America, runs on freedom ... Romney 14th August 2012 - Chillicothe
the path ahead
Kasich and Romney together provide a cohesive force in this all important state in this all important presidential election
Eric LaMont Gregory
The weather was ideal as some 7000 people gathered in Chillicothe Court House Square to hear Governor John Kasich introduce Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But, not before Josh Mandel whose US Senatorial candidacy is ascendant lit up the crowd with an inspired address. Congressional candidate Brad Wenstrap had set the stage for Mandel with eloquence and style.
As I looked across the stage from the advantage point of the press gallery and gazed upon the elected and the hopeful who were seated behind the podium one could not but admire the fact that this event filled with so much hope and anticipation began when Ross County Republican Party Chair Diane Carnes called the Romney campaign and suggested that Romney visit Chillicothe. There were many reasons which favoured Romney coming to Chillicothe and prime among them is that in a bellwether state, Ross County is its core, and has reflected the victor in every presidential race save a very recent one. http://www.theoxfordscientist.com/romney-chillicothe.html
Governor Kasich, returning to campaign mode, spoke of the oppositions' tactics, "they smear me, they smear him (Romney), and why - because they have nothing to sell. We will move America forward by dealing with the issues." Romney would return to this theme in his address saying, "They make wild and reckless accusations that disgrace the office of the presidency, and America deserves better." Kasich ended with the words, "Bring us together." which resounded well with the audience. http://www.theoxfordscientist.com/bring-us-together.html
This author was invited into the press core by Derek Meyers the young enterprenuer and editor of the recently launched and now million hit a month electronic journal the Fayette Advocate. As we walked the short distance to the square a bus arrived from Hillsboro with members of the Highland County Republican Party led by Ohio GOP second in command Kay Ayrs. Derek photograped them as they unforrowed the Highland County Republica Party banner.
As we entered the square there was Ross County Sheriff Lavender who greeted us warmly. The same sheriff that opens the heated lobby of his department for the homeless on cold winter nights and works tiredlessly to reintegrate offenders into the community.
And in the audience was retired Air Force Captain John Rinehart and his wife Frankie, an octogenarian who still flies his single engine aircraft from the Waverly airport. The Rinehart's were there to listen to the next president of the United States, and want to see in Romney a revival of the best that America can be. The Reinhart's also stand as a reminder of just how one gets to be over four score, work together and when in doubt let her decide. They want back that America for which John fought to preseve for his progeny.
Behind the podium was Butch Peelle a businessman from Wilmington, a community rebuilding like the pheonix from the ashes of economic malaise and four years of failed Washington stimulus initiatives. Seated next to Butch was Brenda Mack, first female president of the Ohio Black Republicans Association, a seasoned campaigner and a woman dedicated to a more inclusive party to work towards a more inclusive nation.
I met Chillicothe Police Chief Moore who honours any occassion with his presence and whose own tragedy, the recent loss of his wife to illness, is not seen in his smile or duty. The calm serenity of this event was the result of very hard work and organisational efforts that are outwardly perplexing, but not when placed in such capable hands as his. It is said that victory loves preparation and when you have done the right thing it is like you have done nothing at all, and this event seemed effortless.
The sense of anticipation was palpable as the band played and the local singer's bell ringing voice led and emersed the square with the sound of thousands singing, "Oh say can you see ... the land of the free." The best was yet to come however, and Romney did not disappoint.
There is nothing more inspiring than the hushed silence of a crowd of thousands before they erupt in cheers when words engulf them with a sense of national pride, that moment arrived when Romney said, "America, runs on freedom." At that defining moment a juncture had been reached in this presidential election that cannot be taken away, diminished or subtracted from, the next president of the United States was in Chillicothe. Romney's spirited delivery of those few words catapulted him into the ranks of other great Americans who reached out to their fellow citizens in times of crisis and uncertainity, like the delivery at Gettysburg, "Conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition ...", or in those austere days when a president reminded us that, "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself."
Romney's, "America, runs on freedom," statement would have been enough to make it a great speech, but when he followed with, I will not raise taxes on small businesses, and when China cheats we must do something about it, and "You have not been forgotten," it became a great occassion.
To the right of Romney sat Jeff Hardin a member of the State Board of Education accompanied by his 26 year-old son, who is a rising star in his own right. One could not help but sense how pleased Jeff was as Romney discussed the second plank of his five point plan to uplift the middle class in America, that is, making sure that Americans have the skills that are necessary in the workplace of today as well as in the future. A problem with which Jeff Hardin and other members of the State Board of Education, local school boards, teachers, administrators, parents as well as students themselves grapple with each and every day.
"American history, Romney stated, is a history of the many becoming one, a people who stand united in adversity. The change we need is a change in direction. A change in the direction of our economy so parents can provide for their children, create jobs that make it possible for families to pay their mortages, and a change in direction as to how we approach the future. You were promised hope, and yet we know that these have been hard times for too many people, and I want you to know that you have not been forgotten. We will end the moral failure resulting from the way our economy has been run the last four years. And, that is the path ahead."