Campus & Community

Snowstorm doesn’t deter Clinton supporters

What the crowd lacked in size, it made up in volume.

Nearly 4,000 Hillary Clinton supporters and Bill Clinton fans braved a late-night snowstorm to cheer the former president as he campaigned for his wife at DU’s Magness Arena Jan. 30.

“You came through snow and sleet,” shouted Wellington Webb, former Denver mayor and national co-chair of the Clinton campaign. “You came to say this is Clinton country.”

Webb warmed up the cold crowd by extolling the virtues of the former first lady and rebutting concerns of an alternating Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton dynasty.

“It takes a Clinton to clean up a Bush mess,” Webb exclaimed to an enthusiastic crowd as the silver-haired orator and his daughter, Chelsea, took the stage.

Clinton was at first distracted by a verbal volley with a heckler shouting Sept. 11 conspiracy theories. But he went on to pitch his wife’s policy priorities, her long background in social issues and her ability to shape change, a buzzword in this year’s political campaign.

“The issue is not experience versus change,” said Clinton. “It’s who can make change in your lives.”

As president, he said, Hillary Clinton would work to get the U.S. out of Iraq, make health care and college more affordable, develop a green economy, rebuild the nation’s military and restore the country’s global leadership. 

Specifically for the students and parents in the crowd, Clinton promised low, fixed-interest college loans, $3,500 college tax credits and a program by which students could pay off their college loans through public service.

Clinton ran through his wife’s resume to prove her job readiness and commitment to change. He described her work on special education policy changes as a law student; how she took on education reform as first lady of Arkansas; and the expanded child health care legislation she pushed through as a New York senator.

“That’s what presidents do,” he said. “They change the future for people.”

Kevin Bemis, a third-year student at DU’s Sturm College of Law, said the former president convinced him that Hillary Clinton was his candidate.

“I am definitely a supporter now,” Bemis said. “She can actually make change.”

Aaron Hayden and Camilla Nader praised Clinton’s command of facts and policy but said they were former John Edwards’ supporters and are now leaning toward Barack Obama, who they had listened to that morning during a rally at the same DU venue.

“What an amazing opportunity,” Nader said. 

Republican candidate Mitt Romney spoke at DU’s Sturm College of Law in October.

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