Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), swept into friendly territory today to campaign for her former rival, generating large, passionate crowds -- but barely mentioning the woman whose popularity has many here fretting, reported The Washington Post.
Since the Republican convention, Clinton has pointedly avoided directly criticizing vice-presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) as she campaigns for Sen. Barack Obama, a strategy her staff says is endorsed by Obama's campaign. The goal, campaign strategists say, is to get the message back to John McCain's record, and not to create a clash between two women.
Clinton did her part today in this middle class community just west of Cleveland, aligning John McCain repeatedly with George Bush and the failed economy.
"This election is going to be a game changer," she told the crowd. "We have the opportunity to go beyond the failed polices of the last eight years. I hear a lot of talk about this election, people asking who are you for? That's not the right question. The right question is 'who is for you?'"
Repeating a version of her refrain from the convention, she shouted, "No Way, no how, no McCain and no Palin."
Clinton won the Ohio primary by eight percent, and it is the quintessential battleground state in November. Recent polls show the presidential race in the state to be extremely close.
Well over 1,000 supporters waited in line for hours to cram into the atrium of a stuffy community college to listen to the former first lady. Hundreds more were ushered into an overflow auditorium.
While supporters here were mixed about whether Clinton should directly assail Palin's views on issues that impact women, they were universally adamant that no Clinton supporter would ever support Palin.
"They couldn't be more different," said Barbara Price, a quality inspector here. "It's important everyone know the facts because the facts have to win out -- and Hillary stands for working people and so does Obama. He would have had better go of it had he picked Hillary for his running mate."
The audience today was largely women and white, the very women Palin has been trying to attract. The Alaska governor has been complimentary toward Clinton and the campaign she ran -- even suggesting that Obama should have selected her as is running mate. Clinton was scheduled for a second event on Akron this afternoon.
She ended her remarks by saying, "Those who supported me, I ask you to support Barack Obama."