Skip to comments.Ohio Tepid Toward Obama on Jobs
Posted on 04/24/2012 7:34:35 AM PDT by Kaslin
ELYRIA, Ohio- Knocked off message for a second week by messy Secret Service and GSA scandals, President Obama on Wednesday tried to salvage things with a jobs rally among handpicked supporters in this Northeast Ohio town.
Standing behind him onstage were unemployed workers, ages 33 to 60, who went back to school to learn trades that might help them land jobs.
He began and ended his speech with now-familiar populist rhetoric about fairness and fair shakes. Sandwiched in between were out-of-place lines about free markets, personal responsibility and government not solving all of our problems.
At times the words felt awkward, forced. Six tepid applause lines in a 24-minute speech reflected a candidate testing out a new message that fell flat.
Mike Bainbridge was one of the unemployed workers gathered to showcase with other students the success of the presidents policies. At 33, he is about to graduate and hopes to use his applied-science degree to work in the alternative-energy field.
Bainbridge did not vote for Obama in 2008 and is not sure if he will this time, either. "I am on the fence," he said. "I am going to listen to both him and Romney, to see who is best to lead on jobs and the economy."
"Where were the specifics?" asked a woman in a navy-and-white crepe pantsuit, walking to the parking lot of Lorain County's community college. A longtime Obama supporter, she said she was uninspired to volunteer, make phone calls or encourage friends to vote for him this year, as she did in 2008.
A Democrat and school board member from one district over, she declined to give her name. "School board politics are similar to operating in a sewer," she explained.
Ohio is key for both Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney -- the ultimate bellwether state in presidential elections.
Since 1896, Ohio has given its electoral votes to the presidential winner -- except in 1944, when it favored Republican Thomas Dewey (and his running mate, Ohioan John Bricker) over Franklin Roosevelt, 50.2 percent to 49.8 percent, and again in 1960, when it chose Richard Nixon over John Kennedy, 53.3 percent to 46.7 percent.
President Obama's visit marked his 20th to Ohio since taking office; the plan this time was to tell voters how he intends to grow the economy and get Americans back to work.
Yet 24 minutes isn't enough time to tell much of a story. And rival Romney confounded Obama's jobs theme by visiting the same area the next day, using a shuttered National Gypsum Co. plant as his backdrop.
It's the same plant Obama visited in February 2008, promising to be a job creator. The plant closed a few months later.
In the past year, Ohio has been fourth in the nation, and first in the Midwest, in job creation. In the previous four years, before Republican John Kasich became governor, Ohio ranked 48th nationally.
Context is everything. For example, Florida is fifth in the nation in job creation -- yet has 3.5 million more people in its workforce. If Obama's policies worked, wouldn't Florida be beating Ohio?
If Obama's policies worked, Ohio's job creation should be far behind that in states with much larger populations. Yet Ohio actually started coming back from the dead when Gov. Kasich started enacting sweeping reforms to eliminate the state's largest-ever budget deficit, stabilize spending and cut taxes by $840 million.
Those reforms initially caused Kasich to plummet in opinion polls, although recently he has begun to recover.
Obama led Romney, 46 percent to 42 percent, in a Quinnipiac University national poll of 2,577 voters released Thursday. The poll showed Romney outperforming Obama on the economy, job creation, gas prices and immigration; the president scored higher on women's issues and foreign policy. They were viewed equally on health care and taxes, with Obama considered more likeable.
As Obama passed through a quiet neighborhood here with neatly trimmed lawns and single-story homes set back from the highway, residents gathered on porches and in driveways to watch or wave at a passing president of the United States.
A church sign along the way warned: "Beware, the End Times are near."
It's not clear if that sign was intended as a harbinger of November's election.
Blue Collar Ohio is never gonna forgive Barry for his lie about getting us out of NAFTA.
ELYRIA OH was a blue collar working town. Good infrastructure, well trained work force. Sad to see what has become of it.
This is one of the reasons I think Ohio will go Romney.
The voters in States where things started improving only after electing a Republican Governor need to be constantly reminded of that fact.
he has NOT done anything to help americans.
Isn't that precious?
The people are on to him now. It's going to get worse for Obama.
It is becoming apparent that we've been lied to.
It's dawning on us that we've been sold a bill of goods. It's more than just his incompetence, his policies, now that the chips are down, his character is revealed to us. The dude is downright scary, and fear is not the emotion you want in the air at election time.
I for one rejoice in his incompetence. A really focused, driven, competent Obama would have turned us into a full-blown Communist dictatorship by now, given the tail winds which blew him into office.
How did someone who admits he didn't vote for Obama in 2008 get admitted? The advance team must have done a sloppy job. Maybe they have also been spending their time partying with hookers.
Maybe the author meant last Wednesday. You can ask her and I am sure she will clarify
Right. Romney should look this guy up in October, see how he's doing. Ten to one he's still on the dole, with his degree in his pocket.
Duh. sho yo right.
And to Mr. Bainbridge, about to seek a job in the alternate-energy field? O M G. Will the MSM do a follow-up interview with him after he gets his job? Or perhaps the other graduates now that he's in the public eye?