Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The State Newspaper article on President Clinton

Publication:The State;
Date:Dec 18, 2007;
Section:Front Page ;
Page Number:A1
Bill Clinton woos S.C. crowds
Former president says his wife can translate vision into change
By RODDIE BURRIS rburris@thestate.com Former President Bill Clinton brought his celebrity status to South Carolina again Monday, meeting with veterans and Democratic groups in the Midlands as he touted his wife’s campaign for president.Clinton, in his third visit to the state in three months, said U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton is best equipped to lead the nation now. “She’s got a good vision for the future, she’s got good plans to implement that vision, and she knows how to turn the vision and those plans into specific, concrete changes in people’s lives,” Bill Clinton said. Clinton embarked on a whirlwind three-city tour of the Midlands, stopping in Sumter, Orangeburg, and Columbia, where he met friendly crowds, shook hands, answered questions and told potential voters the former First Lady is what America needs in the White House. “She’s the best I ever saw at making people know she can make them better off than they were previously,” the former president said. In Columbia, he met with homeless veterans at the Alston Wilkes Society where he listened to the stories of several Vietnam veterans and toured the facility. Hillary Clinton, by most polls, is in a tight race for her party’s nomination in South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire, the critical early voting states. Bill Clinton is being dispatched in those states to help Hillary Clinton maintain shrinking leads that once looked insurmountable. Bill Clinton, introduced at one stop as the most popular and powerful Democrat in America, wooed voters here.“Nobody knows what’s going to happen in any election,” Bill Clinton told about 100 people at Orangeburg Technical College. “But I tell you this, if she does (win), you’re gonna be glad you were a part of it.” S.C. Republican Party chairman Katon Dawson, who made it clear he respected the former president’s renowned political skills, said he is less sure about the Hillary Clinton agenda, which he described as “raising taxes, socialized medicine, and soft on terror.” “They are very out of tune with the people of the state,” Dawson said. Bill Clinton, who came to the Palmetto State to honor his twoterm education secretary, former Gov. Dick Riley, started the public part of his tour by speaking to about 500 people in Sumter. “He really connects with the audience,” said Carrie Sinkler-Parker of Sumter, who said she is uncommitted so far in the 2008 presidential race. “I tell you this —this is Hillary’s crowd now,” she predicted after hearing the former president. People pressed to meet Clinton at every stop Monday, accentuating the former president’s value to the Hillary Clinton campaign Once they got a handshake, they seemed satiated. “Clinton was my man,” said 73-year-old Samuel Vaughn, a Sumter resident who got close enough to reach out his hand. “He was the first to balance the budget, people had jobs, they had housing — everybody just misses him,” said Vaughn. Bill Clinton addressed his connection with African Americans, who could make up half the vote in the Jan. 26 like this: “People like people that like them and that they think are pulling for them.”
C. ALUKA BERRY/CABERRY@THESTATE.COM Former President Bill Clinton, in South Carolina to campaign for his wife, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, shares a laugh with military veterans Leroy McBride, left, and Alfred Parrott at the Alston Wilkes Society Veterans Home. The men are residents of the home, which aids previously homeless veterans.
C. ALUKA BERRY/CABERRY@THESTATE.COM Former President Bill Clinton autographs a book for Army veteran Mike Bailey during his campaign visit.
C. ALUKA BERRY/CABERRY@THESTATE.COM An enthusiastic crowd gathered at the Sumter County Exhibition Center to hear former President Bill Clinton, left.

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