- Associated Press - Friday, June 27, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton visited a Wal-Mart in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Friday to sign copies of her new book during an event that had people lining up before sunrise.

Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, spent about two hours shaking hands and signing her first name on copies of “Hard Choices,” as a line snaked through the store. The former Secretary of State and U.S. senator from New York signed books in the Dayton, Ohio, area later in the day.

The stops were among a handful she is making to promote her memoir, which is about her four years at the State Department under President Barack Obama.

Her visit to Little Rock came two days after a Republican Party of Arkansas district chairman resigned after saying Clinton would “probably get shot at the state line” if she ran for president in 2016.

The official, Johnny Rhoda, stepped down as 2nd District Republican chairman Wednesday after criticism leveled at him for the comment made during an interview with U.S. News & World Report.

Several supporters outside the front doors of the Wal-Mart held signs that said, “I’m Ready for Hillary,” and handed out stickers that bore the same motto.

Clinton didn’t make any general public comments, other than to thank people for coming.

One of the first people in line was Mabel Harris-Webb, 95, of Little Rock, and Clinton greeted her like an old friend.

Harris-Webb said afterward that her friendship with Clinton went back to when Bill Clinton was governor and Hillary Clinton went to her church, First Methodist in Little Rock.

Harris-Webb said she would support a Clinton presidential run.

“I hate to see her go through all she’d have to go through politically. … But I’m for her,” Harris-Webb said.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Molly Blakeman said some people lined up as early as 3:30 a.m. to get a wristband that assured them of getting a signed book. The wristbands were handed out starting at 7 a.m. for the scheduled 11:30 a.m. start. Clinton was about 45 minutes late.

In Ohio, Clinton arrived on time at Books & Co. in Beavercreek. The bookstore said it had distributed more than a thousand tickets, and hundreds of people lined up ahead of the 7 p.m. event.

Again, Clinton didn’t make a statement.

Kenton Ahearn, 41, of West Carrollton said he waited in line for three hours to get a ticket earlier this week. Ahearn, a chef, said he was torn between Clinton and Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary, but decided to vote for Obama.

“I think he’s been a great president, but I think she will be even better,” he said.


Associated Press writer Lisa Cornwell contributed from Beavercreek.

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