- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 2, 2002

Former President Bill Clinton reminded black voters yesterday about their ancestors' struggle for voting rights and called on them to turn out in large numbers at Tuesday's election to vote for Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend for governor.
Speaking at the massive Jericho City of Peace Church complex in Landover, Mr. Clinton warned thousands of voters, mostly black, against going with someone who appeared to be a "compassionate" conservative. Prince George's County is considered crucial in the close gubernatorial race.
Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., the Republican candidate, had voted in Congress so often with other conservatives such as Majority Whip Tom DeLay and former speaker Newt Gingrich "that I couldn't tell the difference," Mr. Clinton told the audience.
It is a race in which blacks are considered to be the deciding factor, and Mr. Clinton warned against politicians who would divide the people into "us" and "them." He recalled a time, growing up in the South, when blacks were herded on the back of trucks by "beady-eyed white guys."
"I remember literacy tests most whites in the South couldn't have passed," he said. "I remember us and them."
Mr. Clinton also lashed out at the Bush administration for the weak economy and unemployment, and for withholding education funds. "We tried it their way for 12 years," he said of Republicans. "In the '90s we tried it our way for eight years, and now we have tried them for two years. Our way works better."
Mr. Clinton, who also appeared with Mrs. Townsend at a rally at Baltimore's Coppin State College on Oct. 18, has been touring the country to back Democratic candidates. In Baltimore he raised $750,000 for Mrs. Townsend.
His wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, appeared at a rally for Mrs. Townsend last month, and former Vice President Al Gore made a hectic round of five events with Mrs. Townsend on Thursday.
Before the Townsend event, Mr. Clinton appeared at a fund-raiser for congressional candidate Christopher Van Hollen, who is knotted in a race in Montgomery County's 8th District with Republican incumbent Constance A. Morella.
Other Democrats who put in appearances yesterday for the candidate were Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski; Reps. Albert R. Wynn and Steny H. Hoyer; Prince George's County Executive candidate Jack B. Johnson; Mrs. Townsend's mother, Ethel Kennedy; and her daughter, Kate.
Mrs. Townsend, who introduced Mr. Clinton as the "last elected president of the United States of America," appealed to voters to turn out in an election where turnout will decide the race. "I need you; I need your friends, family, people you go to church with. I need everybody you have come across in your entire life," she said.
As they left the event, voters said they would not only vote Tuesday, but also would work to get out the vote in their communities.
"I am going to go home, and call all my neighbors and co-workers," said Reginald Taylor, 65, adding that he was confident Mrs. Townsend would win.
"We just need to show everyone how we can get the vote out in Prince George's County," he said.

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