Come chat with us, Hillary and Barack

SANDUSKY Where Linda and Pat went, will Hillary and Barack follow? The Sandusky Regis
Tom Jackson
May 24, 2010



Where Linda and Pat went, will Hillary and Barack follow?

The Sandusky Register is inviting Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to participate in an online chat with our readers at the newspaper's Web site,

If the senators accept our invitation to reach out to Democrats in the March 4 Ohio primary, they'll be following in the footsteps of Linda Miller-Moore and Pat Shenigo, two Erie County Democrats running for county commissioner who answered questions from readers on Monday. A transcript has been posted at the Web site.

With the Ohio primary looming large as candidates battle to secure the nomination, the Sandusky Register's managing editor, Matt Westerhold, decided to find out if the presidential hopefuls are willing to communicate directly with the Register's readers.

"We've already experienced success with the Q and A Live format," Westerhold said. "We don't want to limit that success. So why not ask?"

Invitations to the two candidates went out Wednesday.

We haven't overlooked the Republicans, either. Invitations for online chats also are going out to John McCain, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.

While Ohio always plays an important role in the general election, voting during "Super Tuesday" suggests the Ohio primary also will be important, particularly for Democrats, who still don't have a clear front runner, Westerhold said.

Ideally, the Sandusky Register would like the candidates from each party to participate together, so voters may read their contrasting opinions.

But if the candidates only are available on separate days, each will be invited to participate in a separate chat, Westerhold said.

The Register began its online chats last year when readers interviewed three candidates running for Perkins Township trustee.

Meanwhile, the live chats with Erie County politicians continue.

Two Republican candidates for county commissioner, David Mulvin and Mike Printy, will chat with voters at the Web site at 7 p.m. Tuesday. And two Democrats running for clerk of courts, Barbara Johnson and Bill Kimberlin, will participate in a chat at 7 p.m. Feb. 19.