Hillary Rodham Clinton was joined by her mother and daughter Saturday as she vowed “change across the generations” and stepped up her pitch to the women voters who could hold the key to Iowa’s caucuses.
“We’re getting close to the caucuses,” said Clinton. “I always think it’s better to go to the caucuses with a buddy. Today, I’ve got some buddies with me.”
Those “buddies” included 88-year-old mother Dorothy Rodham and 27-year-old daughter Chelsea Clinton, making her first appearance with her mother on the trail in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Opening the swing, Clinton noted that her family is able to care for her mother as she ages.
“I’m fortunate, my mother lives with Bill and me,” said Clinton. “Lots of times she has more energy than we do.”
Clinton noted that her mother fits the description of women who were born before women got the right to vote, and are now pushing to elect the first woman president.
“She has seen a lot happen and change in our country,” said Clinton. “Not everyone is as lucky to have their mother or father or grandparent with them as we are.”
Hillary spoke about her “plan to bolster long-term care, including a $3,000 tax credit for caregivers, a doubling of the standard deduction for the elderly and a tax credit for purchasing long-term care insurance”.
“I’m a proud working daughter,” said Clinton. “My family is able to make the decisions we think are right for us and that’s what I want for every American family.”
One of the amusing moments from yesterday was when Hillary, at an elementary school, read from a list of suggestions prepared by children regarding the next president’s agenda. One of the items the children suggest the next president can help with is “teach us left from right.” After this past week’s attacks on Paul Krugman, Universal health care and earlier on Social Security it is clear Obama missed those elementary school lessons.
While Hillary campaigned with her mom and daughter, Bill Clinton was working to elect Hillary too:
While Obama was seeking the spotlight Saturday by bringing in talk show maven Oprah Winfrey, Clinton was fast making her campaign a family business. While her mother and daughter joined her in Iowa, her former president husband campaigned for her in another early voting state, South Carolina, and was headed back to the Iowa on Monday for a swing focused on college campuses.
At a town hall meeting in Iowa Hillary took questions from the hundreds of Iowans crammed into a fire station. Instead of dividing the country by generation Hillary said “The reason I am happy they are both here is I’m running for president to make the kind of change that America needs, changes people need no matter what age they are.” “We need change across the generations.”
Mr. Clinton appeared at the regular meeting of the Charleston chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the country’s oldest Greek-letter organization for African-American college women. About 120 women, most of whom learned only last night or this morning that the former president was coming, sat in a small, low-ceilinged room here and listened intently as he gave a short, low-key speech about the nuts and bolts of Mrs. Clinton’s health-care plan.
He said her plan would insure the 672,000 people in South Carolina who have no health coverage, including 99,000 children, and would save families thousands of dollars a year. She has cared about health care for at least the nearly four decades he has known her, he said, and improving health care is “at the heart of” what she wants to do for the country.
He did not compare her health plan to those of her rivals, nor did he mention those rivals except to say that he was excited about the campaign because it featured not only a woman but “a really good African-American” and an Hispanic-American governor. He went on to note that women have been elected to head India, Pakistan, Germany, Argentina and Chile, and “America shouldn’t be behind anybody.”
Bill Clinton was polite. Bill Clinton did not mention Barack Obama’s gay bashing tour of South Carolina. Bill Clinton did not mention Rezko nor freezing Chicago tenants. Bill Clinton did not mention Obama’s latest attack on Democratic progressive values. Bill Clinton did not mention Obama’s attack against Paul Krugman. Bill Clinton did not mention Obama’s blunders and inexperience. Bill Clinton did not mention that Obama Is Never There When You Need Him. Bill Clinton did not mention Obama’s AWOL history nor his “present” votes. Bill Clinton did not mention Obama mouthing Ripublican talking points on Social Security. Bill Clinton did not mention Obama abandoning 15 million Americans to the land of the uninsured with the Obama NOT universal health care plan (and lying about his plan then attacking those who honestly point out that the Obama plan is NOT universal health care).
It was left to Representative John Lewis of Georgia, the civil rights veteran, who accompanied Mr. Clinton, to fire up the audience with rabble-rousing lines.
In a booming voice, Mr. Lewis declared that he had known every president since John F. Kennedy and that Mr. Clinton was “the smartest and the best.” After a slight pause, he added, “But his wife is smarter.” The audience erupted with a big applause. Mr. Clinton laughed.
John Lewis, the wise “chicken preacher” who faced beatings while helping America cross the bridge to civil rights justice knows an Obama-come-lately from someone who is tried – and true:
Mr. Lewis quickly sketched out his civil rights bona fides, including having been jailed 40 times. He then said of Mrs. Clinton: “She is not a Johnny-come-lately to the cause of health care. She believes that health care is a right and it should not be judged on the size of your pocketbook or the size of your bank account or the zip code you live in.”
Many in the audience responded as if in church, with “amen” and “yes.”
“We need her now more than ever before,” Mr. Lewis said.
After speaking to Alpha Kappa Alpha, Bill took it to the streets.
Mr. Clinton just finished up a crowd-crushing visit to an open-air market in downtown Charleston. He shook so many hands, and stopped to have his picture taken so often, that it took him almost an hour and a half to move just one block.
“Eat your heart out, Oprah,” a supporter said into his cell phone as the former president alit from his motorcade and several well-wishers swarmed around him.