President Clinton Understands Palin’s Appeal
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President Clinton said today he understands why the Republican vice presidential candidate, Governor Palin of Alaska, is popular in the American heartland: because people relate to her.
“I come from Arkansas, I get why she’s hot out there, why she’s doing well,” Mr. Clinton, who supports the Democratic ticket headed by Senator Obama, said.
Speaking to reporters before his Clinton Global Initiative meeting, the former president described Mrs. Palin’s appeal by adding, “People look at her, and they say, ‘All those kids. Something that happens in everybody’s family. I’m glad she loves her daughter and she’s not ashamed of her. Glad that girl’s going around with her boyfriend. Glad they’re going to get married.'”
Mr. Clinton said voters would think, “I like that little Down syndrome kid. One of them lives down the street. They’re wonderful children. They’re wonderful people. And I like the idea that this guy does those long-distance races. Stayed in the race for 500 miles with a broken arm. My kind of guy.”
Mrs. Palin, the governor of Alaska, became an overnight star when the Republican presidential candidate, Senator McCain, tapped her for his running mate. Her family, including her Down syndrome baby, Trig, her pregnant 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, and her husband, Todd, a four-time winner of the 2,000-mile Iron Dog snowmobile race, have garnered intense media interest.
“I get this,” Mr. Clinton said. “My view is … why say, ever, anything bad about a person? Why don’t we like them and celebrate them and be happy for her elevation to the ticket? And just say that she was a good choice for him and we disagree with them?”
The global initiative, a project of Mr. Clinton’s foundation, will hold its four-day annual meeting in Manhattan starting tomorrow.
After that, Mr. Clinton said he will be busy campaigning for Mr. Obama.