I'm back in the anchor chair after a long weekend in Akron, Ohio.. where my family supported daughter Jenny during her long-awaited neck and spinal decompression surgery to relieve her chronic headaches. (She's doing much better now, and was released from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon. While we parked in Akron City Hospital for 3 days, the political campaign activity surrounding the upcoming Ohio primary was amazing. Last Thursday (our arrival day) Hillary Clinton rallied her supporters at Brush High School in Akron. Friday, it was Chelsea's turn to stump for her mom at the University of Akron, across Highway 8 from the hospital. By Saturday afternoon, Sen. Ted Kennedy arrived on the scene, delivering his pro-Barack Obama speech to a crowd at the Alpha Center on the other side of the Interstate leading to the hospital. Bill Clinton arrived at Timkin High School in Canton 52 minutes late on Sunday, to give the cheering crowd his 52-minute speech on why they should support his wife. All this, minutes away..
Our family packed up and returned to Cleveland International Airport by 12:30 Monday afternoon, stopping for several minutes as police cars with flashing lights led a famous person out in a motorcade. It had to be Barack Obama, making his way to a 2pm rally at nearby Youngstown State University. Had to be him. (Hillary gave her thank-you speech in Youngstown Tuesday night.) Clinton, Obama and the political writers are sure about one thing. This tied-up Democratic race for President could come down to Ohio. The candidates repeat the same words here.. "we should give tax breaks to the companies that HELP KEEP American jobs from being shipped to Mexico and China. (That always brings the cheering crowds.. strong on organized labor but economically weakened.. to their feet.) Watch the Buckeye State closely. This could be exciting, folks! That's why the big names showed up last weekend. It was fascinating to watch us all this going on around us, from our daughter's hospital bed.
Ohio's primary is March 4th, along with Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont. RH