President Donald Trump gave a crowd-pleasing inaugural address that honed closely to his campaign themes and pleased local residents who were there to hear it.
“It appealed to our sense of patriotism and America first, two of my favorite subjects,” said Kathy DeWeese of St. Paris. “I’m ready to start making America great again.”
Local political scientists said Trump’s speech stood out for it’s nationalist ring.
“In the modern presidency it was fiercely nationalistic,” said Mark Caleb Smith, director of Cedarville University’s Center for Political Studies. “Trump made it clear that when he views America it is America first.”
Mark Owens, chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, said the speech was Trump’s effort to “pull the wool over the American people.”
“He’s trying to fool the American people into thinking all these manufacturing jobs are coming back,” Owens said. “He’s certainly not going to keep his promises.”
In his inaugural speech Trump said every decision he makes will be to benefit American workers and families and he will “follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American.”
“We the citizens of America are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people,” Trump said after taking the oath of office. “January 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”
U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, who last year took the 8th District seat vacated by John Boehner, said the speech also hit home for him.
“We have to change the status quo,” Davidson said. “Too many words and not enough deeds.”
Smith, who watched the speech with his students at Cedarville, said Trump took his issue with Washington beyond the typical establishment critique, making the argument that politicians in Washington “want to get rich and don’t care about the American people.”
Though Trump with have to work with those same Washington insiders, the rhetoric may not hurt him since “people who meet with him say he’s a different person in private than he is in public,” said Christopher Devine, assistant professor of political science at the University of Dayton.
“He has to keep saying these things to keep the brand he’s created as an anti-establishment outsider,” Devine said.
Trump’s promise to bring back jobs and restore America’s wealth and dreams hit home with Scott Naill, a teacher from Clark County.
“Outstanding speech,” said Naill. “It was uplifting knowing his goal is putting Americans back to work.”
Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express of Dayton, said he liked what Trump said about hiring Americans and buying American, bringing back jobs and repairing bridges, highways, airport, tunnels and railways.
“I really loved the speech. It had a clear vision,” said Burch, who is also president of the American Trucking Association. “As a small businessman I feel President Trump ‘gets it.”
Clayton council member Kenneth Henning is hoping a Trump presidency translates to more federal grants for municipalities.
“(It’s) time for the nation to come together as one for jobs, youth, security, education,” Henning said. “It’s up to us to hold the administration accountable and see that he does what he says.”
But Preble County Commissioner Rodney Creech liked Trump’s focus on “people and America.”
“Now it’s time to get to work,” Creech said.
Wright State University business student Michael D. Ramey, a senior from Franklin, liked the speech overall but said a few parts left him feeling uneasy.
“Trump’s campaign has been fairly extreme,” he said. “I’m eager to see his words put into action and what that could really look like.”
But Shondale Atkinson Doris of Dayton didn’t hear much to like in Trump’s words. She attended Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009 and doesn’t think this one measures up.
“I think he said exactly what he had been saying on his campaign trail,” Doris said. “I am looking forward to 2020.”
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