The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 4, 2012

Local debate reaction: Romney was 'human' and smoother


Moderator had difficulty

Ellis and Nailor said that moderator Jim Lehrer, of PBS, lost some control over the proceedings.

“I think Romney was tough on Lehrer,” Nailor said. “He would interrupt him. I don’t know how that will play with viewers. I suppose to a large degree it depends upon what you think of public television.”

The evening began earlier for party officials on both sides of the aisle  from all over the Valley — at organized TV debate-watching parties.

Clearly, the time for pre-debate conjecture and analysis was over by 9 p.m., when the debate began.

Stick to the issues

Northumberland and Snyder County Republicans gathered at the Edison Hotel, in Sunbury, to watch the event.

“I’m actually looking forward to seeing what happens,” said Beth Kremer, chairwoman of the Northumberland County Republican Committee.

Meanwhile, Pat Saylor, Snyder County Republican state committee member, said before it all started: “I’m nervous. I think (Romney will) do good if he sticks to the issues.”

Valley Dems were excited

On Packer Island in Sunbury, Democrats from three counties gathered to watch the debate as well.

“I’m glad this moment is finally here,” said Rodger Babnew, Northumberland County Democratic Committee chairman. “Now you have both the president and Romney on the stage talking to each other. People can compare two very different visions and make up their own minds.”

Seated nearby, Steve Catania talked about how his father, “a hard-worker all his life, was offended by Romney’s remarks about the dependency of the 47 percent. I’ll be interested to see how he talks about the middle class.”

Meanwhile, Jerry Ward, a Montour County commissioner, and a Democrat, said, “nothing either of these gentlemen will say will change my mind about either of them. Whether the governor wins the presidency or Obama retains his office, I don’t see anything changing in Washington until people start compromising and start working together. That is the only way to get things done and get the economy moving again.”


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