Friday, May 2, 2008

William Jefferson Clinton, Firsthand

As my West Virginia readers should know, the West Virginia primary is coming up on May 13.  Although there's little doubt that Hillary will decisively win our state's Democratic nod for the presidential nomination on that day, on Thursday this week the would-be First Gentleman made a couple of campaign stops in Morgantown and Clarksburg.  I had some free time on Thursday morning and went down to see his "front porch" stump speech in a nearby run-of-the-mill residential neighborhood.

My impressions?   Clinton completely lived up to at least one of his reputations: he was quite late in arriving for the event.  As for the substance of the speech itself, it was a typical Democratic bread and circuses address (I really wish I could take credit for that descriptor), promising --on Hillary's behalf, or course-- everything and anything to everyone and anyone.  The crowd was somewhat small and only somewhat enthusiastic, though they did respond when Clinton  flashed a bit of his charisma and rhetorical skills. 

Most noteworthy portions of his speech:  at the beginning and end when he told West Virginia Democrats not to vote for a candidate "who looks down on you."  Most unintentionally funny portion: when, rambling a bit, he said something to the effect of "when I was in office, we had rules."  Even many of the hardcore Democrats in the crowd chuckled/cringed a bit at that one.

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