Sitting just behind him during the speech was Marilynne Robinson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the novel “Gilead” and a teacher at the Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa.
In an interview before Obama’s speech, as Robinson and her son, James, stood in line, Robinson made an argument that mirrored the one the president would deliver. Her income exceeds the $250,000-per-year threshold, she said, but she’s happy to pay higher taxes.
“I’ve prospered a great deal from living in this country, from things like public education and so on,” she said. “I want to help other people also prosper and enjoy living in this country. As far as I’m concerned, it’s patriotism.”