In Her Words
Tentative in Texas
How a speech made me reconsider my candidate
By: Catherine Wright
Last Monday it was announced that former President Bill Clinton was to speak in Austin on the University of Texas campus at an open event Wednesday. The event was titled “Solutions for America” rally. Though I’m not a Hillary supporter, I certainly respect her and who doesn’t love a good Clinton speech? This was definitely something my fellow political junkies, liberal arts college cronies and I did not want to miss! Students poured out of college classrooms all over campus to line the quad outside of the event barriers. Most students were there three hours before, and there was a slew of organizations wandering through the crowds. These people weaved in and out of the student crowd and their affiliations ranged from political advocacy groups and presidential campaigns to radical religious protestors.
Strangers struck up conversation with their neighbors in the crowd. Much to my surprise, most attendees were already decided on Obama, or were just there to hear former President Bill Clinton’s epic oratory skills in person. “Free Clinton speech? Are you kidding me?! Clinton’s the man!” exclaimed a college passer-by.
The former president talked about how citizens won’t buy health care insurance given the choice and Hillary’s plan to cover and provide more access to psychological and physical health resources for veterans. He talked about how her “heart is in the right place” and that can be seen by her experience with education reform in Arkansas-a plan so successful that other states adopted the model. He talked about Hillary’s diplomacy and how she has empowered women in developing countries. He touched on the topic of our now tarnished global legitimacy and our country’s need to relinquish a positive U.S. international reputation. Bill Clinton constantly reminded the audience that he does love Hillary but he would endorse her equally as much even if she were not his wife. He concluded the “Solutions for America” speech with the idea that he would love to see the day we elect an African-American president, a female President, a Jewish, Asian- American, and Latino president. Clinton closed with, “However, right now we need to focus on electing the ‘best president’.”
I thought I was an ‘Obama girl’ all the way and every political quiz on the web pointed to Obama with match scores in the high 90th percentile. However, I can honestly say that by the end of what was truly an epic speech, many previously undecided voters, including myself, were swayed to the side of Hillary Clinton.
Tell us: Does hearing a campaign speech at an event or in person up the appeal of the candidate?