I think my fellow blogger Gronke was laying low this weekend, hoping that Bill Clinton’s Secret Service detail didn’t find him so that the ex-President could kick his….butt. Actally, he is going to have rural Oregonians drive to Portland and do it for him. Here is what the ex-President said.
“When Hillary’s campaign announced that I was going to be speaking all over Oregon and in small towns and rural areas, I heard that some of the pundits in Portland thought I was nuts,” he said. “And there’s an article, I just read an article in the Associated Press that quotes a Reed College political science professor who says that my coming to see you won’t work.
“Now listen,” Clinton told a booing crowd. “He said that Hillary’s decision to reach out to rural Oregon was — quote –- ‘old politics.'”
The article seemed to both amuse and irk Clinton, who has become the campaign’s surrogate for rural America in the past few months.
The AP article Clinton read quoted Reed College political science professor Paul Gronke, who said that he didn’t think the small towns strategy employed by the Clinton campaign in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio would work in Oregon because of the differences in demographics and history.
“The old politics sells well in Pennsylvania, because it’s an old state,” Gronke told the AP, classifying Oregon as a much younger state in terms of history and population.
Clinton clearly took offense to the quote. But he also saw it as an opportunity, using the statement to rally the crowd around the idea that “old politics” meant ignoring rural America — something he said Hillary Clinton would never do as president.
“Now, Reed College is a great place,” Clinton said. “I hope I get to visit there and tell them why they oughta vote for Hillary. But I think that it really matters what happens in rural America. It matters what happens in rural Oregon. And Hillary has offered to do two debates in Oregon — one completely devoted to rural issues, and I’ll explain why in a minute. But I think this is an important issue. Thirty three of your 36 counties are officially classified as rural. If that is old politics, who are we leaving behind in America? That’s part of the problem, we’ve got a government now that’s left too many people behind.
“We need to go forward together,” Clinton told a cheering crowd. “I think that pretending people in small towns in rural America don’t matter is old politics. And I think there’s a more important point I’d like to make. This rural/urban/suburban divide in America is bad for our country. It’s bad for our country. All these phony divides are bad for our country.”