Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times
President Barack Obama and his team today are probably doing a quick review of his performance at yesterday’s town hall meeting at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. It seems to me that the president pretty much rocked the place.
The one thousand or so folks in the auditorium cheered and applauded like so many did during Obama’s presidential campaign. That’s really a surprise in Orange County, the bastion of conservative Republican views, a county the president did not win during the November election. It appears some in the OC have tossed aside political party affiliation and embraced the president as a leader worthy of their respect and confidence.
For an hour, President Obama took questions from the audience on everything from his economic stimulus plan to job losses to immigration to the financial mess. Before the president opened up the floor to questions, he responded to the public outrage about AIG dishing out $165 million in bonuses after accepting $170-plus billion of taxpayers’ money:”It goes against our most basic sense of what’s fair and what’s right. It offends our values.” He vowed to “take responsibility ” as president to fix the “system and the culture” that made those unfair bonuses possible.
When it was over, you got the feeling the president coud have remained on stage for several hours in that packed auditorium doing a lively Q&A with the audience. Later today, President Obama will hold his second town hall meeting in Downtown Los Angeles before heading to Burbank for an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”