In Case You Missed It: Peace Corps and the Second Presidential Debate
By Erica Burman on Friday, October 10th, 2008
Excerpt from 2nd Presidential Debate, Nashville TN, 10-7-08
Brokaw: Senator McCain, for you, we have our first question from the Internet tonight. A child of the Depression, 78-year-old Fiora from Chicago.
"Since World War II, we have never been asked to sacrifice anything to help our country, except the blood of our heroic men and women. As president, what sacrifices — sacrifices will you ask every American to make to help restore the American dream and to get out of the economic morass that we’re now in?"
McCain: Well, Fiora, I’m going to ask the American people to understand that there are some programs that we may have to eliminate. [Sen. McCain continued on this theme. No specific mention was made of "service."]
Obama: A lot of you remember the tragedy of 9/11 and where you were on that day and, you know, how all of the country was ready to come together and make enormous changes to make us not only safer, but to make us a better country and a more unified country.
And President Bush did some smart things at the outset, but one of the opportunities that was missed was, when he spoke to the American people, he said, "Go out and shop."
That wasn’t the kind of call to service that I think the American people were looking for.
And so it’s important to understand that the — I think the American people are hungry for the kind of leadership that is going to tackle these problems not just in government, but outside of government.
And let’s take the example of energy, which we already spoke about. There is going to be the need for each and every one of us to start thinking about how we use energy. . . . weatherize your home or make your business more fuel efficient. And that’s going to require effort from each and every one of us.
And the last point I just want to make. The young people of America are especially interested in how they can serve, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m interested in doubling the Peace Corps, making sure that we are creating a volunteer corps all across this country that can be involved in their community, involved in military service, so that military families and our troops are not the only ones bearing the burden of renewing America.