Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Bill Clinton and Kirsten Gillibrand Rally, NY-20

Notes on President Bill Clinton's 2nd Visit for the 20th District Race Yesterday. From today's Post Star:

Clinton returns to push Gillibrand to win

...Clinton, speaking on the eve of the election, told a crowd of more than 1,000 people to go out and look people in the eye and make the case for electing Democratic congressional candidate Kirsten Gillibrand.

"Tell them about our candidate," he said. "Tell them about the choices and the consequences. Tell them America can be so much better." ...

A new poll released Sunday showed her leading Sweeney 46 percent to 43 percent, with a 3.9 percent margin of error.

"You saw the latest poll. She was ahead," Clinton said. "But there's still enough undecideds to trip the race either way. And most of those people who are undecided are not used to voting for people with a 'D' after their name."

Clinton said Gillibrand has taken her campaign from impossibility to possibility and now to the point of belief.

"No one thought when she stuck her neck out she had a ghost of a chance," he said. "A lot of people that were helping her were helping her because they liked her and they admired her and they believed in what she stood for. But it's only been apparent for a few weeks now that she could actually win this thing." ...

Jonathan Gillibrand, the candidate's husband, said Monday his wife has always believed she could win. ...

"At the end of last winter, there was no one there, really," he said. "There was no team. We just drove around and shook hands with people."

In their speeches, neither Kirsten Gillibrand nor Clinton mentioned Sweeney directly, focusing instead on Republican policies in general.

"What we need this year is we need a new Congress. We need new leaders," Gillibrand said.

Clinton interspersed his criticism of GOP policy with humor.

"I mean, I've been poor; I've been rich. I like rich better," Clinton said. "But I think people like me ought to pay our fair share in the tax structure."

Weighing in on the privatization of Social Security, Clinton said, "Now the president says that he is going to, quote, revisit Social Security after the election. When I was in college, they called that a euphemism. And when I grew up in Arkansas, the way we described it is, 'He's gonna try to stick a fork in the thing.'"

The Iraq war and homeland security are defining issues in the campaign, Clinton said.

"They say they're the victory party and we're the cut-and-run party," he said. "We're the stop-and-think party."

U.S. troops withdrawn from Iraq could be sent to Afghanistan, where there is a shortage of forces, Clinton said.

Clinton suggested devoting more attention to research and development of alternative fuels.

"In upstate New York, you can grow willow trees like weeds and make four gallons of ethanol for every one gallon of gasoline," he said. ... (full story link)

(Watch a video clip here.)

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