The Daily Gamecock

Former President Clinton champions Hillary's campaign

<p>Former president Bill Clinton highlighted the inclusiveness of his wife Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.</p>
Former president Bill Clinton highlighted the inclusiveness of his wife Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

South Carolina's presidential primary is rapidly approaching. Candidates are wooing voters all over the state. Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton sent her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to woo on her behalf at Allen University's "Fighting for Us" rally on Wednesday evening.

After a warm welcome, the former president first highlighted the recent successes of the United States, focusing largely on how the U.S. ranks against the rest of the world.

"We are younger and more diverse than any other big economy," Clinton said. "We have the best system of science and technology anywhere on the verge of new breakthroughs, which will create millions of jobs and lift life expectancy to unimaginable heights. And we rank first or second in the world in every single scientific survey about who can generate the most electrical power from the sun and the wind and other clean sources."

He praised the current administration for its progress in lowering the unemployment rate and raising the rate of people covered by health insurance to over 90 percent. 

Clinton also addressed challenges facing the country. He cited the frequency of tensions between the police force and black communities and the dramatic spike in prescription drug abuse from 2002 to 2014.

Many of the struggles of the American people and the increased political partisanship he attributed to the 2008 economic crisis, from which the country is still trying to recover.

"The most important thing that has happened to heal America in a long time was what happened when the parishioners of that church in Charleston showed their true Christian faith and extended forgiveness," he said, in reference to the Emmanuel Nine shooting. 

Clinton used this as a springboard to launch into praise of his wife's plans and ideals.

"So Hillary should be president, I think, because she's the best change-maker I've ever known, and everything she ever touched she made better," he said.

According to the former president, the U.S. used to have one of the top 10 rates of women in the workforce, despite lower pay and less paid leave, but now have fallen out of the top 20.

"So the next time you hear her say we've got to have paid leave and equal pay and affordable childcare, don't say that's a woman's issue," Clinton said. "That's a family's issue. That's a child's issue. That's an American issue."

He focused particularly on her inclusiveness, whether in regards to economics, social issues or national security policies. He outlined several of her accomplishments throughout her life, of which a recurring theme was empowering the downtrodden.

Earlier in her career, she was active in helping provide quality legal services to the poor and lessen the number of undeserving young people who had been put in prison. She worked closely with survivors and emergency respondents of the 9/11 attacks. She helped formulate a bill that provided tax credits to adoptive parents of disabled children, thereby increasing the adoption rate by 65 percent.

Hillary Clinton's empowering message is significant in making her attractive to voters. Chris McCurry, a volunteer leader for her campaign, believes in that message and has supported her for a large portion of her career.

"I believe that when you build up women and children, you build up communities," McCurry said. "When you build up communities, you build up the nation."

Despite standing for ideas that ring true with many college-aged voters, Clinton has struggled in her campaign to win their trust. McCurry attributes this to a negative portrayal of her from the media, and he believes in Clinton's ability to win the nomination and the presidency.

"If [younger voters] really study and learn who she is, they really see the true Hillary and the Hillary that is a fighter for all of us," he said.

At the end of his speech, former President Clinton returned to emphasizing his wife's belief in inclusive policies. He believes her to be a strong force that has the ability to effect real change in the U.S. 

"She knows how to stand her ground, but never closes the door on common ground," he said. "This election is pretty simple, from your point of view. If you're a college student, if you're a senior citizen, if you're somebody in between. Who's the best change-maker?"

Throughout his speech, Clinton affirmed his belief that she had not only pledged to take action but also kept that promise to the American people, liberal or conservative.

"She hasn't been elected to anything," he said, "but she sure has made good things happen."