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Washington County Democrats enjoy convention, especially Clinton's speech

September 07, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown City Councilman William M. Breichner brought out a bit of history when giving his thoughts on President Obama’s speech Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention.

“I was born during the Hoover Administration in the 1930s, and solving these problems in four years didn’t happen with Roosevelt and it’s probably not going to happen now,” he said. “(Obama) has got a lot of things on his plate that are difficult to control, and that came out in his speech.”

The convention in Charlotte concluded Thursday with the president’s speech, and local Democrats on Friday gave their thoughts on it.

Breichner said that although Obama’s speech was not as exciting as former President Clinton’s was to him, he still thought Obama did a good job of getting his points across.

“He did a fairly good job of being calm and reasonable,” Breichner said. “His speech was low key and to the point.”

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Linda Irvin-Craig, a former Washington County Commissioner and the executive director of the Washington County Historical Society, said she enjoyed the optimism that came out of the convention and Obama’s speech.

“He made it very clear that he was telling the truth and not what people wanted to hear,” she said. “Having been in politics, change is hard.”

Irvin-Craig said she enjoyed the entire convention.

“The convention was very well presented,” she said. “It covered a lot of territory.”

Clinton nominated Obama in a speech Wednesday evening that lasted nearly 50 minutes.

Former state Del. D. Bruce Poole, 53, of Hagerstown, said he enjoyed the whole convention, but Clinton’s speech was the strongest point.

“I think he nailed it,” he said. “He was very strong in putting forth the message in where we are and where we ought to go.”

Poole said it was great for the convention to show “true working class people.”

In addition to Democratic officials in the county, local residents supporting Obama touched on what they liked about the convention.

Hagerstown resident Wilonda Blue, 28, said she enjoyed Clinton’s speech and the descriptions that were given about Obama’s personal experiences at the convention.

“Clinton was saying that what Obama has accomplished the past four years is progress, even though it’s not perfect,” she said. “Obama knows struggle and he’s genuine in how he feels about people. He got into politics to help people.”

Throughout the convention, chants of “Four More Years” carried during different speeches. Vice President Joe Biden also spoke Thursday night, and signs saying “Forward” and “Bin Laden is Dead, GM is Alive” shot up all over the arena. 

Kevin Spielman, 48, of Hagerstown said he enjoyed Obama in his speech because it showed who he really is.

“He showed he’s really an everyday person who is very down to earth,” he said. “I like his views on health care, and I supported his health care plan.”

Denise Fisher, 42, of Hagerstown said Obama’s speech was very “powerful.”

“It was very meaningful and strong,” she said. “Everything he said had a value to it.”

Fisher said she thinks the economy is on the verge of turning around, and health care and the economy are the most important election issues.

“We’re getting there,” she said. “I think Obama’s working really hard, but we’re getting there.”

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