Monday, April 27, 2009

Clinton Works the Crowd at Rally for Terry McAuliffe

Former President Bill Clinton with Roanoke Mayor David Bowers

Former President Bill Clinton with Roanoke Mayor David Bowers

The official tally was 533 not counting officials and sneak-ins though with the secret service on roof tops and in the corralled crowd it would be close to impossible to “sneak” in. Die-hard Clinton fans jockeyed for position to get a picture with former President Bill Clinton. They pushed close to the gates and begged for autographs. One woman could not hold back her enthusiasm and surprised Clinton with a kiss. Terry McAuliffe worked the crowd with Clinton. Clinton made no bones about the fact that it was payback for McAuliffe’s awesome fundraising prowess for the Democratic Party. McAuliffe was DNC Chairman and supporter of Hillary Clinton’s campaign  when she was running against President Obama in the primary. Hillary Clinton is now Secretary of State for the Obama administration. He also ran Bill Clinton’s 1996 campaign raising an unprecedented amount of money.

Leaving the event were Clinton fans with autographed items like Clinton’s book “Between Hope and History.” Others had their event tickets autographed and one man gave him a “real check” to autograph and he actually got it back!

On the way out I met Terry Riddleberger and Susan Thurman who had waited in line since 9:00 that morning. Both had Clinton autographed Terry McAuliffe signs. Thurman’s father, Tommy Mullins,  had dinned with Clinton on many occasions in New York as Vice-President of Amalgamated Transit Union. The ATU is a union for transit system workers like bus drivers, subway, light rail, mechanics, baggage handlers, and school bus industries.

Walking with them was Laura Patrick who had moved to Roanoke 8 months ago from Algona, Iowa for a job with Roach Catering. A “Roach Coach” frequents blue collar work sites and can be described as a mini-restaurant on wheels. Patrick said she fears losing her job soon with all the plants laying off and closing down. Patrick said “she sees whats going on first hand” and even the workers left are sitting drinking water at lunch or not eating lunch at all … “there is no one left to buy from the coach.”

Patrick’s son-in-law is in Iraq and her daughter now a high school junior back in Iowa is planning a military career. She said her daughter Jennifer got her interested in Obama. Patrick said  she had never seen her daughter so excited about anything as she was about “Obama for President at the age of 17.”

Bob McDonnell Campaign worker videos Clinton and McAuliffe.

Bob McDonnell Campaign worker videos Clinton and McAuliffe.

There was a Bob McDonnell spy shooting  video of Clinton and McAuliffe’s speech. McDonnell is the Republican nominee who will oppose the winner of the June 9 primary. All campaigns do it looking for ammunition to use against a candidate. The “eureka” moment is when they catch a gaff they can really make hay out of  against their opponent. This happened in the not too distant past with former U.S. Senator George Allen. McDonnell was at the Transportation Museum earlier touting his own jobs and economic plan. I did not go to that so look for The Roanoke Times story. However, the spy, who would not give me his name but is pictured here promised me press releases.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2009, Politics, State Politics

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