In Democratic Stronghold of Maryland, Praise for Obama

Annapolis supporter says president deserves more credit on foreign policy issues

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Annapolis, Md.—Most eyes on Tuesday were focused on Republican voters weighing in on the GOP presidential primary race in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. But the latter two contests, held in two of the most heavily Democratic areas of the United States, also featured a spate of local contests that brought many from the party of Barack Obama out to the polls.

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Bessie Demas of Annapolis, a local Democratic Party volunteer, says she's disappointed more people don't appreciate the job President Obama has done during his first term.

"We have a wonderful president," she says. "He's done a lot and doesn't get any credit for the good things he's done. He's kept us safe and then he got [Osama] bin Laden. Nobody made any commotion about it, saying that he did a great thing."

A former teacher at the Naval Academy primary school, Demas says she taught several students who ended up serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"I agree with him now. We're going to start to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan because we've been there 10 years and our guys are weary," Dumas adds. "If we can leave them with some good representation and some freedom, then we've won our purpose there."

She blames Republicans for putting their party ahead of the greater good of the country.

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"I've never seen so much disrespect for the commander in chief," she says. "He has a very hard job and he needs less division and more unity among both parties. I don't agree with everything he's proposed, but you can disagree without being disagreeable and the Republicans have been disagreeable."

Dumas offers praise for candidate-no-more Herman Cain, but is not impressed with the rest of the Republican field.

"At least Herman Cain came out with 9-9-9, some kind of [tax] plan," she says. "None of the rest have done that—they are just fighting each other and they make our country look ridiculous. It's embarrassing because we have real problems and we need to get together and come to some solutions to get ourselves out of this."

And she even has a little campaign advice for Obama.

"I think that his wife is his best asset," Dumas says. "She's tried to bring grace and style back, but more than that, I've been an educator in this area for 25 years and I like her program 'Let's Move!'"

Dumas says by getting out and exercising with children in public, Michelle Obama is doing "her own thing" and a service to the country.

Recent national polling by Gallup shows Obama with a slight lead over GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney and other surveys have shown him also leading in a handful of battleground states.

Email: rmetzler@usnews.com

Twitter: @rebekahmetzler

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