expect. We had heard rumblings that there might be people bussed in by Organizing For America and didn’t know what the general mood would be. When we arrived at around 10:30, there were already several people waiting in front of the Tucker auditorium (the Town Hall had been moved there from the Doc Bryan auditorium as had previously been announced). There were some people with pro-Obama signs and t-shirts, but the overwhelming majority of people that attended were conservatives which really suprised us. We did not see any evidence of Democratic or Republican “plants”.
The questions were fairly chosen. Everyone who wanted to ask a question received two tickets with the same number on each, one being put in a basket and the other was to be kept by the questioner. As tickets were pulled out of the basket, the person with the corresponding number was able to ask a question.
Senator Lincoln was asked a lot of tough questions and seemed to get a little testy a few times. She gave general answers that were short on specifics. The questions that got the biggest applause lines dealt with Congress’s overspending and the crowd had definately had enough of it. The questions also leaned very much toward government keeping their hands out of insurance reform.
One stand out question was regarding all of the Czars of President Obama. The questioner was very concerned that some of the Czars are self-avowed marxists, communists, etc. and that they have no congressional oversight. Senator Lincoln was not concerned about the Czars saying that these people were merely staff members of the administration. She went on to say that these Czars were Americans first. Hmmm, isn’t this the same senator that called the health care protesters un-american? To quote a popular network, we report-you decide.
We did learn that Senator Lincoln will play a major part in writing the bill that will be coming out of the Finance committee in the Senate. She seemed to be in favor of some sort of insurance “exchange” -(think new bureaucracy).
Our own Bea got to ask a question about the ramifications of how government involvement in the insurance industry would affect the ability of insurance companies to survive. I heard the answer, but I’m not sure that any real information could be gleaned from it. Several of the people after the Town Hall came up to Bea to tell her that they really appreciated her question.
It was a fun day. It’s great to see the passion that the participants exhibited. No one got out of control, but I am pretty sure that the Town Hall gave Senator Lincoln a lot to think about…..