The run-up to the presidential election was a roaring, thundering event, with television networks, blogs and other news outlets analyzing every aspect of the campaign.
But to 18-year-old Najia Elyoumni-Pinedo, it was a much quieter affair. In fact, she was shielded from much of the buzz for one reason: she is deaf.
Still, Elyoumni-Pinedo, a Jackson Heights resident, wanted to be involved. So she created her own way of understanding.
She watched the candidates on TV, to learn their stances on health care, the war in Iraq and the economy. She studied both Barack Obama’s and John McCain’s body language until there was no doubt in her mind about whom she would be supporting.
“I can see that Obama is very calm,” signed Elyoumni-Pinedo, through her mother, Esther Pinedo, while waiting to cast her first vote at P.S. 222 in Queens. “McCain is very aggressive and won’t be able to get along with other countries…Obama will spread the wealth and stop the war. It’s time for America to change.”