Thousands turn out for McCain-Palin event in Lebanon, Obama talks education in Dayton

Posted by Trina Kinstler - email

LEBANON, OH (FOX19) -- U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign has made its way to the Tri-State.

The GOP nominee and his running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, threw what's called a "McCain Street USA" event Tuesday in Lebanon.

McCain and Palin appeared at a rally at the Golden Lamb on South Broadway.

Hundreds of supporters waited hours for the event, lining the streets of Lebanon. McCain and Palin arrived around 10:30 a.m. to loud cheers and applause from their supporters.

Addressing a crowd that had been chanting her first name, Palin said Tuesday that America is all about small towns like Lebanon.

She promoted oil drilling to increase the country's energy independence, while McCain vowed to make government work for average citizens.

Twelve presidents have stayed at the Golden Lamb since it opened in the early 1800s.

"Let's make it 13," said Palin.

Palin and her husband, Todd, flew into Lunken Airport Monday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. and headed to an undisclosed location.

Meanwhile, local supporters of Obama staged a rally to counter the McCain campaign.

Cincinnati City Councilwoman Roxanne Qualls and State Senator Eric Kearney said McCain's continuation of Bush policies would hurt the local economy, and they questioned the Palin pick.

"His selection for vice president Sarah Palin is a reflection not of change, but basically stepping back not just to the 20th century but to the 19th century," said Qualls.

While McCain and Palin visit Lebanon, Obama was in the Dayton area Tuesday.

The Obama campaign held a meeting in a High School gym in Riverside, a Dayton suburb, where Obama talked about his plans to improve educaiton.

Obama promised to double funding for charter schools, pay teachers based on performance andreplace those who aren't up to the job, embracing education proposals normally more popular with Republican candidates.

The Democratic presidential nominee says both parties must work together to improve education in a pitch to independent voters in this presidential election swing state, where the fight over education reform has been the focus of a longtime partisan battle.

It was the first of two days that Obama was spending on education policy.

Obama has been in Ohio seven times since becoming the Democratic nominee.

Also in Cincinnati on Monday, Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who cannot be laughed off, since his share of the Florida vote in 2000 may have cost Al Gore the election.

Nader spoke to backers at Memorial Hall, as he tries to get the 10 percent poll support needed to take part in a presidential debate.

He also met with DHL workers in Wilmington, who's jobs are threatened.

"And we are in Wilmington today to show and suggest to the workers how they can proceed," said Nader. "To demand an anti-trust investigation. To demand that the German government weight in on this, to announce an international boycott of DHL."

Nader also said Ohio should demand that DHL pay back $400 million dollars in state subsidies if the company makes a deal that costs jobs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.