Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Battleground Ohio: Notes from the Ground in Akron

As Ohio increasingly looks like a pivotal state in the nomination process, both campaigns are starting to make their presences felt, though one more than the other. Here's what we've seen so far.

Team Hillary was the first to use the local party. The party sent out an email out Monday inviting folks to an organizing meeting tonight at Memorial Hall (the social hall adjoining party HQ. It's available for party clubs, campaigns etc for a rental fee.) Yesterday Team Obama had their turn with an email inviting supporters to an organizing meeting tomorrow night. Here are details for that:

Thursday, February 14th at 5:30pm
Alpha Center
662 Wolf Ledges Parkway, Akron

Unfortunately, Thursday night is always a busy one at the House of Pho, so I will be unable to attend.

Also, Chelsea Clinton, Hillary's daughter and uninterviewable surrogate will be at the University of Akron tomorrow. That event is being publicized through University Dems as well as the Party. I got a message through Facebook and through the PoliSci department.

Details on Chelsea:

1:30pm - 2:30pm (Though the Dem Party mailer says 1:15.)
Student Union Market Foodcourt

As it happens, I finish teaching at 1:15 about 50 feet away, so hopefully I'll be able to pop over and get some pics, though the time is tight against child pick-up schedules.

Finally, event wise, Team Hillary sent out an invite to donors (remember, $5 per campaign) for a rally in the Cleveland area Friday night:


Friday, February 15, 2008 at 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM


Charles F. Brush High School, John C. Wesler Gymnasium
4875 Glenlyn Rd.
Lyndhurst, OH 44124

Generally, Hillary is much stronger in Summit. This is not surprising. She's had Emma Lieberth on staff for months and, from the contact info, it looks like Emma is back home for the month. For those not from here, Emma is the daughter of Mayor Plusquellic's political guru Dave Lieberth. Needless to say, she has extensive contacts and from-the-cradle campaign experience, as well as solid political chops of her own.

In addition, Hillary has lined up some local heavy hitters on her endorsement list, including incoming party chair Wayne Jones. Note, however, that Mayor Plusquellic has announced that he should not have been put on the list.* He has not officially endorsed anyone yet.

Obama has landed here much more softly. He has some local politicos behind him -- City Councilmen Mike Williams and John Conti are listed as contacts for the Thursday meeting -- but we haven't heard much from them. I've gotten on the local mailing list, but the result so far has been a couple of generic appeals. I did not, for example, get an invite to the Thursday meeting from the Team Obama list.

Unlike Hillary, Obama is still actively campaigning in states with primaries between now and wants to have a chance to score a knockout blow here, the campaign needs to start making its presence felt.

*UPDATE: Plusquellic has "officially" endorsed, though confusion continues to reign elsewhere.


Jill said...

Thanks for this post and info, Scott. Did you read the report on Chelsea at OWU and OSU today? John Horton of the PD - he wrote that Chelsea did fine but that the students weren't particularly turned on by her and are Obama-bound.

Ben said...

The Clintons are sure to be setting up shop here in Ohio.

Brant T. Lee said...

I was discouraged after the NPR story this morning with 100+ at Clinton's organizing meeting and the Quinnipiac poll showing a 21 pt. lead. But I went to the Obama meeting tonight and there were 300 people.