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Obama still a "tough sell" in Valley

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published October 26, 2008

One day last week, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, came to the Mahoning Valley to campaign on behalf of his party's presidential nominee, Barack Obama. After a couple of appearances, Brown stopped in at a coffee shop in Boardman to quench his thirst.

The veteran Cleveland politican was not bashful in offering his opinion on what's going to happen Nov. 4: Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois, is going to win Ohio, and has the momentum to carry him to victory nationally.  The U.S. and global economic collapse has turned the tide against Republican presidential nominee John McCain, a senator from Arizona, and the undecideds and independents are breaking Obama's way, Brown believes.

It was a pleasant conservation with a knowledgeable politican, but when he was ready to leave the coffee shop, two mature, white female suburban residents sitting at the next table introduced themselves to him.

Both women said they were early supporters of Obama's, and then Brown heard this from one of them, "but he's a tough sell here."

The Ohio senator seemed genuinely surprised, given that the presidential race is in its final stage. 

But for individuals like the two women who have been paying attention to politics in the Mahoning Valley for a period of time, it is not surprising. And it goes beyond this predominantly Democratic region's strong support for U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton in the March primary.

Obama's race — a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas — remains a major issue for many Valley voters.

It was suggested to Brown by this writer that had Clinton been the nominee, she would be enjoying a huge lead in Mahoning and Trumbull counties and the race in Ohio would not be a toss up, as it is today.

Can Obama become an "easy sell" — as opposed to a "hard sell" — in this important Democratic region in the nine days that remain? 

A cynic might suggest flooding the two counties with white Obama campaign workers and sending all the black workers to other parts of the country where color is not such a big issue.

A more reasonable approach may be to focus on Obama's family history, especially the fact that he was raised by two white grandparents in Hawaii who taught him the values that have stood him in good stead all his life.



1MY_GUY(1 comment)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

**I hope that all of the links work properly but you may need to copy & paste in browser.

Who is the real McCain? His treatment of Veterans is unbelievable and inhuman. One soldier this month was on The Rachael Maddow Show explained how he treats soldiers, they gave him a "D" rating.

His very close friend is also a friend of Bill Ayers and it appears he is also a member of Palin's radical groups.






Who are these American haters Palin has close ties with? She said "keep up the good work". She uses her same phase when she is told to fire someone ("budget cut"). Here is some interesting information that may explain Michelle Bachmanns' question and promised political climb behind the scene.

All of the following information was found on salon.com.

Great reading!!!

This will answer the question regarding American haters and more:




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2PragmaticSubstance(34 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Every Ohioan considering how to vote should consider two things: (1) the GOP, from its very presidential candidate all the way down, has absolutely hammered on the claim that "ACORN" and other boogeymen have rigged the current election, while (2) there is this chilling story (told here by one of the United States' most prominent election law experts, Rick Hasen of Loyola LA Law School) explaining how this whole alleged problem has been essentially fabricated, and how the fabricators are themselves top GOP operatives with close ties to the Bush administration and the McCain campaign:


Do we seriously want to let these crooks keep running this country?

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3Texan4McCain(3 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Both candidates want to bring about change, but I don’t think I have the stomach for the type of change that Obama will champion. But don’t take my word for it; listen to his own words coming right from his mouth.

From government-sanctioned killing of the defenseless: http://www.americaschoicenow.com/

to a socialistic state: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iivL4c...

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4Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Having a Radical as President sure would be "Change"

Is this really what you want? Read the facts from Obama himself:

Obama himself acknowledges that he was drawn to socialists and even Marxists as a college student. He continued to associate with Marxists later in life, even choosing to launch his political career in the living room of a self-described Marxist, William Ayers, in 1995, when Obama was 34.

Obama's affinity for Marxists began when he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles.

"To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully," the Democratic presidential candidate wrote in his memoir, "Dreams From My Father." "The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists."

Obama's interest in leftist politics continued after he transferred to Columbia University in New York. He lived on Manhattan's Upper East Side, venturing to the East Village for what he called "the socialist conferences I sometimes attended at Cooper Union."

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5Youngstown_Strong(91 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Youngstown independent for Obama!

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6projectgeniene(87 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

A lot of us haven't had the stomach for the Bush years but we remained loyal Americans. It really sounds like poor sportsmanship from anyone who is pro-McCain and anti-Obama. Suck it up like those of us who didn't agree with the Bush doctrine and the Iraq war have had to do. For years, Democrats have been painted as anti-American, non-supportive of the troops (as if we don't have loved ones in the war or the military, too) and put in a negative light only. The divisiveness that the Republican party has nurtured has got to end.

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7ts1227(137 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Hard to sell a black guy to a bunch of racists.
Hard to sell a young guy to a bunch of older people.
Hard to sell a progressive philosophy to a city 30 years behind reality.

You bet he's a tough sell!

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8Wolverine442(5 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

The city's inability to move into the future is apparent for the mere fact that the residents are stuck in the past.

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9valleyred(1103 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Youngstown for MCCAIN-PALIN!!

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10backhome(8 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Hopeful? You bet! And after 20 years (since Reagan) of being afraid that Republican crazy-making spin was brainwashing most Americans - turning them from ethical, brother's-keeper citizens into cynics who fear absolutely everything and allow greed-based corporations to rule our world.

Yes, by all means, return me to the days of hope and promise. Obama represents the America I want our grandchildren to see - a caring, smart America.

Adams said it to Jefferson, When the wise don't lead, others will. Eight years is enough of this proud-to-be-stupid leadership. I'm one old lady for a wise man - for a change.

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11tnmartin(522 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

There really must be something in the Valley's air. Half a century, at least, of voters mindlessly electing a string of corrupt bums all touted as being ''friends of the working man'' when all too many were in fact providers of ''working girls'', and all of them having the single qualification of being endorsed Democrats. And, not coincidentally, seeing the area fall further and further into decline.
Can no one make the connection?
For too many years we watched some of the most ridiculous claims of ''the Republicans are after us! and they are to blame for it all!!'' as the slide continues and still the zombies vote the straight Democrat ticket, and get the same, sordid results over and over again.
For Sherrod Brown to be regarded as a worthy spokesman for ANY cause or candidate requires a suspension of mental faculties that deserves to be in some record book. But so does the record of support for crooks, clowns, and creeps, of which Obama is simply the most recent example.
Will the last person out of the Mahoning Valley please turn off the lights? Or will you need to get a union electrician to do it?

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12MillCreeked(24 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

I think it's okay that it's a tough sell - as long as we get a majority of people on board for Obama-Biden, that's all that matters now. The proof will come in the next four years when Obama-Biden work to bring our economy out of this mess, restore world confidence in American diplomacy, and improve our domestic programs like education and development of alternative fuels. The reelection will not be a tough sell for this Valley, because we're hurting and need the kind of "socialism" Obama speaks about - it's not government handouts, it's ending payouts to the extremely rich and to corporations and cutting most folks (read EVERYONE in this Valley) a break. Have faith Youngstown, it's going to happen!

As for racial fear, this is a problem that is so much larger than individual politicians and it really is time for people in our Valley to talk to one another to come to some understanding. We would find that people are people regardless of color and that we're all struggling for the same things - respect, dignity, care for our children, safety for our family, enough money to feel comfortable, and a sense of privacy and peace in our country. That is our country - no color divide on that.

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13ismellmyhand(26 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Obama knows nothing about the African American experience so he doesn't know about discrimination. And he was a member of some of the most discriminatory racist institutions you can conceive of. I think it is funny that blacks support him. When the state owns your bank(account), your health care, your mortgage payment or house (bailout or section 8), your education and your job(or welfare check)... you are a slave. They are selling themselves into slavery in exchange for practically nothing. Rich people will avoid the negative consequences of an Obama administration no matter what. When you get it through your heads that you will never stick it to the man you will have your freedom. The 'man' is more clever than you or the incompetent government. That's why they are 'the man'.

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14ismellmyhand(26 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Enjoy the civilian national security force that Obama seeks.

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15ismellmyhand(26 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

One more thing. When Youngstowners stop hating on productive entrepreneurs maybe they will come back here and give you airheads some jobs. You missed the entire Reagan boom due to your collective stupidity. Life isn't so great when almost everyone is on welfare, disability and section 8 as you well know.

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16ismellmyhand(26 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

You missed the Clinton boom too. Those Dems sure take care of Youngstown don't they? Suckers. You give them your vote for nothing in return.

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17ismellmyhand(26 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Backhome: You are one dumb old lady or living on welfare hoping for a few more crumbs. If you are on a pension than you should avoid Obama because the coming inflation will destroy standard of living. The reported consumer price index is always lower than the actual inflation. Your check grows but never enough to make up for lost purchasing power year to year. The Bush administration is over over over. No one is re electing George Bush.

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18ismellmyhand(26 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

And for the author of this article. Obama wasn't raised by two white grandparents in Hawaii. He abandoned at age 2 by his father who sent no further support. Then his mother rejected him at age 8. He is a broken man psychologically. Living with grandma because no one else wants you is hardly a normal life.

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19cambridge(4158 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago


You need to get some help.

Obama 08!

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20truth4u(5 comments)posted 7 years, 9 months ago

Know the Truth!
You Will be Shocked I GUARANTEE!!
Video from C-Span

Truth ,Who is responsible for the banking crisis? You be the judge.
Watch the whole thing you will be shocked!! hear it straight from Bill Clinton himself.

Fannie CEO and the Democrats are one big family

Truth on Oil/ Drilling

Another on drilling our own oil, This one is pathetic and makes me sick

You deserve to know the Truth!!!

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