Obama Gets High Marks From Crowd For Athens Speech

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Though the Southeast Ohio college town of Athens served as the stage for President Barack Obama’s campaign event Wednesday night, people traveled from all over the state to hear the Democratic incumbent’s message.

Leslie Robinson travelled to Athens from Columbus to see the president speak.

"I thought it was excellent. He hit a lot of good points especially about education and grants," said Robinson.

Robinson said the most important issue to her this election is economy.  Her daughter is an Ohio University senior and will soon be entering the job market.

Sherri Hart, of Meigs County, says jobs are the most important issue for her, although she expressed some disappointment at the President's performance so far.

"I'm hoping he gets better at it. Meigs County doesn't have a whole lot of employment opportunities. I'm hoping things will start opening up soon," said Hart.

Hart still describes herself as a supporter of the President even though she's in the minority in her hometown.

"I know a lot of people that are unemployed….and a lot of people in our area don't really support him. I have faith though," said Hart.

Despite her faith, Hart said she wasn't actively campaigning for Obama to those she knows and just wanted to hear him speak.

Vicki Carter, of Athens, enjoyed the speech, even though she said she thought it was par for the course for Obama .

"It just was all confirming everything he's said in the past and it's consistent with what I believe to be his values," said Carter.

Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl, who lead off as the event's first speaker, said he also enjoyed the speech.

"It was good. He got the crowd excited. He made some good arguments as to why he should be elected for another four years," said Wiehl (D-Athens).

However, Wiehl said he felt like something was missing from Obama's speech

"He talked a little bit about energy, but I wish he talked more about it, renewables in particular,” said Wiehl.

OU Vice President of Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi said thought the president made a great case for Ohio University.

"I liked his talk about education and making education affordable for our students. That was a certainly a great thing to hear for our students here and for Ohio University," said Lombardi.

Lombardi even had a chance to meet Obama before his speech and summed up his experience: "It was awesome; a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet a sitting president."