By Bertram de Souza (Contact)
Published January 28, 2012
With an increasing number of prominent Democrats nationally calling for U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to replace Vice President Joe Biden on the ticket, former President Bill Clinton has become one of the most sought after speakers in Democratic Party circles.
Bill Clinton should be invited to the Mahoning Valley sooner rather than later. He would be a major draw because he and his wife, Hillary, have enjoyed tremendous support here in their presidential bids. Four years ago, Mrs. Clinton defeated Barack Obama handily in Mahoning and Trumbull counties. In his first campaign for president in 1992, Bill Clinton attracted 10,000 people to the Southern Park Mall.
Given that Secretary of State Clinton today has a higher approval rating than President Obama, Democratic Party insiders are wondering whether this year’s presidential election will end in disaster unless something dramatic is done to energize the party faithful. Obama appears to have lost the support of blue-collar workers, while the young Democrats who were so important to his election four years ago have grown older and wiser. The economic recession has hit them especially hard.
The Mahoning County Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame Dinner on Feb. 26 would be an ideal setting for former President Clinton to light a fire under area Democrats. His presence would also send a message to the national and state parties that the Valley is not to be ignored. There is no doubt that if he shows up, he will find a groundswell of support for his wife to be on the ticket as Obama’s running mate.
Local Democrats, like Democrats around the nation, are in danger of sleeping through the general election.