Local Obama supporters cheer inauguration
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Monday, 21 January 2013 16:04
The crowd may have been a fraction of what it was four years ago, but the enthusiasm of those gathered at the Cla-Zel Monday to watch President Obama’s second inaugural was undimmed.
|Local democrats gather at the Clazel to watch the 2013 Inaugural ceremony for the 44th president, Barack Obama. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
The local Democrats hosted the viewing party which drew about 80 of the faithful. Several hundred packed the same venue four years ago.
Still those interviewed after the president’s speech brimmed with excitement of the next four years.
Those present included a group of five friends who had traveled up to Bowling Green from the Findlay area. They’d been at the Cla-Zel four years ago and wanted to return.
Ann Boyd said she was pleased that Obama managed to be re-elected despite all “the doom and gloom” in the conservative media adding there’s more good news out there than gets reported.
Her friend Cathy Weygandt said she was hopeful for the coming four years, especially with the national health care plan in place.
Her husband Lee credited Democrats for the progress the country is making.
Ellen Seiler, who lives near Bluffton, was happy to see Richard Blanco include “all Americans” in his poem.
That sense of inclusion especially of the gay and transgender community in the inaugural ceremonies also pleased Molly Laflin, of Bowling Green.
Her sister Maureen Laflin, who is spending her sabbatical from teaching law at the University of Idaho in Bowling Green, said, “it was exciting for him to pull in the country’s history and move us forward.” That approach was “exciting” given it was the Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
She hoped the nation’s politicians could pull together. “The log jam is so depressing,” she said.
“I blame the Republicans on that one,” her sister said.
Molly Laflin said that addressing the nation’s deficit was important, but not to the exclusion of addressing other needs.
Maureen Laflin said she was pleased that the president mentioned environmental issues. She was disappointed global warming wasn’t discussed more in the campaign.
Another set of sisters, Sarah Boren-Rao and Molly Boren, both raised in Bowling Green and now living in Ann Arbor, were also in attendance.
Boren was glad to hear the president acknowledge all the “important communities who helped him get elected.”
Taken together, her sister said, they “reflect our national community.”
“I loved what he said about you don’t have to be lucky to succeed,” Boren said.
Now “you can’t make a solid middle class living without some advanced education.”
That shows the importance of funding education, especially for the needy, Boren-Rao said.
“It’s a wise investment to help people born in underprivileged circumstances,” Boren said. “It’s not charity, it’s an investment.”
She said she was “disappointed with people who don’t acknowledge everything Obama accomplished in his first term.”
Among the younger members of the crowd were Shaden Elwazani, 14, and Gabe Scherer, 17. Both said they remembered being at the Cla-Zel four years ago and feeling the excitement, even if they didn’t quite understand it.
Now facing their future they have a different perspective on the ceremony.
“I thought it was inspirational,” Elwazani said.
Looking to the future, he said “we need jobs definitely.”
He also sees the importance of extending gay rights and making sure women receive equal pay.
He said he volunteered for the Obama campaign and is optimistic about what lays before him.
Scherer said he’s glad to see the war in Iraq ended and that more people have jobs.
He feels the president “should be able to work together with Republicans.”
He’s hopeful that when he graduates from college in a few years “I’ll be able to find a job” and beyond that a better job.
Michael Zickar, the Democratic Party chairman, said the turnout was “good.”
He expects a number of local Democrats who were involved in the campaign will continue their involvement to help push Obama’s agenda.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 10:18