Reader puts Presidential visit in perspective

Matt Westerhold
Jul 8, 2012

Sara Smith about sent a message using the contact form at

Something truly magical happened yesterday, we got to be a part of history. I have been reading the comments posted on each article and they upset me.

Just imagine that Obama were anyone other then himself, pick your president. Now close your eyes and truely see yesterday for what it was, The President of the United States of America just drove past your house and waved to you. Maybe you were fortunate enough to have him surprise you at your place of business or you got to hear him speak and meet your family. This was a very magical thing happened here. If you are not an Obama fan, please have respect for the man who is the President.

I live in Bay View and stood at the end of my street with my boyfriend and 2-year-old son and watched as the President of the United States drove past my neighborhood, and recored it. I will be able to show that to my son one day and that makes me proud. We as whole were a part of history yesterday, we should come together as a community and take pride in what happened here.

                                                                                   Sara Smith, Bay View

Editor's note: This e-mail was received Friday, the near-end of a very busy week in the newsroom. In the midst of a fair amount of negativity regarding this historic event, it was a pleasure to receive something a bit more positive. Thought it was worth sharing.

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Thank you, Sara. I know that is a memory to be treasured and something your son will appreciate in years to come.

There is so much hate out there. I remember a few days before the last election. Comments were made on line and at rallies and, suddenly, I had goose bumps. My fear was that if Obama was elected, he would be assassinated by these haters. How tragic that would be for our country and, more importantly, his young family.

Our democracy encourages a two party system which means we agree to disagree! But please stop the hate.


the office cat


We treasure the photo my wife - as a college student - took of her Dad shaking hands with Richard Nixon in a high school gymnasium.  She had a guest ticket and sat in the front row while all of her College Repubican friends had to pay $100 for nosebleed seats.

I was fortunate to be pulled on the train with Bobby Kennedy as it left the station on a whistlestop tour of Indiana on The Wabash Cannonball.  A month later he was assassinated the day before my 18th birthday.  I treasure that... and still have all my Kennedy campaign stuff.

In 1980 as a reporter I was 'embedded' (though we didn't call it that) with Dan Quayle as he began his successful run for Senator.  We still get Christmas cards. I passed up a chance to join his staff in DC.  Hmmm.  Who knew?

This is my twelfth president, back to Truman.  I cannot recall anything approaching the venomous hatred expressed against this president - even against Catholic John Kennedy.  I hope the photo you took will forever reflect happiness.

Thank you for sharing.

Captain Gutz

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Thank you, Sara Smith, for writing this response.  You put everything in place and pointed out exactly what this was all about...the president of the United States coming here to speak.  What a thrill!

The negativity in this town towards something like this is embarrassing.  I am one resident who is hoping beyond all hope that the White House will NEVER read anything from this paper regarding the president's visit.  What has happened reminds of the people in that movie, Funny Farm.  What hasn't helped bring about any positive remarks are the articles written by Andy Ouriel.  And they had to be approved by Matt Westerhold I would imagine.  That's where the shame of this all begins.  

Sandusky, Ohio had a sitting president come to our town and speak to our residents.  How many towns are able to say that?   

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for the comment, 25yr.resident. A spokeswoman for the Ohio Obama campaign has requested copies of all the Register print editions that covered the presidential visit, and we're going to provide them to her. You're making some inaccurate assumptions in your comment, and I'm pretty sure you might not have had a chance to read all the stories that were produced by the Register news team. I'm very proud of the work they did -- very proud -- but of course, everybody has an opinion, and you're entitled to yours. I'm glad the Register is able to give you a space to express it, even though I disagree. 


I am pretty sure 25yr.resident is confused between printed articles and and online comments where all the negitive statements have been made!

nosey rosey

We would do better as a society to remember that the President is someone to be respected, even if we don't agree with him.


Erie Countian

Very nice, Sara! I agree with you! People need to respect the President no matter who he is! This was a very historic day for our region.



Hateful is pretty strong--"pulling our chain" might be a better description. We have to take message boards with a grain of salt. I would challenge any of these "flaming warriors" to put their name on it at work--it would be an instant da attack on their part.

Here are 89 of messaging's most ferocious flamers--check it out, pretty cool.

Flame Warriors by Mike Reed


Captain Gutz

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Please don't tar and feather me but I thought the coverage of the President's visit in the print edition was very good.  It is actually a paper to save!

Like I said before, make it about our city not just your political views.  It was a historic day any way you look at it!

Captain Gutz

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Sue Meredith

Well said Sara, well said!!!!


Even had it been the great Ronnie Raygun himself, I still wouldn’t have experienced anything magical.      

If you think that people who don’t care for the President’s policies, shouldn’t be able to express that dislike, maybe you should move to North Korea.       Amazing how none of the left complained when their brethren were deriding Bush, but now see fit to whine about the “lack of respect” of one of their own.  Truly hypocritical.  

Thank you, Sara, for taking the time to write this.  Your thoughts and feelings about the Persidential visit to Sandusky are shared by many!


This could have been a great event, If Anne Grubbe and her cronies hadn't been so corrupt as to forbid the public from meeting Obama in a community Meet and Greet like was done in Maumee, Oak Harbor, Port Clinton, Parma and Mahoning County.  Remember this travesty in November and VOTE OUT THE LOCAL DEMOCRATS!

The next time that our area needs help, remember that Anne Grubbe excluded 2 of the 3 County Commissioners, The Mayor and Vice-Mayor of Sandusky from attending.  When we need a grant or other funding, it would be a much greater possibiliy of receiving these, if the President and other government officialS could connect a name to a face and a location IN A POSITIVE WAY.

These kinds of personal contacts have been lost for years in this area by the Good Ol' Boys network.  They are more concerned maintaining control than fostering opportunity for the citizens of Erie County.  VOTE OUT THE LOCAL GOOD OL' BOYS.



---last edit 2:50pm--- This, in my opinion, is a key part of the real problem.  Some people are star-struck and think a visit by the President is some "magical" thing.  I even heard a commenter say we should feel "privileged" that the President would "grace us with his presence". 

What is going on here?  This is the real world with real issues.  Do you think the people who founded this country were so dazed and confused and such star-struck kiddies when the President (or any politician, for that matter) walked by?

This is a bad joke and it is just a saddening thing to look at, in my opinion. 

Oh and BTW,  The main point is not so much about one single day when the President visited (if that qualifies as an actual visit to the people, which I do not feel that it was)... but, moreso, the point is about how many people are star-struck, dazed, and confused 24/7 all year long.. but the "visit", and everything surrounding it, is just a perfect example of my point. 

P.S. <--- 


The Big Dog's back

 Pahleeeze illumi, if it was ron paul you would be slobbering all over yourself.


Great post is sickening and sad

grannie G

Thank you Sara Smith for your positive letter.I wish i could have been there with you

the office cat

GRANNY G.  Darlin', you COULDA been there.  Sara was standing in her yard in Bayview.  Any of us who wanted to took up positions along the route to see the bus and the entourage.  Sara got no special privilege and probably doesn't even know Amy...


If and/or when Mr. Romney is elected POTUS, I'll look forward to the numerous positive accolades and the voicing of respect for the office and the man from the Pres. Obama supporters.


bored reader

It's funny that all the libs who continue to say obama should be respected are no doubt the very ones who wouldn't respect GW Bush. I have respect for the office but none for obama. He is doing his best to destroy this country and the libs are aiding and abbetting. I'll have just a little respect for him if he doesn't rob the White House on his exit.


With all due respect to those who wish to make thisanything more than it is or isn't, a visit by ANY sitting president IS something different.  Had George W Bush visited Sandusky during his tenure I would have been sitting in the hot sun down there in Sandusky near where I was doing the same thing I was, with my trusty camera hoping for a  picture.

My only hope is that the head of the Republican Party would not have been so "sneaky" about what they had done with the tickets as we now know the Democratic party was.

If this has not been an election year, would you all be throwing these barbs so badly?  No, I doubt it. 

Granted, this guy leaves a lot to be desired as a President goes and heaven knows he got a LOT of crap he inherited to fix but he is still the sitting President, this is a small town and it was a big deal to have him come through here.  So too bad we all didn't get to see him. 

It would have been better if this had been held at Strobel Field so more had been allowed in instead of the select few Mrs Grubbe and the eletist few of her inner circle but that's the rich for you.  I guess the Republicans are not the only ones who can be called that now.  Shame on her for what she did. 


 This is a good example of how too much of the public bases its decisions on catch phrases rather than knowledge

Free Man

I also "stood at the end of my street " and was glad he kept going........ .. .. .


I too was one of those fortunate enough to work on a route that the President's motorcade travelled enroute to Sandusky from Maumee.   It was a once in a lifetime experience for me to witness and one that I'll always remember.     I was apalled by the number of co-workers who didn't "bother" simply because it was President Obama.   I can honestly say one thing, I still would have stood where I was regardless of it would have been Bushor anyone I didn't vote for--I would have waved and clapped (maybe just not as enthusiastically as I did for President Obama) but still would have been respectful.    Great comments by Sara Smith--



The world needs more people like Sara!

To Bored Reader: I find it funny to hear that some Republicans "respect the office of the President, but not the President".  You can't really separate the two. Like many people, I thought George Bush was an idiot, but I still gave him my respect and grudging support while he was in office - because I truly care about America, and I knew that - like him or not - he's on my team, and to not support him was to not support America.

The events around 9/11 certainly gave me FARRRRRRRRRR more reason to disrespect Bush than any Republican has to disrespect Obama. Like most Americans, I was initially caught up in a wave of patriotism and rallied around our President. Then certain facts came out. 

When I learned that Bush had been on vacation more days than he worked in 2011 prior to 9/11...when I later found out that he had ignored written CIA warnings prior to 9/11 about Bin Laden hijacking planes to crash into American buildings...when I later found out that Bush and Bush Sr. were in bed with the Saudis and BIN LADEN'S FAMILY prior to 9/11....when I later found out that Bush II was so close to the Bin Laden family that they actually had a pet nickname for him...when I later found out that the only non-military aircraft NOT grounded in American shortly after 9/11 was the one carrying Bin Laden family members whom Bush quietly flew out of our country to safety.... when Bush decided to invade Iraq and Afghanistan when it was clear that most of the hijackers were Saudis... 

Well, you get the picture. And this is why I just roll my eyes and chuckle when some accuse Obama of doing anything that would hurt our country. It all pales in comparison to what W wrought on America. Of course, his famous Act 2 was to kill our country's economy. He's like the gift that keeps on giving...

bored reader

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I made threats???? What the heck were they???? 


I agree with you Sara 100%