The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

January 25, 2013

Local Dem. leader witnesses history

By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — When President Barack Obama was publicly sworn-in for his second term, Orleans County Democratic Party Chair Jeanne Crane was the among those cheering from the National Mall.

Crane, who saw Obama in person for the first time at the Democratic National Convention last summer, described the experience of witnessing history Thursday.

“It was wonderful,” Crane said. “An emotional event, just to know that you were there.”

Crane and Genesee Democratic Party Chair Lorie Longhany drove to Washington after securing tickets in a seating area near the Capitol through Sen. Charles Schumer’s office. They arrived at the seating section at 8 a.m., when the crowds began massing across the area.

From their seats, the pair could see both the famous attendees and the estimated crowd of one million that gathered to see the ceremony.

“It was great seeing the former presidents and picking people out of the (VIP area),” Crane said. “We could look out at the crowd, it was unbelievable.”

While the group enjoyed the large amount of New York-related entertainment (Schumer being master of ceremonies didn’t hurt), Crane said they gave their biggest cheers after President Obama referenced Seneca Falls Convention, a pioneering moment in the women’s rights movement.

“It gave a home-town feel ... it felt like we were really involved,” Crane said. “All of things centered around New York State.”

The locals didn’t attend any of the myriad balls thrown Monday night, opting for dinner at the Lincoln Restaurant and a trip to Gettysburg after dropping off a delegation from Erie County at the airport.

Crane said she only picked up a few buttons at the event. The things she saw were all the momentos she needed.

“That memory will be in my mind forever,” Crane said. “That will never change. It was a once in a lifetime event.”