Saturday, March 29, 2008

The guy can give a stump speech.

Former president Bill Clinton spoke in Asheville last night, promoting Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House. Cross-posted from Scrutiny Hooligans:
Pres. Clinton was convincing, and sold Sen. Clinton well. Good speech and good points. Most telling was when Clinton asked for a show of hands: “Raise your hand if you know somebody without health insurance at all.” Somewhere from 40-50% of the crowd raised their hands.

Clinton surveyed the crowd and said, “This is the only country in the world where you could get that answer - the only rich country. This is the only country in the world where anybody could ask the question at election time.”

Mrs. Blue and I went without in 2003 and 2004 after I got laid off and COBRA ran out. He got me where I live.

I visited the new Obama HQ earlier in the day and was frank about going to hear Bill to fish for volunteers for the fall campaigns. 2500 potential volunteers in one place was an opportunity not to be missed. I’ll be at the Obama event at the Orange Peel on April 17 too, for the same reason.

Hillary Clinton supporters we met last night who said they would vote for McCain before they’d vote for Obama might want to think that through some. That goes equally for the Obama supporters who say the same. You want to shoot yourselves in the foot? I’ll loan you the gun.

Both our remaining candidates and their supporters owe this country better. We owe the world better. Republicans win when Democrats who don’t get their way take their balls and go home. Bill Bennett probably has probably placed bets on that happening - with good odds.

For all of the wonky policy talk to make any difference, we first have to win. We have to pull together when this nomination is resolved. And we have to work together to get out our vote.

Ideals are nice, but to both Obama and Clinton supporters I’m frustratingly practical. I don’t care that Obama has the chance to be the first Africa-American president. I don’t care that Clinton has the chance to be the first woman president. I don’t care which candidate claims the most experience, or who gives the best speech or whose husband does. They’re nice perks. But I want the candidate who has the most potential for energizing volunteers, for attracting new and crossover voters. I want the candidate who has the most potential for coattails, for helping new Democrats win office on the local, state and national levels. I want the Democrat who is going to make turning out our vote this fall the easiest. I want the candidate who is going to make the GOP’s job the hardest.

Elections are a numbers game. Bottom line: 50% + 1 wins. If on November 5th, there is a Republican president-elect, none of the trash talk about which Democrat is better or more qualified ain’t worth squat.

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