On stage at The Athenaeum in downtown Columbus Thursday morning, supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton had to run a small gauntlet of anti-abortion protesters who greeted her with megaphones, harsh rhetoric and a couple of provocative posters.
One poster, in black and white, portrayed the former secretary of state as a Nazi waging war on women, while another pictured an aborted, dismembered fetus in full color with the caption “Hillary Clinton Supports Killing Children” written above it.
“Controversy seems to follow me around,” she told the crowd of mostly women who had come to hear her champion their gender and their causes.
Loud And Strong
Crowd estimates for the “Women for Hillary” organizing meeting were naturally constricted by the small capacity of the venue. No one expected this to be a campaign rally where thousands would turn out. But the 500 or so who did turn out today, about 60 percent of them women, made the small room reverberate as they repeatedly hooted and hollered for the still-leader of Democratic presidential candidates. While the crowd size was hardly spectacular, the roar of the crowd welcoming the former first lady and first women senator from the State of New York was loud and strong.
And so were Mrs. Clinton’s remarks contrasting what her presidency would look like compared to the presidency of anyone of the 17 declared Republican candidates, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich. According to Clinton, the Republican candidates want to “turn the clock back on the rights of women, the LGBT community, people with disabilities… and union members.”
If you want to win the White House, you better win Ohio, and Mrs. Clinton did that in 2008 when she beat Barack Obama in the Democratic primary. Her husband Bill won Ohio and the presidency twice, first in 1992 then again four years later to set the nation on a path of prosperity where everyone, not the people at the top, she said, saw their incomes rise. The Clinton Administration produced about 23 million jobs, the largest number of any president, and as first lady during these eight years, Mrs. Clinton was in the mix, sometimes to her benefit and other times to her detriment.
Clinton said she saw people of different ages and different backgrounds, “and I thank each and every one of you for coming here because you know what’s at stake in this election.” Defining those stakes, she said, is about women and girls, “Because this next election will determine who our next President is – as well as the makeup of the Senate and the House. And I often when I’m listening to people running for office, try to understand, are they really going to try to do what they say they’re going to do?” she said about any of the Republicans and their declared agendas.
Returning to the biggest battleground state of them all today, to headline what was billed as a “Women for Hillary” grassroots organizing meeting, is significant. Making her approximately 30 minutes of remarks without a teleprompter, and just blocks away from the statehouse where Gov. John Kasich holds a tight grip on what goes on there, Hillary Clinton didn’t mention Mr. Kasich by name but lumped him in with the rest of the 16 declared GOP candidates who if elected, she said, would enact policies that would in effect turn the hands of time backward for women and workers.
Clinton was introduced as a woman with many firsts and accomplishments to her name said she’s being attacked for playing the gender card. If that’s the case, she said, “Deal me in!” In an indirect reference to Donald Trump, Clinton said, “And of course we hear from candidates on the other side about turning back the clock on women’s rights and there is one particular candidate who just seems to delight in insulting women in every chance he gets. I have to say, if he emerges, I would love to debate him.”
Mrs. Clinton still leads in national polls among Democrats but her ratings have slipped recently as Republicans and media dwell on the story dogging her about her emails while secretary of state under President Barack Obama.
Clinton seemed at ease as she enumerated in robust fashion the issues she’ll fight for in the white House, compared to what Republicans, especially Gov. Kasich, will fight for if they regain control of the executive branch next year. On policies that benefit women, including families, equal pay, paid leave, fair scheduling, child care, and reproductive rights, Hillary Clinton said, if she’s elected president, she promised to “break down barriers to ensure women everywhere can succeed.”
Kasich There In Spirit
Team Kasich alerted its followers to Clinton’s event in Ohio’s capital today. Gov. Kasich’s chief strategist, John Weaver, blasted out an email saying he expected Clinton to attack his candidates “strong conservative record.” Clinton attacked not only Kasich’s conservative record, she attacked all the conservative records of all the GOP candidates, telling her audience that the economy does better when a Democrat is in the office compared to when Republicans are.
“She knows she can’t win the White House without winning Ohio – and she can’t win Ohio against Gov. John Kasich,” Weaver said, citing one poll showing Mr. Kasich being the only Republican candidate who is defeating her in New Hampshire right now. Even though fewer than one in four registered voters voted for him last year, Gov. Kasich can boast that he enjoys a 61 percent approval rating in Ohio, with honors going to Ohio’s media that gave him passes last year while they drilled down on his beleaguered Democratic candidate.
In a glaring example of Ohio’s Mainstream Media bowing to Kasich’s will, a video of the governor acting like an immature jerk, recorded by the Cleveland Plain Dealer at an editorial board meeting that brought Gov. Kasich together with his two other challengers, was taken down in short order when Kasich’s handlers complained about it, obviously fearful that the governor’s jerky performance would come back to haunt him in his second run for the white House. Plunderbund has an edited version of the video here showing him acting rude and immature, behavior that has since been cast as being just “blunt” or “candid” to cover up his multiple personalities.
60 Seconds With Supporters
There were young women in the crowd who had other reasons for being there. Celia Dempsey said in this “60 Seconds Ohio” spot that she’s tuned into small businesses because her father is a small businessman. Listen to her tell her story about why she thinks Hillary’s on her side.
Mrs. Clinton closed with this observation, “We can build an America where we are working with one another, helping one another, having eaCh other’s back, again. And we can build an America where every father can say to his daughter: You can grow up to be the President of the United States.”