BLOG: Community assists reporter in pitching area to the president

Andy Ouriel
May 9, 2012


A month ago, I spoke with someone who offered me several tips on convincing President Barack Obama to visit Sandusky and deliver a campaign speech.

Elaine Price, Ohio’s co-chairperson for the president’s re-election campaign, told me to write a letter and show Obama why he needs to visit the area.

Here’s the exact letter I’ll mail — both snail and electronically — to Obama’s main campaign office in Chicago:

Dear Mr. President,

You need to visit Sandusky, Ohio, for a campaign stop sometime between now and November’s election.

People here need hope. They need to know their lives will improve, and that someone can help lead them.

City residents past and present, and those living in the surrounding communities, are concerned about a once-thriving region decomposing and giving in to social pressures.

As a reporter at the Sandusky Register — an award-winning, daily newspaper serving thousands of readers throughout northern Ohio — I could offer plenty of reasons why you should visit here.

But it’s probably best to let some of our local residents tell you. 

Here is sampling of their responses:

Darla Chesser, a former Sandusky High School student, said this small city falls victim to big-city problems. At the forefront of Chesser’s worries is crime.

Just 14 months ago, for example, Sandusky police Officer Andrew Dunn was shot and killed in a late-night gunfight in our city.

Many also worry about the pressing economic issues.

Sandusky was once a Mecca for automotive production and paper products facilities. There are thousands who would like to see this city on Lake Erie flourish yet again.

Shari Veleba wants to know about your plan to protect and capitalize on the region’s greatest resource: Lake Erie.

Dawn Clark wants to know about jobs, and your plan to create good-paying, high-quality professions.
There are other pressing problems.

Lisa Marie Birmelin would like to gauge your thoughts on a cancer cluster plaguing young children in a nearby community.

I’ve worked as a newspaper reporter in this community for two years, and I love every minute of it. I also value the opinions of many in this area.

We all have concerns about the wonderful city in which we live, and we’d be honored if you’d stop by to speak at a downtown park on Washington Street.

Please let me know if you’re interested. (You might want to check out Cedar Point while you’re here, too.)

-Andy Ouriel


Each presidential election year the Register chooses two reporters to keep tabs on the national candidates and attempt to reel them in for a visit to our fine Northern Ohio home. This year reporter Andy Ouriel is following President Barack Obama's re-election campaign while reporter Emil Whitis gives his attention to the GOP race and probable candidate Mitt Romney. They update readers regularly on their progress in a series we call "Chasing the President."


thinkagain's picture

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained racist or discriminatory remarks. Discussion Guidelines

6079 Smith W

@ thinkagain:

Remember during the Iraq War, the U.S. wouldn't bomb "holy cities"?

Here's an idea: Change Sandusky's official name to - The Holy City of Sandusky.

Kinda catchy don't you think?



The part about Andy Dunn is relevant how? 


Yes, people in this area DO need hope. That may be your best argument AGAINST Obama visiting here! As the bumper stickers says, Obama promised "hope and change," but what we GOT was hopelessness and NO change in our pockets!

Home Boy

........"People here need hope". Everyone agrees. Obama campaigned in '08 on 'hope and change'. Well, we're still 'hoping', and nothing has 'changed'. Oh, sorry it has changed. It''s gotten worse. So. now the rhetoric is, according to the anointed's not what I did the past three and half years, it's what I'm going to do in the next four". Hmmmm. Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice shame on me.

The Big Dog's back

 Losing 750,000 jobs a month under bush, and the bush Depression, and now we have added jobs for 25 straight months, people are spending and back to work and nothing changed? Really? 

6079 Smith W

The labor force participation rate is at levels not seen since the 1980s and most jobs created are "McJobs."

50% of college grads can't find jobs.

Yea, Mr. Obama's hope and change is really working - in the wrong direction.


Thank Uncle Ben and his $3 trillion in funding - not Mr. Obama.

All Mr. Obama has proven is that any fool can spend, spend, spend.




Super Judge

Ron Paul was our real chance at become great again. Now we are left with two Liberals to choose from. Im choosing the slightly lesser liberal of the two.

Home Boy

Big Dog...check your facts. While it's true there have been 8 million jobs lost during the recent recession, half were lost under Bush, and the other half under Obama. However, under Bush there was net gain of 1 million jobs under his administration.Not so under Obama  Don't believe me?? Then go to rather than picking up on a quote from left wing propaganda.


Big Dog is 100% correct.

Just a thought...if nothing has changed under Obama, what the heck are all the conservatives complaining about?  Let's see....horrible recession turned around? Check. Bin Ladin killed? Check. Auto industry saved? Check. Ghaddaffi ousted? Check. Complete turnaround of unemployment problem? Check. Health Care Reform? Check. 

From where I sit, Obama has accomplished WAY more in 3 years than his predecessor did in 8 years.
I see change all around, and because things ARE getting slowly better, I have far more than hope. I have assurance that, under Obama, things wll continue to get better. Anyone who thought we could instantly get out of the biggest recession since the 1929 stock market crash is being completely unrealistic. Instead of griping about how Obama has taken so long to fix the mess, why not start griping about the people who actually CAUSED the mess: Bush 'n Friends.

If Obama cured cancer, these same idiots would be griping that he put oncologists out of work. 



Home Boy: I recently saw a bar graph of job loss/job creation 2007 to present. It shows a steady downturn until about halfway through Obama's first year in office, and 2008 (Bush's last year) was particularly ugly. That's when things were at the absolute bottom. When Obama's new policies began to have an effect in mid-2009, the change was immediate and like Big Dog said, it's been 25 months of continued improvement. Those are the facts. You're entitled to believe what you want, but just remember, if you're only looking for stats that back up your narrow-minded POV, you'll find just what you're looking for, and keep yourself from learning anything new.

Not all Republicans are so narrow-minded. Loved Lugar's speech today in which he decried today's unbending, non-compromising Republicans.  Paraphrased, his thought is that this stance will lead to Republicans becoming a minority, as they alienate more and more moderates. Works for me! This is 2012, and I, like a lot of people, have no use for conservatives who think this is 1952.

Surprisingly, hope comes from the Ohio Republican party (now THERE'S something new). Apparently, they realized that their recent Election Reform Law was clearly over-reaching, as they repealed their own law. Or maybe they realized that people figured out what they were up to, and didn't want to alienate large amounts of voters in a big election year. I'm guessing it's a little of both.

Ultra-rightwingers are to be dismissed. Anytime anyone calls Obama a Muslim, or talks about his birth certificiate, etc., most people just chuckle. These same people would've been better served by asking for George W.Bush's HS diploma before voting him into office, methinks...


6079 Smith W

@ coasterfan:

Auto industry saved? Would you like more ice with your Kool-aid?

Better read up on ol' Smoke and Mirrors Obama:


Ally Bank (the ol' GMAC) which is 74% owned by the U.S.taxpayer and still owes about $12 billion, has been makin' 0% loans to sub-prime borrowers for GM vehicles.

" Ally ranked No. 1 in financing U.S. consumer auto sales for 2011 with more than $40 billion in contracts for new or used cars and trucks, or about 1.5 million vehicles."


Unemployment rate? Better look at the labor force participation rate instead. It's back to the 1980s.

Obama is a @#$% disaster who couldn't find his *ss with both hands!





Marcus M

Obama is like a diaper, needs to be changed for obvious reason...


That's all Sandusky needs is another moron in town.

The Big Dog's back

 A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling 'Stop!'

William F. Buckley, Jr.


The liberal ideology runs out as soon as your pocketbook does.

Home Boy

Coaster you say, "you're entitled to believe what you want", as are you. But when I disagree with what you believe, I'm accused of having a  'narrow minded POV'. Hmmm.Typical of you lefties. Four more years of your man, and this country is DOA. Remeber," there are none so blind that will not see, nor none so deaf that will not  hear".

The Big Dog's back

 Coasterfan has been throwing way to many facts at you righties to absorb. Coasterfan, you have to throw in a little youtube otherwise their brains just shut down. Once you get past 2 words they are like the robot in the TV commercial.

Home Boy

Big Dog....keep dring the kool-aid, man. The 'anonted one' has plenty more where the last batch came from.