Local Democrats enjoy Obama inauguration

Members of the local Democratic Party posed by a cardboard cut-out of President Obama. (Dave Yarnell/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — There were smiles all around as members of the Manistee County Democratic Party gathered Monday at TJ’s Pub to watch the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

“Remember, Barack Obama won in Manistee County,” one of the party members said, alluding to the fact that Manistee County was one of the 20 Michigan counties in which Obama got more votes than challenger Mitt Romney. Obama carried the total vote in Michigan 2,564,569 to 2,115,256.

“This is a big day, we’re all very excited,” said Glenn Lottie, chair of the local Democratic Party. “And this is also a time we use to thank our volunteers — to show that they have accomplished things by working to support the president and our local candidates.”

Lottie said the party has well over 100 volunteers.

“There are people we can call on at any time who will help out,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to this year. One of the things I want to do is to work for the community to show that Democrats care about the community. That will be one of our main focuses besides looking for good candidates who will support the Democratic cause.”

The Manistee County Democratic Party gathered at TJ’s Pub in Manistee on Monday to watch Barack Obama take the oath of office for his second term as president. (Dave Yarnell/News Advocate)

Lottie said he is enthusiastic about Obama’s second term and thinks more will be accomplished than was in his first term.

“I think he’ll get more done if he acts fast and uses his presidential powers to take care of what needs to be done,” Lottie said. “Most of his first term he was trying to work with congress, but there’s such a wall there and he hasn’t been able to break that down. He did get health care through, now he has to improve it.

“He’s got to make changes to help the people,” Lottie continued. “He can’t cut the amount of money spent if it’s really going to hurt people and drive them down more. One of the things I see is that the middle class is being driven down so far that I don’t know in the future — who’s going to have buying power? We can make all these products, but if nobody can buy them, what good is that?”

Lottie said he doesn’t think there will be many compromises between the two political parties.

“I see no signs of the Republicans softening up,” Lottie said. “They are controlled by the hard right, and it’s sad, very sad because in Lincoln’s time the Republican Party was for the people.

“Democrats have that role now. We’re for the people. There are so many good Republicans, but they are controlled by that hard right. We can’t move forward unless they change.”

On the local level, Lottie said one of the priorities will be to look for a candidate to run against Michigan Rep. Ray Franz.

“We’re looking for a candidate to replace Ray Franz, because he has not done anything for this community,” Lottie said. “We need someone who will listen to what we need in the community, someone who will support education, support our environment. He’s come out and said he’s all for coal plants and nuclear energy. What would the people think in Onekama if he put a nuclear or coal plant there in his hometown, or if he thought it was okay to put it someplace else? He just does not think of people.

“I am looking forward to this year,” Lottie said. “It’s an exciting time. I keep saying that because I’m so enthused about it.”

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Posted by Dave Yarnell

Dave was formerly the News Advocate features writer and retired in November 2013.

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