By RORYE O’CONNOR
MT. VERNON — —
Local residents hope to see a more assertive president — and a more accepting public — during President Barack Obama’s second term.
Jona McReynolds said she couldn’t be more pleased to see the president inaugurated for a second time.
“I don’t think for his first four years that he was given a fair shot,” she said. “He had a lot of obstacles with overcoming the images our country has about African-American males.”
She said she believes some of Obama’s ideas and plans for the country make people uncomfortable.
“Since he doesn’t have to worry about being reelected, I hope he will make the changes to the economy and society that he wants. I hope people become more comfortable and accepting of him,” she said. “I would like to see him be more forceful. Stand up for himself more. I understood why he was more reserved, but he doesn’t have that pressure now of having to be reelected. I hope he will be a little more aggressive.”
Jefferson County Board member James Malone said he thinks it is “awesome” to see the president taking on a second term.
“I mean, to me, it really shows how far the United States of America has come,” Malone said.
The Rev. W. Ron Lash, a Mt. Vernon City Council member, said he believes Obama’s second term is a fulfillment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.
“He was elected not for the color of his skin, but because people believed him capable of being president,” Lash said. “That was Dr. King’s vision, for us to see each other for who we are, not who we appear to be. That’s what we’ve been working toward.”
Lash said he hopes to see the president work toward making America better for everyone without taking anything from others.
“I hope to see him protect marriage,” Lash continued. “Marriage is the foundation of our country, and part of the tenets of the organization of justice, equality and opportunity.”
Oscar Brown, a local resident, said he hopes the president will reveal a plan for the country and make it happen in the next four years.
“I’m excited,” he said. “This is another notch in history that I didn’t think I’d see in my lifetime, not once but twice. I hope to see President Obama undo all the negative stereotypes attached to him in his first four years and run with a plan.”