Every week we hear the latest jobs numbers and they aren't good. In fact, they're dismal in fact. An estimated 23 million Americans don't have jobs. But beyond those numbers, there are real people and some of them are in a world of hurt. I have a special friend who lives in Ottumwa, Iowa. I got to know her and her family during the Presidential campaign of 2008.
Her name is Wendy, and she's a beautiful young lady who some might say is a special needs child, but I would prefer just to say she's truly special. Yesterday, Wendy went to work just like she has for the past 11 years at the local Wendy's restaurant in Ottumwa, but it was locked up and a sign on the front said it was closed.
The manager explained that even though the store was doing fairly well, the company had abruptly closed it because it needed renovations or rebuilding and in this economy, there just wasn't enough money to justify the cost or to build a new one. Her dad took her back home and she sat in her room for a long time, still wearing her uniform.
Then she said-- "I think God is telling me right now that I'm not feeling too good because now I've this Frosty key chain and now I cannot use it." You see she could always get a free small Frosty at the end of her shift with her key chain.
Now, whenever I've been in Iowa, her parents try to bring Wendy to see me. When I was there just last month, she came and gave me a big hug. And I sure wish I could give her one right now. More than that, I wish I could get Wendy her job back at there in Ottumwa.
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will be slugging it out over the next 6 weeks and they're going to talk a lot about the economy and jobs and what they're going to do to make things better. I truly believe President Obama wishes things were better, but after watching his plans fail for 4 years, I doubt he's going to be able to make them better. I think Mitt Romney understands that if people don't have a job they can't buy even a hamburger at Wendy's and if Wendy's isn't selling enough hamburgers to pay for their building and utilities and insurance and employees pay and for the ever-rising food prices, then they will close and people like my special friend Wendy won't have a job.
I don't expect either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney to fix everything all by themselves and I know they can't personally keep every Wendy's open just so my little friend Wendy will have a job. But I really would like for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to be able to look Wendy in the eyes and convince her and me that they really understand who she is and that she matters as much as any banker or broker on Wall Street that got bailed out of their trouble. Cause you see it's not just about jobs. It's about people. And a lot of them don't care about the politics; they just want to feel good again.