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« Stirfry

Youngstown's mayor aces audition

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published September 20, 2008

It was a performance that lent itself to speculation about Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams' future. During his introduction of  U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, at a rally Thursday in downtown Youngstown, the mayor not only said all the right things about Biden and Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, but he delivered a critique of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin that was at once cutting and hilarious.

In discussing just how politically obscure Palin was before being tapped by Republican presidential nominee John McCain, Williams pointed out that prior to becoming governor of Alaska she was mayor of Wasilla, a town so small that "all the people could fit in the Chevrolet Centre." The quip brought a roar from the crowd, but also had the effect of portraying the GOP veep nominee as out of touch with real America.

Williams suggested that Palin has no concept of how the people of the Mahoning Valley are struggling as they try to ride out the current economic storm. And he argued that Biden, a veteran U.S. senator from Delaware, has a greater understanding of the needs of old industrial regions than Palin will ever have.

The mayor also made it point to talk about urban crime and Biden's long-standing commitment to put more police officers on the streets. An Obama-Biden administration will pay special attention to the needs of cities like Youngstown, the mayor said.

There is no doubt that if Obama is elected president, Williams will be on the new administration's radar.

He aced the audition.


1ambidex(2 comments)posted 6 years ago

Bertram: You're batting 1k!

Jay Williams was elected Mayor of Youngstown by the cooperative efforts of Republicans and Democrats, not to watch and wait until someone else in town might tell him what to do and then expect applause for his actions.

On the contrary, his public support of Barack Obama is an exercise of his own knowledge, judgment and courage [aka leadership]--for the primary benefit of the city he leads.

Our next president will also be elected by Republicans and Democrats--we hope they will think as honestly and deeply as those who elected Mayor Williams.

But, as emerging facts indicate, the selection of Sarah Palin as VP candidate was a joke: secret, sudden, peremptory, without due deliberation, poorly researched, reckless. That's why the outcome makes good fodder for comedy. Unfortunately for Sarah Palin, she has become the target.

In this instance, Mayor Williams wasn't ridiculing or berating Sarah Palin; he was pointing out the ridiculous selection process for VP candidate and its outcome--Palin as candidate is not the only victim; all of us may yet become her victims.

McCain's selection of a VP candidate was all about desperation, not about leadership. Granted, his military record shows courage; his congressional record shows he goes along to get along. Hardly courageous leadership! Unless, of course, 90% of our President's decisions were on target.

And as to NoBS's comment about "the unswerving loyalty to the left that's displayed here [in Youngstown]": how quickly we forget former Democrat Mayor GMc who, when term-limited, handed over his support from the Democratic Party to the Republican presidential candidate in exchange for anything he could get. In that, was GMc sacrificing himself for the city, or vice versa?

Talk about "swerving!"

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2TheLostPatrol(756 comments)posted 6 years ago

Mayor Jay Williams is a B-U-S-T. Granted he didn't inherit much from Queen George, but as far as what the Citizens of Youngstown "anticipated" from Williams; he's failed miserably. And to ridicule Governor Palin! He couldn't make a pimple on Sarah's top lip (just above her lipstick line).

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3George412(161 comments)posted 6 years ago

Old Man, you just made my day. No only did you give credit where you saw it was due, but you actually used the title "Mayor Williams." I'm impressed.

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4ytownoptimist(86 comments)posted 6 years ago

LOL about Old Man Grump - I'm actually awestruck that I agree with him on something, too!

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