Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bill Clinton Visits Hopkinsville

Sort of a non-event

Former President Bill Clinton, Wikipedia image

Stuff that happened on Friday:

  • Little River Days started in downtown Hopkinsville.
  • Our cats left a dead mouse on the porch steps for us.
  • Keely went back to Murray for the weekend.
  • I saw a very large bat flying around a street light at the grocery store.
  • Bill Clinton made an appearance at Hopkinsville's Convention Center.

Yes, former President Bill Clinton was in our little town on Friday, campaigning for Hillary. We were on the tail end of Bill's swing through western Kentucky; he had already been to Owensboro, Madisonville, Paducah, and Murray, earlier in the day. His Hopkinsville stop was titled "Solutions for America" and it took place at 7:30 p.m. at the Bruce Convention Center.

I was mildly curious about him coming to town. I took a little poll of my customers at work: "Are you going out to see Bill Clinton this evening?" Not one person said "Yes." A few seized the opportunity to make insulting remarks. Others expressed regret but said their schedules didn't allow them to attend. One lady said she would be at home, but President Clinton was welcome to stop by if he wanted.

I had thought about going to see him myself, simply for the experience. (I am not a Hillary supporter). But after working all day, I decided to get groceries and go home instead. I was too tired to fight a traffic jam, stand in line for an hour, and then spend several more hours tightly packed into a hot room full of noisy Hillary fans.

I imagined a traffic jam, long lines, and a big crowd because of a 1992 event, when George H.W. Bush was running with Dan Quayle. A few weeks before the November election, Quayle made a quick campaign stop at the Hopkinsville High School gymnasium. A fellow at church was handing out tickets for the rally so I decided to go. I thought it would be a good civics lesson for Keely (age 6).

After we finally got through the traffic jam, we sat on backless bleacher seats for a couple of hours before Quayle finally appeared. The gym was so hot and crowded that Keely began to feel sick and dizzy. We had to go outside and get some fresh air.

When Candidate Quayle arrived at last, we were all very glad to see him. He thought we were excited about him. I suppose we were, but we were also happy that the event would conclude immediately after his appearance.

That is what I imagined that the Clinton rally would be like, and I was not willing to go through that for Bill Clinton. However, it wouldn't have been such an ordeal, after all. Only about 300 people showed up for the Clinton event. The room was only half full. It's reported that there was even ample parking room.

Despite the light turnout at the Hopkinsville rally, local Democrat Senator Joey Pendleton predicts that Hillary Clinton will win Tuesday's Democratic primary in Christian County and in Kentucky.

UPDATE: Michelle Obama will be in Hopkinsville on Monday, campaigning for her husband. Her event is for military wives, by invitation only.

Local reactions to the Clinton visit:
Hoptown Hall thread
Kentucky New Era story and comments (When this story moves to the KNE archives, it will probably require a subscription, but it should be free for a few days yet.)


Anonymous said...

We didn't go. I might have liked to have gone, just for the experience of seeing a former president in person, but Andy had to work and I didn't want to try and keep up with both boys through a speech they'd find immensely boring. Oh well.

We didn't make it to Little River Days, either :-)

Anonymous said...


Genevieve said...

Hi, Alissa. When my children were little, I only took them to Little River Days a few times. They didn't have much patience for "just looking."

Genevieve said...

Hi, Anonymous. I made a clear and honest disclosure of my "slant" in the post: "I am not a Hillary supporter."

Your capital letters indicate that you are shouting. I'm surprised you are so upset. I did not criticize either of the Clintons. I simply reported in a polite and entertaining way that I (and a lot of other people) didn't go to the rally. That is a fact.

John Ruberry said...

Wow. A big flop. And Bill Clinton won Kentucky in 1992 and 1996.

Collagemama said...

But what about the very large bat at the street light???

Genevieve said...

Collagemama, this bat's wingspan was a couple sizes wider than most of the bats I see. I see bats fairly often out here in the country in warmer weather, catching bugs that are swarming around our yardlights.

I have no idea what sort of bat he was. I never see any of them close enough to attempt identification.

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