Did it recharge some of the Democrats? Margie DeLong, the retired nurse who plans to now campaign harder for Obama, was part of this group. The answer for her was a clear yes. But also for Candace Forest, a Painesville native who lives now in San Francisco and promised: "I will engage more."
The Republicans were instead dismayed by what they considered a political ploy and worried it would move the conversation away from more pressing concerns.
"For now I think there's a whole bloc of people who are going to side with (the president's) 'from the heart decision,'" business owner Don Pomfrey said.
In the end, though, these Democrats and Republicans in a swing county of a swing state found one more point of agreement. As glasses were drained and dinner plans made, they had a final chance to reflect on what they all thought would, in the end, make the difference on Election Day. To them. To Ohio. And, maybe even, to the nation.
They offered up a two-word response, and it had nothing to do with the news of the past week but rather the issue of the times.
Almost in unison they said: "The economy."
Associated Press writers Dan Sewell in southern Ohio and Ann Sanner in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.
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