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Arkansas Hillary’s Southern strategy
Question of the Day
“She is a Yankee, will make the general election nonexistent in the South and will only handcuff Bill from continuing to build on what should become a fantastic post-presidential legacy,” wrote “Orval,” who runs the Greasy Creek blog in Arkansas. “If you need a poll, the next time you are getting your car fixed, tell your mechanic you are voting for Hillary [and] see what they say.”
Mrs. Clinton stressed her roots Saturday night.
“You can imagine the rush of feelings and emotions and images that have just filled my mind ever since I arrived late this afternoon,” she told the cheering crowd, outlining her husband’s many campaigns in the state since the 1970s and when their daughter, Chelsea, was born there.
“I am so grateful for the friendships that have really been just part of my heart for all of these years,” she said.
Staffers said she was excitedly pointing out her favorite spots along the drive, and made a quick stop at the Clinton Museum Store during the brief visit. A stroll through downtown Little Rock — where the Clinton Presidential Library looms large over the river — revealed voters grateful for the former first family.
“This used to be nothing,” said Linda Bryant, an assembly-line worker from Little Rock, gesturing at new shops and hotels along President Clinton Avenue.
Kevin Dedner, who works in government relations, said it was simple — she and Mr. Clinton know Arkansas.
“She’s traveled our dirt roads. It’s a no-brainer for us,” said Mr. Dedner, 30. “We all know marriage is a team, and I would imagine Bill probably got a lot of counsel from Hillary. It would be the same for her, and that’s a good thing.”
“We’d get a two-way deal,” echoed Wanda Hensley of Heber Springs.
“It would be like having two presidents,” Judy Gamet agreed.
The visit received little press attention and generated a mild “Sen. Clinton in Arkansas talks of war, health care” headline in the morning’s paper.
The hype for the event mostly came from Republicans, who welcomed her with a “care package” that pointed out she voted against the Bush tax cuts, included a Razorbacks cap and made fun of her sometimes-Southern twang.
“We know that the more time you spend faking your Southern roots and touting your liberal New York values here in Arkansas, the more likely voters in this state will elect another Republican president next year,” the Republicans wrote to Mrs. Clinton.
One paper said she “pops in for fundraiser” and a lone protester with a “Hillary — dump that evil trash” sign drew dirty looks from Democrats heading to the event.
Party officials did not release the total added to their coffers in Saturday’s $100-per-plate fundraiser, which was expected to raise a record of more than $200,000. It sold out so fast organizers added $25 bleacher seats that packed the arena, and Mrs. Clinton made sure some of her old pals got seats for free. Party officials pointed out they invited all the 2008 Democrats, and Mrs. Clinton, a native Chicagoan who lived here 12 years, was the only candidate to accept.
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
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