Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hillary Hysteria?

On Monday, October 22, presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton made a campaign stop in the Central Valley. To a diverse crowd of nearly 1000 supporters and a few outskirt protesters, the former first lady of the White House touted her stance on the war in Iraq, health care, education and need to investment in renewable energy. Some of the platform speakers, which included Delores Huerta (co-founder of the United Farm Workers), Council President Henry Perea, Councilmember Blong Xiong and program emcee Cynthia Sterling, sang Mrs. Clinton’s praise and mentioned the Valley hadn’t been inspired to such Democratic-fever since the famed Robert Kennedy visit over forty years ago.

Four black leaders were on the platform in front of Fresno High School at Monday's rally including Rev. Shane B. Scott, the senior pastor of St. Rest Baptist Church. His support for Senator Clinton centers on the issues that are important to him and his congregation-- health care and education. "My support is based on qualifications over race", says Pastor Scott, when asked what drew him away from his early support of Senator Barack Obama. Like others, he had contacted Obama's staff about planning a visit to the Central Valley, only to be told the campaign preferred to utilize resources elsewhere in the state.

Where is Brother Barack?

As the campaign proceeds and Senator Clinton continues to command strong support national wide by African-American voters, the question is— where is Brother Barack? Given Senator strong showing, will he reconsider visiting Valleycrats, who tend to be more conservative than their counterparts in the Bay Area and Southern California? Can he appeal to the Valley’s younger demographic (age 18-34), where his support is the strongest?

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