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Losing Hope: Confessions of an Obama Supporter

Three years ago, Bryant Park Hotel doorman Greg Smith, 46, once a diehard supporter of the Clintons, put his life on hold to cam paign for Barack Obama. Shortly after The Post fea tured Smith's conversion on the front page in April 2007, Obama called the doorman and asked him to introduce him on the cam paign trail. Now, 18 months after Obama's inaugura tion, Smith says he's losing hope for the change he once believed in. He tells ANNIE KARNI his story.

The day President Obama announced he was running for the White House was the happiest day in our household. On that day, Feb. 10, 2007, I became a volunteer for the campaign.

I knocked on doors in my neighborhood of Kensington, Brooklyn. I started talking to strangers about Obama on the subway. I told people they needed to pay attention to this guy and read his book, "The Audacity of Hope."

After The Post ran a story about me, Obama called me personally and asked me to tell my story at a New York fund-raiser.

At his Cooper Union speech on March 27, 2008, Obama hugged me and said, "This is my guy in New York."

I went to volunteer full time for Obama and was soon hired as an organizer for the campaign.

The night of Aug. 28, 2008, when Obama spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, was one of the most exciting in my life. Michelle and Barack came backstage to thank us for all our hard work and told us we could sleep in the next day. I remember feeling giddy.

Two years later, I'm living a more sober reality.

My life is not better. I'm a college graduate and I still can't get a good job.

I'm back working as a doorman at a Manhattan hotel earning peanuts because my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and I need the health insurance again.

I share the same sentiments of Velma Hart, the woman who confronted Obama at a town hall last week, saying she was tired of defending him. The idea of leaving New York is even on the table.

Obama has let professional politicians take over the White House -- and our dream of change.

I know it's childish to expect solutions to happen overnight. Obama inherited a big old mess, and I don't expect him to have everything figured out after 18 months.

But we're only human and we want to see some visible change.

I'm trying to keep up my hope -- but I'm afraid that instead of being that guy who knocked on doors in Denver, I'm now the person who needs convincing.


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Added: Sep-26-2010 Occurred On: Sep-26-2010
By: jbpnw
In:
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Tags: obama supporter, losing faith, greg smith, no hope, no change
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