Monday, April 30, 2007

Reactions to Hillary's Reno Town Hall Meeting

One wonders whether Hug High School has ever seen anything like this. For her first town hall meeting in Nevada, Sen. Hillary Clinton drew a crowd of about 3,000, wore the school colors, and got a lot of good reactions in the Nevada blogosphere and the pleasure (?!?) to be interviewed by Reno's own Ray Hagar. Here are the reactions:

From the Blogs:

Hillary's Hug Visit (Nevada Dem):

I’ve just returned home from hearing Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton present to a crowd of 3500+ at Reno’s Hug High School. It was a masterful performance. Other than the few Republican plants, I doubt anyone left the gym without thinking, “Wow! I may have just spent time with the next President of the United States!”

The event was well organized and professionally done. One local political regular commented that the briefing of the volunteers for the day was perhaps the best she’s ever experienced, and she came not as a committed Clinton supporter but a willing volunteer.


My parting thoughts were that she is a formidable candidate for any Democrat and any Republican. She knows what the job entails. She’s ready. Is there still justification to the fear she might not be electable? If today is representative of her campaign, and as people get to know her better and relieve themselves of the caricature in their minds, she’ll beat anyone.

Hillary Clinton's Reno Town Hall (Reno and Its Discontents):

If I had to choose one word to describe Clinton’s town hall in Reno this morning, I would choose “impressive”–surprisingly so. Its not that I think there is anything unimpressive about Hillary Clinton, but I was surprised by how impressed I and all the people around me were by here sheer presence. The town hall is clearly her best venue–she can show off her confident presence, her obvious intelligence, the with and breadth of her political experience, her eloquence, and her attractiveness. Yes, that’s right, Hillary looked absolutely fabulous in a green suit that just happened to match Hug High School’s colors.

Susan Nunes had her camera ready and posted the pictures on Random Thoughts from Reno. You can read her impressions above and below the post with the pictures.

The Desert Beacon sums it up best with this headline: "Nevada News Roundup: Clinton 3000, McCain 300"

From the Media:

Reno Campaign Stop: Clinton: Bush won't change (LVRJ):

The U.S. senator from New York and former first lady spoke for about 50 minutes at a campaign stop at Hug High School.

Her speech took a little less than half an hour, and she then answered questions from the audience for 25 minutes. The event was billed as a town hall-style "Conversation with Nevadans."

It was Clinton's first campaign stop in Reno since becoming an official candidate for president.

Clinton draws more than 3,000 in Reno (AP in RGJ):

When some in the gymnasium shouted “Bring them home,” she replied, “That’s what we’re trying to do.”

“We are ready to try to end this war in Iraq. I am so proud of your Senator Harry Reid,” she said about the Senate majority leader from Nevada, eliciting a 15 second-long standing ovation.

Clinton praised Reid’s efforts to pass a military spending bill with a timetable to begin redeploying troops out of Iraq but admitted she doubts Bush ever will go along with it.

Clinton draws big crowd to Hug High (RGJ):

After Clinton's speech and subsequent question-and-answer period, many left feeling fired up for Hillary.

"I absolutely would vote for her," said Norma Lessard, 60, who drove 100 miles from Schurz to see Clinton. "I'm ready for a change, how about you?"


Other Clinton supporters said Clinton's performance would have changed the minds of people who dislike her.

"One of my girlfriends for 25 years just cringes when she hears Hillary's name," said Suzy Valle, 55 and a teacher at Roger Corbett Elementary. "She is only believing the things that people tell her, what a horrible person she is, instead of finding out for herself.

"I think there is a lot of animosity for Hillary," Valle said. "But people need to open their minds and investigate for themselves and not just believe what they are being told."

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton Visits Reno (KTVN):

During our one-on-one interview, Sen. Clinton said Iraq is going through a sectarian Civil War.

"It's a no-win situation for us," Sen. Clinton said. "This war should be Iraqis' responsibility now."

She also told Channel 2, her husband and number 1 advisor, Bill Clinton, will help gain back allies.

"He will continue to play active roles around the world," Sen. Clinton said. "He's probably the most popular American in the world right now."

Clinton doubts Bush will pull troops from Iraq (AP in Sparks Tribune):

Clinton has appeared in Las Vegas, Carson City and in Fallon 60 miles east of Reno, but had not made a formal campaign appearance before in Reno. She said she was glad Nevada had moved to near the front of the Democratic caucus process, following Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses with Nevada's on Jan. 19, 2008.

''You're on the front lines of making that decision. I'm very pleased you've been moved into the process because I want your voices to be heard,'' she said.

Ray Hagar's interview with Hillary Clinton for the RGJ:

Said Clinton: "I do not approve of legalized prostitution or any kind of prostitution. It is something that I personally believe is demeaning to women. I have worked against it and I have certainly taken a very strong stand against what happens in many parts of the world where young girls and women are forced into prostitution against their wills.

"I understand Nevada has a regulated system and it is within the authority of the state," Clinton said. "So that is not a federal issue that we will have any role to play in when I am president. But I would obviously speak out against prostitution and try to persuade women that it is not -- even an a regulated system -- necessarily a good way to try to make a living. Let’s try to find other jobs that can be there for women who are looking for a good way to support themselves and their families."

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