Tags: Hillary Clinton | Hillary Clinton | South | Kentucky | Alison | Grimes

Hillary Heads South in Attempt to Reclaim Dixie Democrats

Hillary Heads South in Attempt to Reclaim Dixie Democrats
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 16 October 2014 03:19 PM

Hillary Clinton has taken on a new role, actively campaigning in the South as she attempts to help bridge a political divide among Democrats, The New York Times reports.

Her presence on the campaign trail marks a re-introduction of sorts for Clinton, who first made visits there during the 2008 presidential primary, the Times noted.

And she brings to the table a disconnection from the unpopular policies of President Barack Obama, whose administration she served in, but one that she now remains distanced from as she seeks an independent identity.

"When she speaks about issues of economic opportunity, particularly when she speaks about economic opportunity for women and for families, she does it in a way that really connects," Mo Elleithee, the national communications director at the Democratic National Committee, told the Times.

In Kentucky, Clinton brought new energy to the stump for Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is in a tight contest against Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell, MSNBC reported.

Like many Democrats on the 2014 ballot, Grimes has distanced herself from the president, going so far as to refuse to disclose whether she had voted for him. After a tepid debate, however, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has ended efforts to advertise in the Kentucky Senate race on behalf of Grimes, whose poll numbers have been behind McConnell's for several months, The Hill reported.

While a high-profile Democrat like Hillary Clinton draws attention to a race, some wonder whether her presence could serve to sway voters her way and in turn, help usher in a new era where Democrats feel good about their party again.

"We’re just nostalgic for when Democrats were different than Obama," said former Kentucky treasurer Jonathan Miller to the Times about Clinton's visit there.

Others suggested that Clinton's appeal in the South hinged upon her husband's ongoing stardust in the region where his personal connection to the South is still seen by many as authentic. He successfully navigated the region during Hillary's 2008 primary to runaway appeal.

Al Cross, director of the University of Kentucky's Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, told the Times that "the Bill factor" certainly had an impact on Clinton's profile. "It’s been a while, so she does need to re-introduce herself," Cross told the Times.

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Hillary Clinton has taken on a new role, actively campaigning in the South as she attempts to help bridge a political divide among Democrats, The New York Times reports.
Hillary Clinton, South, Kentucky, Alison, Grimes, Democrats, midterms
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2014-19-16
Thursday, 16 October 2014 03:19 PM
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