Hillary Clinton, Gore say voters only have one choice
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, October 21) -- With Bill Clinton taking hits for the Monica Lewinsky affair and with the threat of impeachment hanging over his head, few Democratic candidates up for election next month want the president by their sides as they hit the campaign trail.
However, most Democrats are eagerly putting the welcome mat out for first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, who have been serving as the party's campaigners-in-chief, in place of the president.
Gore is not pulling any punches when he talks about the Republican-led Congress, or its handling of the impeachment inquiry of Clinton.
"We say educate; they say interrogate. We say health care; they say we don't care. We say we're going to take it to the voters and on November the third, the voters are going to decide to put the American people's business first and move on from these endless investigations," said Gore at a reception for Democratic House candidate Bob Rush in Iowa Tuesday.
The vice president welcomed GOP predictions that the November midterms would serve as a referendum on the president's behavior.
"If this election is a referendum on whether or not we want partisanship and endless investigations, or whether we want progress based on Democratic policies that are aimed at the best interests of the people, I say let's take that question to the voters," Gore told one gathering.
Gore is not totally selfless for helping Democratic congressional and gubernatorial candidates. It was his third visit to Iowa, an early presidential battleground he'd like to win in 2000.
The vice president is trying to bolster his own support by trying to give the Democratic rank-and-file a reason to show up at the polls in two weeks.
Meanwhile, the first lady is also in great demand on the trail and will be traveling almost non-stop between now and election day.
Deemed the safest bet to campaign for fellow Democrats, Mrs. Clinton has also become her husband's political voice.
Stumping in Democrat-friendly New England, she went on the offensive Tuesday, painting voters' choice as one between legislation and investigation.
"They (the Republicans) were too busy dividing us and diverting us from the important business of the country. But then all of a sudden, they had an election year conversion. They thought well my goodness, we can't go back to the people and tell them we've done absolutely nothing but rename the airport in Washington. We've got to think of something to do," the first lady said at a campaign stop for Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial candidate Scott Harshbarger.
Her husband's affair may have helped Hillary's image with at least some female voters.
"She's a mother, she's a career person, she's in a marriage she has to work at, just like everyone else," said Betsy Holland, a teacher at the Edgerly Education Center outside Boston."
CNN's Eileen O'Connor and John King contributed to this report
Wednesday, October 21, 1998
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