Saturday, February 02, 2008

Friday afternoon with Hillary in San Diego

I went to Cox Arena at San Diego State University yesterday afternoon, and heard Hillary Clinton speak to a large and enthusiastic crowd. The arena holds 12,000 and they had it partitioned in half, and that half was full. I really regret forgetting my camera because I would LOVE to have a shot of that line to get into the arena. Now I know what a queue of 6,000 people looks like!

I was amused to walk into the arena and hear a recording of Bon Jovi singing "who says you can't go back..." since that's what Clinton would love to do.

She was introduced (at length since she was about an hour late) by a long line of California politicos who've endorsed her campaign including LA Mayor Antonio Villarigosa, Senator Christine Kehoe, Assembly Member Mary Sala, Senator Denise Ducheny, and Speaker Fabian Nunez. Marti Emerald, former Channel 10 troubleshooting reporter and current candidate in the 7th City Council district also joined in on the Hillary love fest, as did SDSU President Steven Weber.

Finally Clinton arrived and gave what I assume is a version of her stump speech, though she definitely knew her crowd and addressed issues such as the rising cost of attending college, and stopping the Bush "War on Science", in part by increasing funding for science and research. She got big cheers when she talked about increasing funding for Pell Grants, stopping predatory lending for student loans, taking the student loan program back to a direct loan system, and greatly expanding student loan forgiveness for students who seek careers in public service.

Promising to end No Child Left Behind also got a huge ovation, as did her claim that she will start drawing down troops in Iraq within 60 days of her inauguration.

She also spoke of encouraging technological and scientific innovation and creating good paying, green collar jobs to strengthen the middle class.

It was a good, strong, well-received speech. The only thing that made me cringe a little bit was when she talked about immigration, which of course is a big issue here in SoCal. It wasn't so much that she was wrong in what she said, but I think the crazed tone of the anti-immigration debate has made it really difficult to talk about it in rational terms. She thankfully did mention the ridiculousness of some of the debate, such as the idea that we could actually round up everyone who's here without proper documentation and just ship them home. She also acknowledged that much of the problem with regard to immigrants from Mexico is that they're fleeing due to economic desperation, and the US is in a position to have some influence on the strength of the Mexican economy. Of course, she never mentioned NAFTA or the border fence, but overall, it was obvious she was doing a balancing act, and seemed to be struggling to strike the right tone. I wish the Democrats could find a strong, rational voice on immigration, but for now they all seem to be trying to address the issue AND not rile up the whackos. She, and others, need to find the right frame for the issue and use it, because I've not seen that happen yet.

So all in all, I'm glad I went to see her. Since Edwards bowed out and left me candidate-free, I've been leaning toward voting for Obama next Tuesday, but I really would not object to a Clinton presidency. Even with the problems I have with her stand on the war in Iraq and a few other issues, a Hillary Clinton presidency would be light years better than where we're at right now. Any of the Democratic candidates would provide a huge positive change by improving our standing in the world, and shoring up our struggling economy.

By the way, the eight anti-Clinton demonstrators outside the venue used the world bitch quite freely on their signs. That alone almost makes me want to vote for her. Even if she's not my candidate, I just completely detest the tone of the anti-Hillary contingent. I'm glad I saw her in person because I can now confirm she absolutely does not have horns or a pointy tail. You'd never know that by just listening to the bile of the Hillary haters.



Blogger Jason said...

Did she happen to touch on the fact that, in taking the student loan program back to Direct Loans (which is the government's student loan company) that between September and January, that action cost an estimated 20,000 private sector jobs?

2/02/2008 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Terry said...

No, she talked about the tripled and quadrupled interest rates charged by predatory lenders.

2/02/2008 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger nunya said...

Thanks for blogging on this dear, I appreciate it. I hate watching what the local newz decides we should see and hear.

2/02/2008 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Alicia Morgan said...

I would vote for a moldy, stinky sock if that sock was a Democratic sock.

2/02/2008 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

I do understand that feeling. Even though she's not at the top of my list, I'll sure as hell vote for her if she's the candidate.

2/02/2008 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger cali dem said...

Thanks for this. The anti-Hillary movement is sickening. Misogyny is an ugly, ugly thing. This former Edwards supporter just sent in my vote for Hillary Clinton.

2/02/2008 08:24:00 PM  

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