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0000017a-3b40-d913-abfe-bf44a4f90000Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU news team as the politics reporter and columnist in April 2012 , after 30 years of covering local, state and national politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. On this page, you will find his weekly column, Politically Speaking; the Monday morning political chats with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik and other news coverage by Wilkinson. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio gubernatorial race since 1974, as well as 16 presidential nominating conventions. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots, the Lucasville prison riot in 1993, the Air Canada plane crash at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983, and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. And, given his passion for baseball, you might even find some stories about the Cincinnati Reds here from time to time.

Area Republicans Heading To Washington To See Trump Become President

VOA News
West Front of Capitol Being Prepared For Inaugural Ceremonies

Some from the Cincinnati area will be on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., because they are genuinely pleased that their candidate, Donald J. Trump, will take the oath of office and become the nation's 45th president.

Others, like a group of a few dozen high school students from Butler County, will be there because it is the ultimate field trip for students of American history.

And, around the mall, many more are likely to be there to protest the election of Trump.

Others are there just to witness an age-old tradition of American politics – the peaceful transfer of power from one president to another.

Marsha Haberer of Mariemont is one of those who will be celebrating a victory that, for her, is a long time in coming.

Haberer left Wednesday for Washington, where she will join a group of others who volunteered in the Trump campaign.

The Mariemont woman was there from the start. She signed on as a Trump volunteer soon after the real estate mogul announced he was running in June 2015.

She worked as a volunteer on phone banks and door-to-door campaigning for Trump and the GOP ticket throughout the campaign.

"I have been a Trump supporter from the very beginning,'' Haberer said. "I felt he was the only one of the 17 that could possibly win against Hillary Clinton."

Now, she says, she will be thrilled to be in the crowd on the National Mall to watch him be sworn in as president.

"He's going to be wonderful for our country,'' Haberer said. "And I will be really disappointed if he isn't. But I don't think he is going to disappoint me."

Like many Trump supporters, she believes her candidate was treated unfairly by the news media.

"I never complained about him because I listened to his rallies and I stopped listening to the media because they lied about everything and they made everything he said into something that it wasn't,'' she said.

While in Washington, Haberer and all of the other thousands of Trump supporters gathered there for the inauguration are going to encounter protest groups. And many of the hundreds of thousands who are expected to be part of Saturday's national Women's March on Washington will be in town by Friday's inaugural ceremonies.

Alex Triantafilou, the chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party, who is leading a party of Hamilton County Republicans at the inauguration, said protests are to be expected at an event like this.

There will be a massive police presence in Washington, Triantafilou said – including 40 Cincinnati police officers who are traveling to the nation's capital to assist in security.

"The attendees will be well-protected,'' Triantafilou said. "There will be voices of protest. That happens at any major event like this. That's as American as the inauguration itself.

"We have a First Amendment that guarantees people the right to be heard; and I suspect that will be part of what makes up the fabric of this inauguration,'' Triantafilou said. "Obviously, it's my hope that it doesn't mar the event."

Wednesday, Triantafilou announced he and the county party staff will be doing live Snapchat reports from Washington on the Hamilton County Republican Party's account.

Today, Chris Monzel, the only Republican on the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners, will be driving to Washington for the inauguration with his three children, his wife and his mother. He said there are a total of 17 people from his Cincinnati neighborhood, Spring Grove Village, car-pooling to Washington.

"It's my first inauguration; and I'm pretty excited about it,'' Monzel said.

Monzel said he didn't get involved in the presidential campaign during the primary season last year, endorsing no one in the Ohio primary in which Gov. John Kasich defeated Trump. After Trump won the nomination, Monzel said, "I was very supportive of his candidacy."

Monzel said he knows Hillary Clinton won Hamilton County and that many of his constituents are looking upset and angry over the result of the election.

"I would say to them the same thing that people said to me about eight years ago when President-elect Barack Obama was elected and that was 'Give him a chance,''' Monzel said.

"And, you know, I did; he was our president and I respected that,'' Monzel said. "I would expect the same thing from the opposite side this time."

George Lang, a West Chester Township trustee, said he and his wife will be part of a group of 30 to 40 West Chester Republicans who will be in Washington for the inauguration.

Lang said he will be listening to what Trump has to say in his address about "economic opportunity, about his plans to grow the economy."

"Republicans in Congress are trying to do it by cutting spending, cutting our way out,'' Lang said. "The Democrats want to tax our way out. They're both wrong."

He likes what he has heard from Trump so far about "significant reductions" in corporate taxes and releasing businesses from "onerous regulations."

"He's going to have to learn to be a bit softer when he tries to sell his ideas to Congress,'' Lang said. "He doesn't always play well in the sandbox.

"When it comes to Donald Trump I have confidence in his vision,'' Lang said. "But I don't have as much confidence that he can pull it off."

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.