Champs Restaurant in Laurinburg got a mention in Newsweek magazine for its recent marquee critical of President Barack Obama.
In a Sept. 3 issue of the national news weekly, writer Peter J. Boyer penned a piece about how moderate Democrats fare in the national Party. The article was called Why Barack Needs Bill.
The article mentions 8th District Congressman Larry Kissell as an example of “a vanishing breed—a white Southern Democrat—whose political life would be easier with a centrist in the White House.”
The magazine says the problem for Democrats like Kissell is that the party has come to be defined by its Washington players, like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, rather than by moderates like former President Bill Clinton.
“… despite the best intentions when a guy or a woman gets there as a so-called moderate, they’re either forced to be with the Republicans, as part of a very small group [of defectors], or they’re forced to be with the Democrats and the big group, and that kills you back home.”
While Kissell has tried to focus on his record of independence, he may also have to contend with a district feed up with all Washington politicians, Newsweek said.
The magazine added that Kissell does not like talking about what he calls “Washington issues,” and avoids mentioning Obama by name.
“He will not be able to avoid the subject of Obama as he campaigns in his district,” the article said. “When he travels to the town of Laurinburg, for example, Kissell may notice the sign outside Champs Restaurant, expressing a sentiment widely held by small business owners across North Carolina, and beyond: “Mr. President, we built our business and paid taxes for roads and services.”
Champs put up the message after Obama gave a speech earlier this year talking about the interdependent nature of government and successful businesses. The message stayed up for about two weeks before being changed.
Restaurant owner Ron Riggins said he wanted to express the frustration that business owners have with politicians.
“I don’t know a small business owner who isn’t struggling,” Riggins said. “And politicians at every level don’t seem to be making things any easier.”
Riggins said he is proud that his message is getting national exposure.
“I think that is is great to be mentioned in Newsweek,” Riggins said. “There was some question as to whether people notice the sign. This is a good case-in-point that people do read it.”
The entire article can be found in the Sept. 3 issue of Newsweek magazine. It can also be found online at www.dailybeast.com