Bucks County, PA 6:30 p.m. — Meredith and I had one of the most interesting and informational rides through the beautiful streets of Bensalem and Newtown located in Bucks County in the North East of Philadelphia. We were both worried to not be able to see much of the area since we did not have a car but we got really lucky and got the best tour guide in town.
Her name is Jenny Bahtimy and she is a real estate agent in Bensalem, a fervent Obama supporter, and a delightful woman with an enormous knowledge of the town. She picked us up in front of one of the main malls in Bensalem that was deserted on this Monday morning. It was definitely a reminder of the economical crisis that has hit the country.
We got in Bahtimy’s white Cadillac and for a few hours, we wandered around and observed the changes in real-estate in an area where luxurious and expensive properties stood next to foreclosed houses. Bahtimy pointed out the predominance of McCain supporters because of the McCain/Palin signs placed in front of people’s houses. Most of the political representatives of the county were republican. Bensalem did not have Obama campaign headquarters and that she bought stickers and signs in Bristol, she said. “I get upset w hen I don’t see Obama signs.”
Jenny Bahtimy never contributed to any political campaign until the day she heard a nearly anonymous senator of Illinois give a speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. Since then, she has been a fervent supporter of Barack Obama. She was struck by the charisma and the eloquence of the young senator. She told her husband, “This man is going to go a long way.” Since Obama started running for president, Jenny has contributed to his campaign every month by giving small donations going from 25 to 50 dollars a month.
Like many supporters of Obama, she tells us he is a source of inspiration for her. The staunch support is not only about issues but the effect that Obama has had all over the country in creating enthusiasm among people who were never directly involved in politics in the past. Bahtimy can speak passionately about Barack Obama for hours and she is proud to say that her entire family will cast their votes for him.
The main issues she is concerned with are health care, education and the economic crisis that hit her family after her husband lost his job at a company where he worked for 26 years.
“I am voting for Barack Obama because of his policies,” she said. “I think this is the first time I see a politician articulate so well what the American people need in a time like this.”
After her husband lost his job, they had to rely on unemployment checks and the entire family lost their health insurance benefits. “I have to make a choice, put food on the table or pay the medical bills,” she said. Bahtimy supports Obama principally because she believes in his will and his determination to make the lives of Americans better. She thinks there should be a reform in the tax system in order to get a better health care system and to boost the economy.
She also loves Joe Biden. “That’s my guy. I love him! Like me, he talks a little too much,” she said.
Bahtimy definitely accomplished the American Dream. Originally form Cyprus, she moved to the United States over 30 years ago with her husband. They started from nearly nothing and built themselves a great life, sent their children to top colleges in the country and accomplished great careers. When they first arrived, they took any jobs that were available in order to survive. They first worked in restaurants and saved money to attain a comfortable standard of living. After giving birth to four children, Jenny Bahtimy, decided to become a real estate agent and became a very successful one.
Bahtimy asked me, “would you share the money among people, so they all get health care?” I replied, “yes.” Bahtimy concluded, “Well, that is Barack Obama.”
— By Aida Alami