The last time Mahoning Valley Democrats were as politically energized as they were last Saturday was in 1992, when a guesstimated 10,000 jammed the parking lot of the Southern Park Mall for a rally.
Then, as now, it was a Clinton who provided the spark that ignited the political passions of the faithful. And then, as now, it was a Fleetwood Mac song that became the rallying cry. In 1992, Bill Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, used the song "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" to underline his message that America is about the future and that he and his vice presidential running mate, Al Gore, offered a better alternative to incumbent President George H.W. Bush.
The voters agreed.
On Saturday, about 1,000 area Democrats gathered in the Austintown Fitch High School Auditorium to hear U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton also talk about the future in urging the election of Congressman Sherrod Brown, who is challenging Ohio Republican Sen. Mike DeWine, and other Democrats seeking office this year.
Mrs. Clinton, who came to the Valley in 1992 with her husband, is being touted as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. If she does enter the race, it would not come as surprise if "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" is part of her campaign pitch.
As Democrats filed out of the auditorium Saturday talking about victory across-the-board on Nov. 7, Fleetwood Mac filled the air.
Democrats in the Mahoning Valley know that they're being watched by the state and national parties to see if the old magic is back. After all, the 2008 presidential election is not too far away and for the Democrats, at least, the road to the White House will certainly lead through this Valley.