Thursday, May 24, 2018

Biden, Clinton were a hit

Published: 11/2/12 @ 12:00

By David Skolnick (Contact)

SINGING ENDORSEMENT: Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, best known as a singer with the 1950s rock-and-roll revival band Sha Na Na, loves Ohio Democratic politics. He showed up at a Tuesday rally for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown at the United Auto Workers Local 1112 union hall in Lordstown.

During a brief conversation, I suggested we do a duet of “Blue Moon,” a Sha Na Na staple, with me taking the high notes and him doing the baritone. Before I could start, Bowzer sang the end part. A nice job — changing the “Blue Moon” end to “Vote Sherrod Brown” as he did last year with “No on Issue 2” — but denying me the opportunity to harmonize.

Also at the event was columnist Connie Schultz, Brown’s wife. As Brown started his speech, Schultz tried to signal to him to speak into the microphone. When that failed, she yelled to him to do it, which drew laughter from several people, including Brown, who then introduced his wife to the crowd. Brown took the mic out of its stand and walked with it as he talked about his re-election.

President Barack Obama was a no-show at his rally with former President Bill Clinton at Youngstown’s Covelli Centre.

But he did have a legitimate reason. He was back at the White House monitoring then-Hurricane, now-Superstorm Sandy, which caused major damage to portions of New Jersey and New York. The president did campaign earlier Monday in Orlando.

With Vice President Joe Biden replacing Obama, the campaign made what seemed like a smart move.

The arena was originally set up to hold up to 6,000 people with about 8,000 tickets given away to the free rally. A campaign source said turnout for these events, particularly because of the heavy rain, is about 50 percent.

The capacity was scaled back to hold 4,500 with room for a few more. Turns out 4,800 got inside.

Depending on who you talk to, those who didn’t get inside were 100 or so (from a Vindicator reporter outside) to 1,000 (according to Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras).

And most of those not allowed in came late to the event. That may not have been their fault as the campaign started the rally earlier than originally scheduled and that message didn’t reach ticketholders.

Unlike any presidential political event I’ve attended, this one started early — by about 20 minutes.

No complaints from me as I was there for about 90 minutes before it started.

Clinton and Biden seemed to be attempting to one-up each other, which made both of their speeches interesting and long.

But the crowd was very enthusiastic, which is the goal of such rallies.

Both blasted Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, for a controversial campaign TV ad that states Chrysler is “going to build Jeeps in China.”

It came a week after Romney said he read an article that Chrysler “is thinking of moving all production [of Jeeps] to China.”

Then came a Romney radio ad that states: “Under President Obama, [General Motors] cut 15,000 American jobs, but they are planning to double the number of cars built in China, which means 15,000 more jobs for China. And now comes word that Chrysler plans to start making Jeeps in, you guessed it, China.”

This didn’t please officials with Chrysler calling the Romney claims “inaccurate.” A GM spokesman said, “We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days.”

Various media outlets deemed the commercials to be “misleading,” particularly because of Romney’s statements last week.

In response, the Romney camp says the ad is “factual.”

Since then, Obama supporters have piled on, holding press conferences and conference calls daily to criticize Romney on the car issue.

“It’s a desperate act by a desperate man,” ex-Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, said Thursday.

Both campaigns are targeting Ohio, seeing it as the key to winning the presidency.

The Obama campaign has two TV commercials refuting Romney’s claims.

Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, said the president has a “solid, steady lead” in Ohio. I don’t know what polls she’s looking at because it’s a statistical dead-heat.

Every little bit will make a difference in what is expected to be a very close race in Ohio.

But, please, don’t try to sell it like Ohio is already for Obama. If that were the case, there would be no reason to quickly respond to Romney’s ads.

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