Panel talks of Obama’s future

A public forum featuring Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, Kentucky State Auditor Crit Luallen, Economist and former Northern Kentucky University Professor Martin Geisbrecht and Associated Press Correspondent Steve Hurst explored what’s next for President-elect Barack Obama.

The night began with Steve Hurst speaking about the election and taking questions from the audience. Some of the questions dealt with how Hurst’s feelings on religion played into the election.

“Religion dealt a glancing blow to this election,” Hurst said. “Most of the attention was towards Obama’s relation with Reverend Wright.”

Other questions were related to Obama’s foreign policy, how Hurst saw Iraq acting towards Obama and what would happen overseas.

Hurst responded, “Peace has not come to Iraq.”

Before the other speakers took the stage, the audience was asked a series of questions about feelings about issues dealing with Kentucky that are related to the election, including how the Kentucky economy compares to the national economy, what will happen now that Mitch McConnell was elected back to the Senate and what was the main issue the audience members were interested in during the election.

Because 68 percent of the audience said the economy was the big issue, it became the main issue of the night. Each panelist had something to say about the nation’s and Kentucky’s economy.

“The economy clearly became the main point in the election. In Kentucky, our problem here is when the national economy takes a down turn Kentuckians get hurt because we are already behind every else,” Luallen said.

Geisbrecht said the economy is going to be “real trouble in the near future.”

The panel covered other issues, such as how suspending his campaign affected McCain’s image, energy options and how the Democratic president would work with the Republican Senators.

“I feel proud as an American that we elected an African American as president,” Grayson said.

Grayson, like many who see this election as one of the most historic, said that he is proud of this country.