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Obama’s Third Pa. Campaign Office Opens in Erie

By Danielle Ardner, Contributing Writer

Erie Mayor Joe Sinnot talks 2012

Erie — The subzero temperatures didn’t deter a crowd of over a hundred supporters from coming together in support of President Obama on Thursday evening. The Erie Democrats hosted the opening of his campaign’s third office in Pennsylvania.

The first opened last fall in Philadelphia, the second opened last week in Allentown.

The get together was part of the Obama campaign’s effort to re-engage the corps of volunteers who energized his double-digit win in Pennsylvania in 2008.

Erie Mayor Joseph Sinnott said he was impressed with the turnout in the less than perfect weather conditions, and spoke of Obama’s accomplishments and the difficulties that he is certain to face in Pennsylvania and the nation.

“Obama’s done well and deep down, the country knows he’s done well, but it’s going to take the work, because they [the Republicans] are going to come after us,” he said. “[I don’t] think that their agenda or platform would be appealing to the country at this time.”

Missa Eaton, who Thursday announced her candidacy against Rep, Mike Kelly in Pa’s 3rd congressional district, used the political opportunity to introduce herself to potential volunteers.

“I didn’t come from an upper-class background,” she said. “I didn’t have money; my family were regular folk.”

She conveyed that she knew what it was like to work, as did her family, and that she was here to represent the “real interests” of Pennsylvania’s 3rd district, interests that Rep. Kelly fails to embody.

As far as the injustice redistricting has brought to the area, Eaton vowed to “pay attention to all of Erie County, making everyone’s voice heard.”

With several dozen Obama advocates at the heart of the Erie office, volunteers and politicos alike displayed high spirits and hopes for the 2012 election.

Catherine “Cat” Blair, a volunteer veteran with this campaign being her third, disclosed her idea on how to sway potential voters in northwest PA in Obama’s direction.

“We’re going to do a lot of voter education. Voters should know things that he accomplished during his term in office. Also, if there are any misconceptions, we intend to let the public know what the facts are,” she said.

To counteract what she sees as bias in the media, Blair said that the Erie office “aims, in addition to the abundance of education outreach, to also let the people know Obama’s commitments and what his plans are for the future.”

The Erie Democrats will need their passion: the northwestern part of the state has been particularly rough for the President in recent months. In 2008, he came within 1 percent of winning the former 3rd district.

The latest poll we could find that had regional breakdowns – from all the way back in September 2011 – showed him in deep negative territory in northwestern Pa. 67 percent of respondents in that Quinnipiac survey said they disapproved of Obama’s job as president, compared to just 31 percent who said they approved.

John Savelli, a volunteer at the Erie office who has been involved in and following politics his entire life, believes that the 2012 election is the most important election thus far in his life. Savelli said that his dedication to the campaign stemmed from “our core values being challenged and the Republicans wanting to take away everything that we’ve fought for in the last sixty years.”

Keegan Gibson contributed to this report.

4 Responses

  1. Sinnot has lost my vote. Four more years of Obama will bring us to complete socialism: nanny-state welfarism, zero business competition, no standards or principles, gay marriage, more abortions, more attacks on religious freedom. If Sinnot can’t even see that he is not fit to be mayor

  2. Hey, Peter. People who say “It has nothing to do with skin color” are the people where skin color has everything to do with it!

  3. Obama and his team have done more to HARM race relations in the USA than any other group in my lifetime, and I’am 58 years young.
    The race baiting must STOP..Most folks just do NOT like what he is doing to the America we love. It has nothing to do with skin color.
    Democrats can NOT defend his record so they race bait.

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