NILES - Nestled between an Arthur Treacher's restaurant and a dollar store, the small Niles office of Obama for America was home for a few big-name politicians Thursday morning when the Obama "Gotta Vote" tour bus parked out front.
The bus' stop, at the intersection of U.S. Route 422 and Tibbets Wick Road, was accompanied with a visit from Democratic strategist Valerie Jarrett. Other speakers were U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Niles, former Ohio first lady Frances Strickland and Municipal Clerk of Courts Sarah Brown Clark.
"We know Obama and we can trust him," Jarrett said.
Tribune Chronicle / Margaret Thompson
Democratic strategist Valerie Jarretts speaks Thursday outside the Niles office of Obama for President. Among other speakers and attendees were U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Niles, right.
Jarrett said she's known Obama for 21 years. She spoke on Obama's upbringing by a single mother, saying it is forwarding his ability to relate to female voters.
Jarrett also addressed the recent Romney ad involving Jeep, which she said many in the room had mentioned to her. She called it, "a horrible thing to do on the human level."
"I'm from the Midwest; I'm from Chicago," Jarrett said. ''We tell the truth in the Midwest."
Chris Maloney, Romney campaign spokesman, previously defended the Jeep campaign ad, saying that it was factual.
Other speakers were greeted with intermittent chants of "Four more years!" from the crowd of Obama volunteers and a few local residents who filled the bright orange room.
Strickland spoke about the local car industry, saying "Ohio benefited greatly from President Obama."
Roz Gadd, who is involved with the Trumbull County Democratic Women's Caucus, said she came to see Jarrett. Gadd said she is "disappointed with people saying they want to change their vote just because they want something different.''
Naeen Shaneed of Liberty also expressed his disappointment at people's lack of motivation to vote.
For Ronald Norwood of Hubbard, listening to the speakers was a way to "steel (his) resolve," after being turned away from attending the Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton visit at the Covelli Centre earlier in the week.
Jarrett will continue promoting early voting with the tour bus in Cleveland and Lorain.