WINTERSVILLE - Hundreds of tri-state area residents waited outside Indian Creek High School on Thursday to catch a glimpse of a former president and to support President Barack Obama's bid for re-election in November.
Former President Bill Clinton brought out the crowd during a speech at the high school Thursday afternoon while barnstorming the state, and those gathered to see the former president and hear his speech were excited to do so. Wintersville resident Samantha Fisher said she was there to witness Clinton's speech and show her support for Obama.
"I'm here to support (the president)," said Fisher, adding she also supports the president's health care law. "I'm a single woman with three kids. I work at Big Lots part time. With passage of the health care bill (Obama) helped get health care for my boys.
"I think (Obama) understands what it's like to be a working woman," Fisher continued, adding she is attending Eastern Gateway Community College while working and supporting her children. "I'm excited to hear (Clinton's speech). I think he was the best president we've ever had. I took my kids out of school early to see this. They may never get another chance to see something like this."
Karen Fante said she was there for a different reason - her husband, Steubenville resident Thomas Fante was a Secret Service agent protecting Clinton when he was in office. The Fante family brought a photo of the former president with their daughter, Tiffany, taken when she was only a year old. Fante said her daughter is now a 14-year-old student at Indian Creek High School, and "we hope to get close enough to President Clinton to have him see this."
Brian Shannon of Steubenville said he was there to see the man he considers the greatest president in modern history speak about his support for President Obama.
"I think Bill Clinton has been the best president I've witnessed in my lifetime," said Shannon. "I'm glad to see him supporting the current Democratic administration."
Shannon said he supports Obama because of "his willingness to change the way things have been done in the past. He became president when our country had hit rock bottom, and he's doing a good job. But he still has a lot more to do. Not everything can be done in just four years. He has his work cut out for him."
Not everyone there was happy with Obama's policies or his presidency. A group of protesters stood at the school entrance with signs expressing support for Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Ryan Sofio of Steubenville said he was there to show his displeasure with Obama and the president's policies, as well as show support for Romney.
"For me the No. 1 issue is abortion," Sofio said.