With the economy still a key focus for voters, Democratic delegates in Ohio are looking for job loss, home foreclosure and health care solutions to bring their party together before November’s election.
U.S. Rep. and occasional presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said Ohio’s iconic representation “as a bellwether state of the industrial Midwest” will make it a critical state come November, even as new battlegrounds emerge.
Cleveland City Council Majority Leader Sabra Pierce Scott agreed that the country can learn from the economic challenges to her state, where she attributes the loss of jobs to “a shift from the industrial base to biomedical industrial businesses.”
“We’re in a pretty devastating economic state, but I do believe the Democratic Party has what it takes to turn out economy around,” Piece Scott said.
Key to the straining effects of Ohio’s economic downturn has been an increased in the uninsured, and Democrats say health care must be addressed if Sen. Barack Obama hopes become president.
Kucinich, who pushed for a universal health care policy in the primaries, often criticized his front-running opponents for having too-limited a plan. While he would prefer to allocate more government funds than Obama, he says the first “step in the right direction” will be electing a Democratic president.
“Unless we have a Democratic administration, we’re never going to talk about universal health care,” he said.
Scott feels health care may pose a challenge to those who support Obama and supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton, who often disagreed on whose plan offered wider-reaching coverage.
“That was one of the sticking points between Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton,” Pierce Scott said, adding her hopes that Clinton will be contribute to Obama’s health care changes if elected.
Clinton won 54 percent of the vote in its March 4 Democratic primary, beating Obama’s 44 percent, and Ohio Democrats are hoping that when the New York Senator speaks Tuesday night at the convention, she will emphasize unity and common themes in the Democratic Party.
“I would expect that she will join with all of us talking about the economic issues, because that’s what will rally the American people.” Kucinich said.
For Dayton, Ohio delegate Coya Mobley, a religious teacher, no matter what Clinton says, it will be her delivery that matters most.
“I’m hoping to hear from Hillary tonight that she still supports Obama, but with an open heart,” Mobley said. “I want to hear it in her voice, not just the rhetoric of it.”