The People Powered Hillary Clinton Campaign

The people are with Hillary Clinton. America is still the land of the free and the home of the brave.

In rally after rally in Indiana and North Carolina last week, voters booed and jeered when she mentioned that some Democratic leaders and unfriendly pundits believe she should leave the race.

“There are some people who are saying, you know, we really ought to end this primary, we just ought to shut it down,” Mrs. Clinton told a few thousand people who had gathered in Mishawaka, where a giant “Hoosiers for Hillary” sign served as a backdrop.

“No!” boomed the crowd.

If hopes are diminishing among some supporters of Mrs. Clinton — privately, many concede they do not see a clear mathematical path to winning the nomination — that word has yet to reach the voters here who filled gymnasium after gymnasium on her two-day trip through Indiana. The mood of the rallies and town meetings was far from the grim picture portrayed in the endless whirl of political chatter on cable television.

The people, of distressed communities in particular, want a fighter. They need a fighter.

I know a little bit about comebacks,” Mrs. Clinton said with a knowing grin. “I know what it’s like to be counted down and counted out. But I also know there is nothing that will keep us down if we are determined to keep on.”

So the senator sought to steer the conversation back to the economy and away from prognostications about her candidacy, which was welcome news to voters, many of whom said they were furious at suggestions that Mrs. Clinton should bow out.

Roberta Weaver drove 90 miles to Fort Wayne from Kokomo and waited outside in 40-degree weather for nearly five hours to catch a glimpse of Mrs. Clinton as she walked into a diner for a discussion about the economy. When Ms. Weaver heard a reporter asking a few folks in the crowd about the outlook for the senator’s candidacy, she jumped in with a scolding.

No way, no way should she get out of the race,” said Ms. Weaver, a 70-year-old retired nurse. “I think people are deceiving themselves if they think that she can’t win this. She’s stronger and her support is much stronger than what many people think.”

In Nevada Hillary won by going straight to the people, not the Culinary Workers Union whose membership voted for Hillary even though the union supported the unsupportable. In Massachusettes Hillary won by going straight to the people, not Kerry, Kennedy or Governor Patrick. Hillary is people powered. Obama is full of hot air.

While Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and her family have been in Indiana so often they practically qualify as residents, Hoosiers’ best chance so far to see her opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, is to turn on their TVs.

Obama, who was the first of the two Democratic presidential contenders to campaign in Indiana, has become the first to begin airing TV ads. His first ad, a 30-second spot focusing on jobs, began running on TV stations statewide this morning.

The ad comes on the first of a two-day campaign swing by Clinton that will take her to Mishawaka, Hammond, Fort Wayne and Muncie today, and Indianapolis and New Albany on Saturday.

By the end of the day Saturday, she, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea, will have made a total of 22 campaign stops in 17 Indiana cities. In all, one or more members of the Clinton family will have been in Indiana on seven of 12 days.

Obama? He’s been here once, for a town hall meeting in Plainfield on March 15.

His campaign, though, says he’ll be back often.

Let’s not forget how Hillary won Ohio and Texas – people power. Obama, hot air ads.

Joe Hogsett, the former secretary of state who is heading Clinton’s Indiana campaign, said Clinton’s focus on Indiana shows “that Senator Clinton is going to work very hard in every corner of the state and compete for every Hoosier voter’s support.”

He said that in Ohio, Clinton was outspent 2-to-1 on TV ads by Obama, and by even larger margins in Texas. But Clinton, he noted, won the primaries in both states.

Hot air Obama cannot beat people powered Hillary Clinton. . Obama’s flim flam tricks won’t fool the people of Pennsylvania.

From the blue-collar hamlets of Allegheny County to the faded steel community of Johnstown, some of Obama’s thinnest support is in this region that gave birth to the term “Reagan Democrat” — white, working-class union voters who, in this fierce race for the Democratic presidential nomination, have favored Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in far greater numbers.

So Obama, unknown on the national stage until four years ago, aimed to identify. For the past two days, he’s wrapped himself in the sort of imagery that evokes familiarity with western Pennsylvania voters.

The people of Pennsylvania, post-Wright, see through the flim flam man. These hard working people are not fooled by Obama’s clumsy con man tricks. Read how clumsy Obama is when he is out of the arugula section of the Whole Foods emporium:

With a football tucked under his arm and a “Terrible Towel” in his hand, Obama posed with former Pittsburgh Steelers players Jerome Bettis and Franco Harris at the outset of his tour. He visited with hard-hatted workers at a steel mill and with patrons of a bowling alley. And he stopped by a sports bar Friday night to catch a bit of the NCAA basketball tournament. He sipped a Yuengling beer, but his local knowledge fell short when he confessed he didn’t know much about the regional brew widely consumed in Pennsylvania.

“You know I got a beer down there,” Obama said to a male patron. “What do they call it? A Yuengling?”

“Yuengling,” the man confirmed. “Like you didn’t know.”

“Trying a Pennsylvania beer, that’s what I’m talking about,” said Obama, his sleeves rolled up, smiling. “Is it expensive, though? … Wanna make sure it’s not some designer beer or something.”

The people of Pennsylvania are not drinking the Obama kool-ade. They are drinking a Yuengling. Obama’s “designer beer” comment is so repulsive because it demonstrates how the flim flam man is trying to charm people who are not taken in by his “pose”. Repulsive.

The repulsive Washington Post is recognizing, finally, people power.

We don’t see why the process should be short-circuited when millions of votes are yet to be cast and two qualified candidates believe themselves to be the best potential Democratic nominee. [snip]

And this contest is far from over. [snip]

One proffered justification for ending the campaign now, in fact, is the assumption that we know pretty much how everything will turn out. Ms. Clinton will win Pennsylvania, Mr. Obama will carry North Carolina and so on. But throughout this campaign, just about everything we’ve “known” has been wrong: Mr. McCain was finished, Ms. Clinton was inevitable, Mr. Obama had New Hampshire locked up. No doubt the Democrats have gotten themselves into a fix with rules that may leave the final decision to unelected superdelegates — but why is the answer to that less democracy? Why not give as many voters as possible a chance?

Maybe some day the Washington Post will come to the defense of Michigan and Florida voters and their right to be heard and to VOTE – or rather have their votes counted.

Hillary Clinton’s people power is mighty in Kentucky too:

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton brought her Democratic presidential campaign to Kentucky and Southern Indiana yesterday, telling cheering crowds that she knows how to turn the economy around and offering proposals to tackle housing, health care and energy problems. [snip]

“We have too many people who are facing insurmountable costs — gas, utilities, health care, mortgage, you name it,” Clinton said in New Albany. “That’s going to continue to compound our economic challenges. So we have to address these problems. You can’t ignore them.” [snip]

Obama has made only one campaign trip to Indiana and none to Kentucky this year. But his campaign opened a headquarters in Louisville yesterday and is running a commercial in Indiana.

“Fight” we all say.

Clinton supporters said yesterday that they were thrilled she has stayed in the race, despite Obama’s lead in delegates, so that their votes count despite Indiana’s and Kentucky’s late primaries.

I want to tell her to stick it out to the end,” said Justin Westmoreland of Scottsburg, Ind., who begged the owner of the South Side Inn, one of his relatives, for the chance to attend yesterday’s event. “It’s a really close race.”

At the Manual rally, a hoarse Clinton looked at the crowd of about 2,500 and told them she was glad that she came.

Hillary is people powered because she speaks to the issues:

In her speech, she touched on issues ranging from education to the economy to international affairs.

She called for a new GI Bill to help the soldiers she would bring home from Iraq.

And she called for using money that has gone for tax breaks to oil companies to fund research into alternative energy.

“If you deliver for me, you will be able to count on me to deliver for you,” she told the crowd.

Clinton spoke without notes for 38 minutes and got some of her biggest applause when she promised to help students — many of them arrayed behind her — afford college tuition.

She promised to increase Pell Grants, put more money into need-based aid and resume offering low-interest government loans for students. She noted that she paid just 2 percent interest on her college loan, while some students today pay more than 20 percent.

“I didn’t feel like an indentured servant like a lot of kids do today,” she said.

She also called for a change in the way the federal government builds and maintains infrastructure such as roads, bridges and water and sewage treatment plants.

In recent years, the federal government has scaled back its role in construction and maintenance, relying more on state and local governments to find creative ways to finance such projects.

Kentucky, for example, is considering the possibility of using tolls to build two new Ohio River bridges at Louisville.

“I do not believe the answer to our problems is to sell off our public roads and our public bridges,” she said.

During her speech, she took a jab at Obama, who critics say is an accomplished speaker but has failed to provide policy specifics.

“This election isn’t about the speeches we give, it’s about the solutions we offer,” Clinton said.

But she saved her harshest criticism for President Bush, saying it’s time to move away from “government of the few, by the few, for the few.”

At the round-table discussion in New Albany — where the television lights and sound system tripped the restaurant’s electrical breakers several times — Clinton did as much listening as talking. A group of five Southern Indiana residents had been invited to be part of a panel to tell her their concerns about the economy. [snip]

Clinton told the crowd that unnecessarily high energy prices, poor lending practices, high-interest credit cards and greedy insurance companies have all contributed to the nation’s lagging economy.

She outlined proposals to give health insurance to all Americans while limiting premiums to rates that are based on household income. Under her plan, Clinton said, people would pay less and get more coverage.

“It’s morally wrong that people are without any insurance — working people — and I think it is economically nonsensical,” she said.

She said officials in Washington need to “get serious” about solving the nation’s problems.

“We can sit around and wring our hands or we can start solving our problems,” she said.

“I think it’s a lot better if we start solving our problems.”

Oregon. Oregon is Hillary Clinton people powered too.

Hillary Clinton isn’t going anywhere.

In a telephone interview Thursday from North Carolina, she said firmly: “There’s still a lot of votes to be counted and voices to be heard before we know who will have the nomination,” that the continuing campaign is strengthening, not weakening, Democratic chances in November, and that “I would certainly welcome” a debate with Barack Obama in Oregon before the state’s May 20 primary.

And she sounds as if nothing’s going to stop her and the Democratic presidential race — after going through Pennsylvania next month and then Indiana and North Carolina — from getting here.

“Part of what you have to do in campaigning for the toughest job in the world is show resilience and keep going,” Clinton said, “and that’s what I’ve done.”

Hillary not only talks about the rights of voters, Hillary is fighting for the rights of voters NOW (in all 10 states yet to vote and in Michigan and Florida).

“From my experience, voters are enjoying this. There’s a lot of excitement,” she says. “I haven’t yet gotten to Oregon, but I’m looking forward to getting there. Everywhere I’ve gone . . . the level of enthusiasm is very high, because this is going to matter and people are going to have their say.”

She cites a recent poll that found “22 percent said Barack should drop out, and 22 percent said I should drop out, and 62 percent said, ‘Let this go on.’ ” [snip]

“I also think that it’s imperative that we figure out how to we’re going to make sure that we don’t disenfranchise Michigan and Florida. I was strongly in favor of letting Michigan re-vote, the Democratic National Committee was as well, and Senator Obama’s campaign was opposed to that.”

Now Michigan and Florida, two states fairly vital to Democratic chances against McCain, are hanging on the edge of irrelevance, or maybe invisibility, at the Democratic convention. This is likely to have a considerably more negative effect on Democratic chances in November than anything Clinton or Obama say about each in April.

Hillary Clinton is a fighter and Americans like fighters. Big Media be damned.

“Obviously, the media counted me out after Iowa, and the voters in New Hampshire said, ‘Not so fast,’ ” Clinton says. “Then I was counted out before Super Tuesday, and the voters said, ‘Wait a minute, that’s not how we feel.’ Just recently, Ohio and Texas were watershed elections, and I won both of those. I really feel there’s a disconnect sometimes between the way our elections are reported and the way voters feel about them.”

So she drives on. If it seems that being the first major woman candidate for president has brought some more difficulties, and some easier derision, than 21st-century observers might have anticipated, Clinton is more into resilience than reflection.

“I’m sure I’ll have time to reflect on that at some point,” she says to the question. “. . . But I do often think about that wonderful saying that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels . . .

“I have found this campaign personally very rewarding. I often refer to my mother, who was born before women could vote, who lived with us, and just the whole concept of my being one of the two people who could be the Democratic nominee for president is extraordinary.”

Just now, however, she’s not about to shut things down and settle for that.

Not yet.

Not now.

People Power – the renewable energy source.