Monday, October 23, 2006

Clinton OH-01 Pre-Visit Article in KY Post

Though they've never met, Clinton to campaign for Cranley
By Joe Wessels
Post contributor

Clinton meet Cranley; Cranley meet Clinton.

It will be an unlikely first meeting of sorts for the two politicians, and a happy one at that.

Though they have never met in person, the two will be best of friends Tuesday afternoon at the Millennium Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. That's when former President Bill Clinton makes a stop in Cincinnati to stump for Cincinnati City Council Member John Cranley, a Democratic candidate for Ohio's 1st District.

For Cranley, it's an indication the globetrotting Clinton is taking his campaign seriously.

"It's certainly humbling," Cranley said. "He wouldn't be coming if he didn't think we could win. And we wouldn't be doing it unless we thought he could give us some help."

And help he will.

The event is expected to raise $300,000. Tickets range from $250 to $1,000, based on where your seat will be to hear Clinton's remarks. Plus those who contribute more than $4,200 get a photo opportunity with Clinton before he takes the stage.

The event starts at 2:30 p.m., with doors opening at 2 p.m. - a time later than was previously announced.

Clinton is making appearances for only three candidates running for the House of Representatives, all in tight races, said Elliot Ruther, Cranley's campaign manager.

Cranley said he plans to ask Clinton for advice on his campaign, plus acknowledge Clinton's other work since leaving office, including the former president's outreach and fund-raising to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa and his work to combat global warming. "He is using his influence to make a good impact on the world."

With just 17 days until Election Day, Cranley said he is confident in how his race is going but with relative political obscurity on the national scene, he is a little surprised by the attention he is receiving. "As a challenger, no, I never expected it," he said.

Incumbent Congressman Steve Chabot, Cranley's opponent in the race, is not bothered by Clinton's appearance. In fact, he thinks it will portray Cranley negatively, said Jessica Towhey, communications director.

"Washington's liberal leaders are pulling out all the stops to get Cranley elected," she said.

Neither Cranley nor Ruther knew what the former president plans to say in his address or if he would meet with the local media.

But Cranley was fairly sure of one thing on Clinton's agenda.

"I'm pretty sure he is going to encourage people to vote for me," Cranley joked.

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