Preceding President Bush to Memphis last week was pint-sized Social Security advocate Noah McCullough. Little Noah spent his spring break traveling with W on a multicity tour. Before pushing Social Security reform, Noah made a name for himself as a presidential history buff. While other kids his age were getting cootie shots and making mud pies, Noah was researching the lineage of Thomas Jefferson.
While all that's impressive -- and darn cute -- what does a 9-year-old know about Social Security? To find out, we decided to ask a local youngster for her take on Social Security, politics, and President Bush.
Flyer: What does Social Security mean to you?
Darian, 4th-grader at Highland Oaks Elementary School: To me, it means big people who fight for you. I think there should be a new part of Social Security where a fireman, policeman, and security man are at every school.
Um, Darian, we think you're confusing Social Security with security. Should people be allowed to privately invest a portion of their Social Security?
I don't think people should get too much of their money back, because they'll spend it all and go broke. I think people should have a savings account to add to their Social Security.
Have you learned a lot about President Bush and politics in your school?
We talked about the election and how many votes Bush and John Kerry got. We had our own election in our school, and I voted for Bush. I don't think Kerry was ready. I think Bush is doing a good job with the country, because I feel safe at home.
What else did you learn about President Bush?
I learned that he goes to Iraq, and he frees our nation and country. If he's protecting us, we should help him with words, not fighting.
Do you know anyone fighting in Iraq?
My cousin and my uncle.
What other politicians do you talk about at school?
Condi Rice. I like the way her hair flips. She makes a lot of plans and stuff and she helps Bush, so it's like two people running the country.
Your favorite television show is That's So Raven. If you had a choice of watching the news or Raven, which would it be?
(Immediately) That's So Raven.