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Palin power pulls them in -

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Palin power pulls them in

The World Today - Tuesday, 23 September , 2008 12:34:00

Reporter: Kim Landers

ELEANOR HALL: The economic crisis in the United States is already dominating the election campaign.
But some Republicans in the critical swing state of Ohio appear not to be too concerned that their
party will be blamed for the problems.

The town of Chillicothe is a popular spot on the presidential campaign trail and has an uncanny
knack of picking the White House winner.

John McCain has already visited the town this year and Republican Party members now want him to
return with his vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin.

North America correspondent Kim Landers filed this report.

(Sound of a coffee machine)

KIM LANDERS: At the Grinders coffee shop in the centre of Chillicothe, a group of Republicans is
sitting around a table.

Although their votes for John McCain may never have been in doubt, party members like Carol Myers
are thrilled with his decision to pick Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

CAROL MYERS: Just because she's attractive, and that's actually a plus, she can talk, she's easy to
listen to, she articulates, she's eloquent. But the main thing is that she does have substance.

KIM LANDERS: Diane Carnes is the chairwoman of the Ross County Republican Party.

She's been deluged with phone calls and people wanting signs since Sarah Palin joined the
Republican ticket.

DIANE CARNES: Now of course women are crazy about her, but men are also seeing, this is a strong
woman, this is somebody who can do something and isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes in.

And I can tell you as the first female chairman of the Ross County Republican Party that there are
still good old boys out there who find it very difficult to work with a woman, and one who will
stand up for what she believes in. I've had so many people say, "Sarah Palin's like, she's done all
the stuff I've done", and her willingness to stand up for her belief to be against abortion, to me
is absolutely amazing.

KIM LANDERS: Do you see any evidence that women who once supported Hilary Clinton are now
supporting the McCain-Palin ticket?

DIANE CARNES: Yes I am seeing that, but then there are women who supported Hilary just because she
was a woman, not because they believed in what she believed in, but because she was a woman and
this is somebody who can be for us.

KIM LANDERS: Chillicothe's voting record makes it a bellwether for the state of Ohio, which in turn
is a key presidential election battleground.

This town has a knack for predicting the outcome of the White House contests.

David May is a retired engineer. He admits he's troubled by the upheaval on Wall Street and the
possible damage it's doing to the American economy, but he doesn't blame George W Bush or the
Republican administration.

DAVID MAY: The economy has its own momentum, there's absolutely nothing that George Bush has done
that caused the situation that we're in right now, it's Congress, Congress has allowed this to
happen. We've heard it quite candidly; a majority of our congressman on both sides of the aisle
have been rotten eggs for the last 15 to 20 years.

KIM LANDERS: Apart from being the chairwoman of the local Republican Party, Diane Carnes is also a
real estate agent.

She's lived and worked in Chillicothe for 28 years.

DIANE CARNES: So I have seen the economy in the real estate area go up and down, I've never seen it
dip as low as it did in the last year, year and half. I blame it mostly on greed, on the companies
who gave loans to people who should have never, ever, ever, ever had a mortgage loan.

So I see it as not a George Bush issue, not a Republican issue, not even a Democrat issue, but
Congress allowing this kind of thing to happen.

KIM LANDERS: For now, Diane Carnes is dividing her attention between her real estate business and
the Republican campaign.

She's spoken to John McCain twice, he's been to Chillicothe once and she's hoping he'll come back
soon and bring Sarah Palin with him.

This is Kim Landers in Chillicothe, Ohio for The World Today.