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Strickland, Castro, first lady wow delegates at DNC

Published: Wed, September 5, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.

SEE ALSO: • GM Lordstown worker to speak

• Ryan: Auto bailout bypassed many towns

Staff and wire report


First lady Michelle Obama lovingly praised her husband Tuesday night in a prime-time Democratic Convention speech as a devoted husband and caring father at home and a “man we can trust” to revive the nation’s weak economy as president, beckoning the country to return him to the White House despite agonizingly slow recovery from recession.

“He reminds me that we are playing a long game here ... and that change is hard, and change is slow and it never happens all at once,” she told a nation impatient with slow economic progress and persistently high unemployment of 8.3 percent. “But eventually, we get there, we always do,” she said in a speech that blended scenes from 23 years of marriage with the Obamas’ time in the White House.

Mrs. Obama, given a huge ovation after being introduced by Elaine Brye of Columbiana County, a former teacher, described herself as “mom-in-chief,” but made no mention of Republican challenger Mitt Romney. But those who preceded her to the podium on the first night of the president’s convention were scathing.

“If Mitt were president, he’d fire the reindeer and outsource the elves,” declared former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland in one biting speech.

Blasting Romney for his business practices, Strickland recalled an op-ed piece Romney “proudly wrote” and titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

To Romney, Strickland said, “American workers are just numbers on a spreadsheet. To him, all profits are created equal, whether made on our shores or off. That’s why companies Romney invested in were dubbed “outsourcing pioneers.”

“If he had had his way,” Strickland continued, “devastation would have cascaded from Michigan to Ohio and across the nation.

Romney “has so little economic patriotism,” Strickland quipped to rousing applause, “that even his money needs a passport. It summers on the beaches of the Cayman Islands and winters on the slopes of the Swiss Alps.

Tapped to deliver the keynote address, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said Romney was a millionaire politician who “quite simply, doesn’t get it” when it comes to the needs of the middle class. Referring to the Republican’s support for mandatory health insurance when he was governor of Massachusetts, he added, “Gov. Romney has undergone an extreme makeover, and it ain’t pretty.”

Polls made the race for the White House a tight one, almost certain to be decided in a string of eight or 10 battleground states where neither the president nor Romney holds a clear advantage. There was ample evidence during the day of an underperforming economy, including a report that said manufacturing activity declined for a third straight month and an announcement from the Treasury that the government’s debt exceeded $16 trillion at the close of the business day.

There was no end to the appeals for donations to Obama’s re-election campaign, falling further behind Romney in cash on hand with each passing month. “If you think Barack’s the right man for the job, please show your support with a donation of $5 or more today,” the first lady emailed supporters a little more than 90 minutes before her speech.

She walked out to the crowd’s cheers as the band played Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” the song he sang onstage at Obama’s Denver convention four years ago.

The woman who introduced her, Brye, of Winona — just south of Salem, a 57-year-old former United School District science teacher, was asked to introduce the first lady’s prime-time speech, after attending a state dinner at the White House, where she sat Mrs. Obama.

Apparently, Brye left quite the impression on the first lady.

“Who’d ask just a normal person to do that?” Brye asked The Vindicator before her introduction. “It isn’t a long speech, but a lot of people will be watching. I practiced it [Monday] on stage. I’m about as ready as I’ll ever be. I’m not a professional, but it will be from the heart. I’m going to pretend I’m talking during one of my classes.”

In the speech, Brye said she is not a political person. “But what I am is a military mom. My husband and I are so proud of our five kids. One each in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marines. Our youngest is still in high school, and yes — we’re hoping he’ll join the Coast Guard,” she said.

Because of Dr. Biden and the first lady, our lives are a little bit easier. Along with President Obama, they have made helping military families a top priority. They’ve brought together the American people, including thousands of businesses, to become part of a nationwide support network. It is honor and respect in action that warms this mother’s heart,” she added.”

“If someone is there for my family and families like mine, then I’ll be there for them. That’s why I’m proud to introduce my fellow mom and our first lady, Michelle Obama,” she said.

“Thank you so much, Elaine,” Obama replied when she took the stage. “We are so grateful for your family’s service and sacrifice, and we will always have your back.”

Brye and her husband, Courtney, attended the White House state dinner in March at the invitation of the first lady. They sat at the head table near the first lady and actor George Clooney.

That happened after Elaine wrote a letter to Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, in December 2011 thanking them for Joining Forces, a national initiative the two are involved with that supports military service members and their families.

It’s a cause close to the Brye family as Elaine was in the Air Force ROTC while in college and her husband was an Air Force pilot. Their four adult children are in the military and their youngest son is a junior at a military prep school.

“I wanted to thank [Obama] for caring and that’s what I did,” Brye said. “I never expected to get a response. I thought it would go into one of those big mailrooms.”

Not only did Brye get a response and the dinner invitation, but also the offer a little over a week ago to introduce the first lady at the convention.

The president was back home in the White House after a campaign appearance in Virginia as delegates cheered every mention of his name from the convention podium. He promised he’d be watching on television when his wife spoke.

“Believe it or not, when we were first married, our combined monthly student loan bills were actually higher than our mortgage, “Mrs. Obama told the convention. “We were so young, so in love and so in debt.”

She confided that at family dinners in the White House with her and their daughters, the president joins in “strategizing about middle school friendships.”

Mrs. Obama’s poll numbers are better than her husband’s, and her speech was aimed at building support for him, much as Ann Romney’s remarks at last week’s Republican National Convention were in service to her husband’s presidential ambitions.

“When it comes to rebuilding our economy, Barack is thinking about folks like my dad — who worked at a municipal water plant — and his own grandmother, a bank secretary,” the first lady said.

Referring to her own children as well as those of others, she said, “If we want to give them that sense of limitless possibility, that belief that here in America there is always something better out there if you are willing to work for it, then we must ... stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward, my husband, our president, President Barack Obama.”

The weak economy hung over the convention as it dominates the election.

Obama “knows better than anyone there’s more hard work to do” to fix it said Castro. He said that after the deep recession, the nation is making progress “despite incredible odds and united Republican opposition.”

He declared that 4.5 million jobs have been created since the president took office — though that number refers only to private sector employment gains over the past 29 months and leaves out state and local government jobs that continue to disappear each month.

Castro, the first Hispanic chosen to deliver a keynote address, was unsparing in criticizing Romney, suggesting the former Massachusetts governor might not even be the driving force on the Republican ticket this fall.

“First they called it ‘trickle down, the supply side,” he said of the economic proposals backed by Republicans. “Now it’s Romney/Ryan. Or is it Ryan/Romney?”

“Either way, their theory has been tested. It failed. ...Mitt Romney just doesn’t get it,” Castro said. Romney’s running mate is Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.


1redeye1(5679 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

What did you expect ? That She would tell you the truth. She likes traveling on the taxpayers dime. She will tell you anything to keep that going

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2eagleye(59 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Castro got it wrong. Fact Check shows that there is STILL a net loss of at least 300,000 jobs since Obama took office.

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3AtownAugie(893 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

A failed governor but seemingly an effective rabble rouser. Good for you, Teddy, you've finally found your niche!

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4Delphisalariedretirees(76 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Not all parties were treated fairly by the auto bailout. 22,000 or 4% of the reitrees of GM/Delphi were intentionally denied their full earned pensions by the Obama Administration's actions. In this Presidential election season, help right this wrong by signing the retirees' petition at:


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5DwightK(1537 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I don't remember Republicans being deficit hawks when we were borrowing a trillion dollars to fight in Iraq.

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6JoeFromHubbard(1817 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

"Ken" Salazar, the current United States Secretary of the Interior, spoke briefly about the natural energy resources available in this country. He also talked about "renewable" energy and reducing the country's dependence on foreign sources.

He did not mention that these alternative energy sources are not competitive with conventional ones and require taxpayer subsidies to be built and operated.

He conspicuously failed to say the word "coal." It is obvious that Obama has Salazar under his anti-coal thumb.

For those of us in coal mining states, this is a wake up call to correct the anti-business philosophy of the Obama regime in November.

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7Education_Voter(1174 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Employment in the coal industry reached a 15-year high last year, Space continued. Since Obama took office, he said, coal mining employment has risen by 10 percent and coal production has increased by 7 percent.
Much of that coal is being exported to other countries, and not being used here in the United States.
In addition, the Obama administration is investing more than $5 billion in carbon capture and sequestration technology research, taking place at the University of Toledo and Ohio State University.
But natural gas is an Ohio product too, and burns without releasing mercury into the air.

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8JoeFromHubbard(1817 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

@ Education_Voter

The "investment" in carbon capture technologies is a boon for the research universities but I would not hold my breath waiting for a domestic payoff by the generation of electricity from "filtered" coal fired plants.

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9endthismess(464 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Obama + Mabama = a failed 4 years. NO more. Give someone else a chance before this country sinks outta site.

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10IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Obama saved GM and Lorstown along with it.

Bin Laden is DEAD
The US is OUT of Iraq.


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11redeye1(5679 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

IMike How many times do you have to be told we are still in Iraq. Get it through your thick head why don't you. You keep posting the same BS day inand day out. Get a life and read or follow the news.

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12DwightK(1537 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I don't understand this perception that Obama is "anti-business". GM and Chrysler are making cars, the banks are still raking in billions, he put tariffs on Chinese steel pipe that was undercutting our mills and the medical insurance companies and healthcare providers love him for getting rid of the deadbeats.

Where is proof of this "anti-busisness" slant in the Obama administration?

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13redeye1(5679 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

My uncle runs a business in Fla. He says all the regs that have been installed since BO made president Have made it almost impossile to remain in business. He is running a fabricating shop. With air quality controls and all the other BS.( such as new taxes) . He says the paperwork is the worst he's ever seen.and way too much, If BO is re-elected he is seriously thinking of retiring and closing up his shop. He's tried to find a new buyer but that has been futile. So if he does call it quits. 104 people will be out of work . They all had good paying jobs.

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14cambridge(4163 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I posted a fact check from the comcast site for the republican convention. Here is one from the comcast site for last night. Just keep'n it real.


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15georgejeanie(1544 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I see the y Wowed the Dumbocratic base so much so that they cancelled the use of the football stadium for the messiah and his socialistic agenda for this great country.

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16IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

BREAKING NEWS: The republicons are still crying on FIXED NOISE NETWORK. They need a tissue.


Looks like they're LIARS on FIXED NOISE NETWORK.

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17redeye1(5679 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Island mike is that your new posting headliner " the republicons are still crying on FIXED NOISE NETWORK. They need a tissue". I guess you did figure out that we are still in Iraq , good for you.!

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18Aware(255 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

georgejean...you're clueless. The 'move' was due to predicted sever weather. Where did you get your information? Fixed Noise Network? Maybe if you learned to read, you'd know the truth, loser.


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19southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Let's be honest; it will take more than another term to fix the social problems in this country...no one man can do it alone.

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20Aware(255 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

georgejean...you heard that little tidbit on limbat's show - THE show for the ill-informed sheep.

Think and research on your own for a change.

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21WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago


Why the reference to homosexual gratification in your comment? Are you projecting?

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22DSquared(1788 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

An arena full of Teachers Union puppets, Union goons like Trumpka, Community Organizers and Beggars. ( What's the Difference). All Lazy Bums lookin' for some free stuff , man!

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23DSquared(1788 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

It doesn't take much to Wow those stiffs. A fifth of wine and some Gub'mint cheese does the trick!

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24JoeFromHubbard(1817 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

@ DwightK:

> > Where is proof of this "anti-busisness" slant in the Obama administration? < <

One merely needs to look at what his EPA is doing to the coal and utility industries.

Read the Wall Street Journal a few times to get the true picture of Obama.

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