Presidential hopefuls get mixed reviews from Tri-State residents

September 06, 2008|By DON AINES

TRI-STATE -- The hoopla and speeches of the Democratic and Republican conventions are over and the tickets set for the Nov. 4 presidential election pitting Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden against GOP nominee John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin.

Polls show the race remains close, and while several people from the Tri-State area said they have picked sides, others still are weighing their presidential options.

"So far, I haven't made up my mind. Normally I'm a Democrat, but I can't support Obama" and Biden, said JoAnn Slusher of Charles Town, W.Va. "On the Republican side, I fell in love with Sarah Palin, but I have some issues with John McCain."

"She has changed my mind and I intend to vote for her," Dorcas Ramsburg of Charles Town said of Palin. As for the top of the ticket, she saw McCain's acceptance speech and "he was very impressive in his remarks. He sort of changed my mind, too."


The Palin factor also influenced Tina Strite, 42, of Rohrersville.

"I like Sarah ... I know I wasn't going to vote for Obama," but she was not completely at ease with McCain, Strite said. "I wonder what kind of influence will she have on what he does."

"I think people are ready for a woman," said Strite, a Republican, adding that Democrat Hillary Clinton helped set the stage for Palin. "Either way, what happens this year is going to make history."

"I didn't have time to watch it. I'm always at work," said Strite's daughter, 18-year-old Lacy Dick. The nursing assistant said the residents of the nursing home where she works "don't want Obama."

While she is not registered, her husband, Bradley Dick, is. The 23-year-old said he will be voting for McCain.

"Definitely not McCain," said John Dibarry, 29, of Chambersburg, Pa., who was at Valley Mall. "I'm going with Obama, even though I'm not a Democrat," the Green Party member and truck driver said.

"I'm not a fan of either McCain or Obama," said Simcha Ebersole, 27, of Chambersburg. There are political parties with better candidates, but they do not get the publicity, she said.

"I don't know who I'm voting for yet, but I'm going to vote," said Shawen Warrenfeltz, 47, of Keedysville, who was selling crafts to a sparse crowd at Boonesborough Days. "Obama is the better speaker, but that doesn't necessarily make him the better candidate."

"As far as both of them ... No decision made," said Terry Carnahan, 55, of Boonsboro. "Everyone talks about experience, and there's only one way to get it and that's to do it."

"McCain. I'm a Christian and I'm against abortion," said Stephanie Vanorsdale, a 38-year-old Republican, teacher and mother of three from Martinsburg, W.Va.

"I like McCain's politics and his ideas for the country," said Sarah Smith of Hagerstown. "I'm particularly impressed with Sarah Palin."

Running counter to this year's theme of change, Smith said a continuation of President Bush's policies would be good for the country.

"I made up my mind to vote McCain-Palin," said Barbara Wexel, a Republican from Glen Burnie, Md., who was at Valley Mall. Russia's aggression against Georgia, she said, convinced her that someone with military experience is needed as commander-in-chief at this time.

"I'm kind of going for the change," said Carlee Miller, 20, a Republican from Falling Waters, W.Va. "Because Barack is younger, he might be better able to relate to what's happening now."

"I think it's better that people like me who know nothing about politics not get involved," said 20-year-old Patrick Mulford of Frederick, Md.

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