Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Richard M. McKelvey, the Youngstown mayor whom the Mahoning County chairwoman of his party describes as ``an amazing piece of work,'' had his day at the Republican National Convention Tuesday, addressing the Ohio Republicans, and
now he can go back to the vacation that he interrupted. He should not, however, stay out in the sun too long. He's already been out there long enough.
McKelvey, you see, is a Democrat. More important, he is an elected Democrat in a city where being a Democrat isn't so much a choice as a way of life.
So is McKelvey crazy to come to New York City and, to protest in his own unique manner, his party and its nominee, John Kerry?
If he is, he isn't alone.
Zell Miller, the Democratic U.S. Senator from Georgia, also is here, backing President George W. Bush.
``This year there is no doubt in my mind,'' Miller told Ohio Repulicans according to WKSU-FM in Kent, ``that George Bush is the man with the courage, steady leadership and the right values to move America forward and keep it safe. Like Mayor McKelvey and his decision, mine was not made lightly. I could no longer follow in the direction my party is going. Today's national Democrats...the leaders have moved far away from the principles that once made my party great, and I just couldn't take it any longer.''
McKelvey is honest enough in his self assessment to admit that his alliance with Bush isn't likely to convert swing voters, a critical commodity in the battleground state of Ohio. He says those who have responded to his endorsement of Bush have favored it 10 to 1. Yet he says he doesn't know that it will affect many votes.
``I'm probably on the side of my critics in Youngstown who say he won't have any effect on the election,'' McKelvey said. ``They are probably right.
``What are endorsements? I came out publicly. In my heart and publicly, I support George Bush, and I'm not embarrassed to say that.
``Is it going to have any effect? I have no idea. The national people, the experts, think it helps.
``They are smarter than I am. I'm not a real smart man.''
Ohioblog agrees with that.
- Steve Love
posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 1:11 AM
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