by Peter Freyne
I first caught Democratic Party activist Laura Cary of Shelburne in action out on Burlington's Church Street Marketplace last spring. She was an early and, as she described herself, an "enthusiastic" supporter of Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois for president. His opposition to Bush's war in Iraq is what drew her to him more than anything.
Laura was a weekly regular on the Church Street bricks, gathering signatures to put Obama's name on the Vermont Presidential Primary Ballot.
But a couple weeks ago, Laura was noticeably absent from the Obama rally that drew more than 100 supporters to Nectar's.
Now we know why.
Laura Carey no longer supports Barack Obama. In fact, she's positively disgusted with him.
Ran into Laura at Sen. Bernie Sanders' Sunday morning town meeting at South Burlington High School. Darted after her when the event broke up. Wanted to know why I hadn't seen her in the usual places of late?
“All three major candidates [Hillary, Obama and Edwards], can’t commit to getting the troops out of Iraq by 2013," said Cary, "and so I asked myself, what am I doing this for? I passionately think we need to bring the troops home, and I’ve heard the excuses and I don’t buy them."
The final straw came on September 26 when the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly adopted the Kyle-Lieberman Amendment, 76-22. It "expresses the sense of the Senate regarding Iran." Among other things, it opens the door for a Bush-ordered attack on Iran, declaring their Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.
Vermont's two senators, Leahy and Sanders, voted "no."
"Obama, who’s always made a big point of being against the Iraq War, and criticizing everyone else for their vote, ducked the vote," noted Cary. "He wasn’t there," she told us, disillusion dripping from her tongue.
"Obama’s whole thing has been he stood up against the Iraq War," she said. "He’s not standing up against the Iran War, which I believe is coming. If you read Seymour Hersh [in the New Yorker], it’s coming. And Seymour Hersh hasn’t been wrong yet."
"So, I can’t support him anymore."
Who do you support now?
"In all good conscience, I’m going to support Bill Richardson," she replied, "because he says he can get the troops out by 2013 and he’s against going to war with Iran."
Obama, she said dejectedly, "is wimping out. I think he’s got too many handlers. Ithink he’s taking the safe road. I don’t like that."
And it gets worse...
The Obama Campaign, she said, called her from Boston and told her that "the reasonObama couldn’t vote on the Kyle-Lieberman Amendment was beccause he had togo to New York that day for that 24,000-person rally, so he couldn’tdo it.
"So I just Googled it - The vote on Kyle-Lieberman was September 26. The 24,000-man rally was on September 27.
"So," said the former Obama supporter, "I now have the Obama campaign calling up and lying to me about whyhe didn’t vote on that bill. Soit’s just outrageous!"
Freyne Land double-checked - Cary's right about the dates. The NYC rally, where the photo [left] was taken, was on the 27th.
The Kyle-Lieberman amendment vote was during the noon-hour on the 26th.