Voter considers himself atypical of Obama supporters

Columbia Missourian“If you haven’t noticed, most Obama supporters are extreme,” John McClain, 20, of St. Louis, told me outside the watch party at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center. McClain doesn’t consider himself a Democrat or Republican. He originally supported John McCain, who he felt had more experience and a health care plan that would leave the country in less debt.

That was until he watched the later presidential debates.

“McCain was quick to react,” McClain said. “Obama came across as someone wanting to try something new and different. I can relate more to Obama. McCain can’t even count how many houses he has.”

McClain was also not pleased with McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate.

“It shows how McCain is sporadic and resulted to desperate moves,” he said. “Palin does not speak from her heart. It’s all scripted.”

So McClain voted for Barack Obama but says he’s different from most Obama supporters. He said most supporters think if Obama is elected, there will be a dramatic change.

“Change is slow and gradual,” he said. “Obama may be able to start something in four years but it will be up to the next president to continue it. There’s just too much corruption in corporate America. The system is built to benefit the rich.”

McClain, who is black, never thought of having a black president before tonight. He’s just now starting to process the possibility. However, McClain said he when he thinks of black Americans, he’s more likely to think of Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson than Barack Obama.

“When I think of black people, I don’t think of Obama,” he said. “When I think of the president, I don’t think about race. I don’t view Obama as an African-American and McCain as white.”

The Columbia Missourian

Shandi Grimsley is also reporting from the watch party here.

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