Tags: Clinton | Home | State | Drum | Gore | Support

Clinton in Home State to Drum Up Gore Support

Sunday, 05 November 2000 12:00 AM

Clinton arrived in Arkansas on the same day the state's leading newspaper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, endorsed Bush for president – the paper's first endorsement in a presidential race.

Arkansas has six electoral votes compared to 54 in California and 33 in New York, states where Clinton campaigned for Gore last week. Arkansas, however, is where Clinton grew up and launched his political career. Losing the state to Bush would not only cost Gore six electoral votes but would also prove something of an embarrassment for the former governor.

The 20-minute speech the president delivered at the Statehouse Convention Center on Sunday followed the same line as the ones made in California and New York, and was aimed at convincing voters not to abandon the successful policies of his administration after eight years merely to make a change.

"As near as I can see, the case that the other guys are making is, 'Well, the economy is better; crime is down; welfare is down; the environment is better; education is improving; more people than ever are going on to college and we've got a decline in the number of people without health insurance for the first time in 12 years,' " Clinton said. "So what we need to do is bag all those policies and do something entirely different"?

Clinton again described his vice president as knowledgeable and hard-working.

"John Kennedy said the presidency was pre-eminently a place of decision-making," Clinton said. "Al Gore makes good decisions."

He also took a veiled swipe at Bush's perceived lack of knowledge about world and national affairs.

"It matters whether you know about these issues," Clinton said. "It matters how hard you work. This is a job, it's not just a media event every day."

The Democrat-Gazette's view expressed the other side of the coin – that Gore was too wrapped up in the world of Beltway policy-making to connect with everyday citizens.

In its endorsement, the newspaper found nothing wrong with Bush deferring to seasoned advisers such as Gen. Colin Powell and running mate Dick Cheney, and found that Bush was becoming more comfortable as a campaigner.

"This candidate seems to have grown at almost every turn, while his opponent – an experienced politician of articulate beliefs and great skills – hasn't," the endorsement read. "Al Gore is no longer as wooden, yet his ideas seem even more so."

The newspaper made no mention of the Whitewater real estate scandal that was centered in Little Rock and tainted the Clinton White House nearly from the start, thus embarrassing his home state of Arkansas by association. The article actually made no mention of Clinton at all other than in saluting Gore for not hiding his liberal leanings.

"After two terms of the Great Equivocator, it is good to have a candidate who doesn't hide or shift his beliefs, and even has some," the newspaper said.

(C) 2000 UPI. All Rights Reserved.

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Clinton arrived in Arkansas on the same day the state's leading newspaper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, endorsed Bush for president – the paper's first endorsement in a presidential race. Arkansas has six electoral votes compared to 54 in California and 33 in New...
Clinton,Home,State,Drum,Gore,Support
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2000-00-05
Sunday, 05 November 2000 12:00 AM
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