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Friday, May 09, 2008

HARD WORKING WHITE AMERICANS

With the results of the Indiana and North Carolina primaries making Clinton's nomination all but impossible, I predicted Hillary would cancel her southern Oregon appearance. Once I learned she would be showing up, I knew I had to go.

(I'm not in that picture. I'm quite far away actually.)

I went because I was interested to see the end of something. I wanted to see what Hillary would say in the face of overwhelming evidence that her campaign was over. What do you tell a room full of supporters who know deep down inside that it's over? I decided I would find out.

The day started off grim for Hillary... in Oregon, anyway. She showed up to a VIP fundraiser 3 hours late. People payed $2,300 to attend the 30 minute event and they reportedly spent most of the time hanging around a sub-standard plate of snack food waiting for the terminally late candidate. Our coverage of the event included a Clinton campaign volunteer who had been given a comp ticket to the event. That's not a good sign.

Meanwhile, back at the venue of her evening rally, volunteers were busy removing chairs from the hall to make the room look more full.

Staffers also spent a lot of time shifting people around the room trying to make the room look better. It didn't really work. In the end, only about 500 people ambled into the venue that could hold about 1,100 people. There were even rumors floating around the room that Clinton would actually suspend her campaign at tonight's rally.

Then Clinton took the stage. The governor gave an almost manic introduction, then Clinton gave a loud and enthusiastic (and short) speech that essentially ignored the grim electoral math that faced her. She worked the crowd of hard working white Americans and vowed to keep fighting all the way to the White House.

As campaign rallies go, it was standard fare, and the crowd seemed pumped up and excited most of the time. But when Clinton hit the last note of her speech, people began heading towards the exits. Such events usually end with a Q & A session, but a large portion of the audience was already gone before it could happen.

The rally wasn't quite the swan song I thought it might be. But it was still a rare opportunity to see a candidate that probably doesn't have too many campaign stops before she hangs it up for the season.

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