Trumbull residents gather to debate the debate

WARREN – While there was plenty of anticipation for Monday night’s debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, it will probably not make a whole lot of difference in the presidential outcome, said Randy Law, chairman of the Trumbull County Republican Party.

Law and State Rep. Sean O’Brien, D-Bazetta, met in downtown Warren to talk a couple hours before the debate Monday night.

“(The debate) is going to change a few minds. It will be important in states where it is close, like Pennsylvania and Michigan,” Law said. “Note, I didn’t say Ohio, because we are going to win it.”

O’Brien disagreed with Law on that point, but then, the two disagreed on many points.

“I think folks are looking at which one looks and acts more presidential. Who will help the economy,” Law said.

He said Clinton was an “abysmal failure” as secretary of state. “Rep. O’Brien has a better record in the Ohio House than Hillary did as secretary of state.”

O’Brien said Clinton is a better debater and has accomplished much. He said people need to be reminded of the country’s situation eight years ago with George Bush as president, including reducing unemployment and saving General Motors and Chrysler. “We need to continue that,” O’Brien said.

Local attorney Jeff Goodman, a Democrat, said he was looking for statements by Clinton that would make a positive impact for the Mahoning Valley, in how she would deal with the domestic economy. He predicted Clinton will win the Mahoning Valley and Ohio.

About 50 Republicans met at Quaker Steak and Lube in Cortland to munch on wings and watch the debate. Among them was Adam Mayer of Warren, who spent the day standing at North and East Market Street, holding pro-Trump signs.

Minutes before the debate began, he said, “I am going to anticipate it will be interesting. I don’t know what to expect but it will be good.”

As for Clinton, he said, “I understand she was preparing. I hope so. She’s going to need it.”

Goodman said, “Debating Donald Trump is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how intelligent of a person you are, the pigeon is going to knock down all of the pieces and strut around like it won.”

blebzelter@tribtoday.com