Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Post-Clinton Visit Article

Bill Clinton was in town to raise a lot of money for Cranley, the next Congressman in Ohio’s First District.

Here’s a good recap:

Clinton jabs GOP for Cranley

Fundraising visit part of effort to help Democrats take Congress

Former President Clinton's trip to Cincinnati Tuesday was just like the good ol' days, back when he was traveling in Air Force One.

It had all the elements of Clinton in Cincinnati, circa 1996:
A packed house at a fundraising event, this time raking in about $300,000 for the 1st Congressional District campaign of Democrat John Cranley.
An unscheduled stop, this time at a Starbucks on Columbia Parkway on the way from Lunken Airport.

And, most likely, a split right down the middle between voters who were glad to see him back and voters who could live without him.
Clinton came to Cincinnati on Tuesday to jump feet-first into one of the most hotly contested House races in the country, in a year when his political party is putting it all on the line to win back the Congress that it lost 12 years ago on Clinton's watch.

This year is the perfect year for Democrats to take it back, the 42nd president told a crowd of about 600 who paid anywhere from $250 to $2,100 to hear him speak at the Millennium Hotel downtown.

Because the Republicans in Congress and the White House embraced "extreme ideology" and have kowtowed to special interests, Clinton said, "the Democratic Party can be the party of both conservatives and progressives.''

Clinton said the GOP campaign theme goes something like this:
"So we messed up, so Iraq's not going so well, and we probably shouldn't have put the head of the Florida Show Horse Association in charge of FEMA,'' Clinton said, drawing a laugh from the crowd.

"But you still have to vote for us, the Republicans say, because the other side will tax you into the poorhouse and on the way there, on every street corner, you will find a terrorist, and when you try to run, you will trip over a terrorist.''
Clinton's speech whipped up the crowd of Democrats, as Clinton speeches often do and gave Cranley's campaign to unseat Republican incumbent Steve Chabot a quick infusion of last-minute campaign cash.

But how the former president's visit played with 1st District voters is, as it always has been, a matter of which voters you ask.

Bernice Swann of Price Hill wasn't among the 600 who ponied up at least $250 to hear Clinton at the downtown hotel Tuesday. That morning, she was out on Glenway Avenue waiting for a bus.

"I love Bill Clinton," she said. "He's so much better than what we got now. We had better jobs in those days. Better everything. I wish he could have been president forever.''

Nearby, Frank Turner, a Whitewater Township resident who was in Price Hill Tuesday morning to stop at an auto-body shop, said he was never much of a Clinton fan.
"With everything going on in the world, I don't see how he could have done much better than Bush,'' Turner said.

Voters in the 1st Congressional District were always of two minds about Clinton.
In his last election 10 years ago, when the 1st District was configured differently, Clinton won there with 52 percent of the vote, compared with 42 percent for his Republican opponent, Bob Dole.

But, in the same election, Chabot was elected to a second term in the U.S. House with 54 percent.

Tuesday, the Chabot campaign - which has brought its own political heavyweights to town, such as Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John McCain - had little to say about Clinton's visit. It issued a statement saying the 1st District race is "a contest between Congressman Chabot and a liberal John Cranley" and that Chabot stands for "stronger borders, lower taxes and safer neighborhoods.''

At the Millennium, Clinton - who also attended a private reception with couples who had contributed $4,200 and those who raised $10,000 for Cranley - argued that the Bush administration and the Republicans in Congress have gotten little right: increasing the national debt by $3 trillion, cutting college financial aid and creating a Medicare drug plan that doesn't allow Medicare to negotiate prices with the drug companies.

"Every time, they choose the special interests' paths,'' Clinton said. "We are tired of them using ideology to divide people.”


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home