Las Vegas Sun

September 22, 2014

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Clinton urges party unity in Henderson speech

In a visit to a state that treated her well earlier this year, Sen. Hillary Clinton allayed fears Friday about her commitment to working for the election of the presumptive Democratic nominee, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

She urged her supporters, who filled the Green Valley High School gymnasium in Henderson, to volunteer for Obama and support him in November. The junior senator from New York also attacked the Republican presumptive nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, for not supporting recently stalled equal pay legislation for working women, and for not backing an expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Analysts believe Obama will need to win over Clinton supporters, and especially working class and older women. With her domestic policy attacks on McCain, Clinton did her best to help Obama on that score.

In a press conference after the appearance, Clinton said there had been no decision yet as to whether her name would be put into nomination or whether there would be a roll call vote at this month’s Democratic National Convention in Denver. The two campaigns are working together to ensure the party is unified for November, she said.

Asked about former President Bill Clinton’s recent tepid statement of support for Obama, she said he’ll give his full support in a convention speech.

The McCain campaign used the Clinton appearance to highlight attacks Clinton used right here in Nevada during the caucus campaign.

Rick Gorka, a McCain spokesman, said in a statement: “We welcome Senator Clinton back to Nevada where she ran a spirited campaign against Senator Obama based on his inexperience, and we plan to defeat Obama in Nevada again on November 4th with the same message that Obama is not ready to lead.”

Clinton won the Nevada caucus in January, which seemed to give her momentum heading into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Looking refreshed following a respite from the unending campaigning she endured for 18 months, Clinton said, “Now we are all very proud and committed to be doing everything we can to elect Senator Obama.”

She used the words “united,” “unified” and “unity” multiple times during her speech.

About McCain and President Bush, she used a signature line: “They’re two sides of the same coin, and it doesn’t add up to a whole lot of change.”

Interviews with her supporters seemed to suggest her Nevada supporters held out dim hope that she would contest Obama’s nomination at the convention. But they are also willing to support Obama, but only with Clinton’s order.

Eunice Ferreira is a card dealer at Mandalay Bay. She volunteered for the campaign during the Nevada caucus, and said, “I want her to come back, but I don’t know what chance she has.”

Asked if she would vote for Obama, Ferreira said, “Yes. But only to support what (Clinton) says.”

Las Vegas Sun reporter Michael J. Mishak contributed to this report.

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