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GOP Confab - Day 3; Obama Visits Ohio Valley

September 4, 2008 - Joselyn King
Wednesday was a busy day in presidential politics -- both nationally and locally. Vice presidential candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was among those addressing the Republican National Convention in Denver, while Democratic Presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. visited the Ohio Valley. (More on Obama later in the blog.)

* I guess I was wrong about the energy shown by Republicans at the convention. Palin got a thunderous applause from the delegates that was comparable to that received by former President Bill Clinton at the Dems convention last week.

Palin had her brood in tow -- including snow machine racing husband Todd, pregnant daughter Bristol and future son-in-law Levi. Cameras caught youngest daughter Piper licking her fingers to smooth back the hair of her infant brother Trig.

Palin said hers was no different than any other familly."Our family has its ups and downs, and some joys," she said.

On the same day as Obama visited both New Philadelphia and Smithfield locally, Palin took issue with his past remarks that "people in small towns cling to their guns and religions." She said working class America doesn't want a candidate "who says one thing to them in Scranton, then talks about them in San Francisco."

Palin said she did in fact have executive experience from her role as a small town mayor and her two years as Alaska's governor. She spoke on the need for America to utilize its own gas and oil resources. "Take it from a girl who knows Alaska's North Slope," she said. "We have plenty of both there."

She also made reference to utilizing West Virginia and Ohio coal.

* Perhaps one reason the convention gained energy -- or three reasons -- were the speeches by vanquished presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani.

Romney pointed out that today's Washington was more "liberal" than "conservative," and referenced recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and actions by a Democrat-controlled Congress to back his point.

Giuliani defended Palin from those who say the mother of five won't be able to have enough time with her children if she is vice president.

"When did they ever ask that of a man?" Giuliani asked.

Anyone who saw Huckabee speak at the West Virginia GOP convention knows he won that convention in large part because of his speech (and a little help from McCain supporters.) He balances a great deal of sense with humor in his demeanor, and I hope he doesn't disappear from the political scene.

* Those speaking at the GOP convention Wednesday did speak on some issues -- but Obama noted during his stop in New Philadelphia earlier in the day that he didn't hear much on the issues from the Republicans during Tuesday's events.

He referenced recent comments by Republican officials that the election is "about personalities, not issues."

"I guess I don't blame them," Obama said. "If I didn't have any issues to run on, I would want this election to be about personality."

A total of 325 were let in to the event at Kent State-Tuscarawas, according to New Philadelphia Fire Chief Jim Parrish. Fire regulations didn't permit any more.

This caused problems for the Obama staffers, who had invited many more. They came up with an idea to make more room.

While media with cameras was allowed into the venue, the "pencils" were to be placed in an adjacent auditorium where there would be a sound feed, Obama people told the media present. It took the media a few seconds to realize that "pencils" were the "print media," despite the fact most had lap top computers.

When the sound feed went down, arrangements were made to allow the inside media outside where Obama was speaking.


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