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Suzan Odabasi

Suzan Odabasi ’09

March 2008

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Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama share visions for America
by Suzan Odabasi ’09

New York senator and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton held a town hall meeting in the Schuldes Sport Center Monday, Feb. 18, the day before the Wisconsin presidential primaries.

Just six days before, Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic candidate Barack Obama, had addressed a packed Walter Theatre.

Even though a snow storm had caused a last-minute postponement of Clinton’s event from Sunday to Monday, the senator and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination told her audience that she was “thrilled to be back” and complimented the college on its reputation for education and service.

Clinton spoke for a little under an hour and then answered questions from the audience. She spoke on universal health care, ending the war in Iraq and strengthening the economy.

Clinton said that she had been working to get quality and affordable health care for all for a long time.

She criticized the strategy of the current administration over the war in Iraq, saying that “force should be used as a last resort.”

And she outlined her plans to support family farms and small business. “Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy,” she said.

Feb. 12, Michelle Obama spoke about her husband’s experience and vision to a packed house. She called Barack Obama an “innovative leader” and reminded the audience of the low expectations that cynics had held out for his candidacy. She cited her husband’s background, experience and character as reasons for his success in running against what she called “the establishment.”

“The thing that gives me passion for this race,” she said, “is that I know we can do better, and we have to do better.” Obama explained that her husband had worked in a troubled neighborhood on the south side of Chicago as a community organizer before entering Harvard Law School. She emphasized his diverse background, challenging the audience to “imagine a president of the United States who understands the struggles of global poverty, not because he received a policy briefing, but because he has a grandmother that lives in a small village in Kenya.”

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