Bill Clinton visits Bay Area to stump for Dems

October 17, 2010 6:18:58 PM PDT
The polls and the pundits are predicting Republican victories across the country and in California, drawing Democratic heavy weights like former President Bill Clinton out to the campaign trail.

A rally was held for Congressman Mike Thompson in Napa Sunday. Democrats are desperate to energize their base and it did not take much at all to get Sunday's crowd going.

It was Thompson's show, but former President Bill Clinton got the rock start treatment and was clearly the star. His stop in downtown Napa was his 83rd this campaign season and now with Election Day just two weeks away, the pressure is on for Democrats to keep control of Congress.

In this First Congressional District where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 20 percent, the former president's message was more for those not at the rally than the party loyalists who waited hours in the rain just to get a seat.

"A lot of people who voted last time had never voted before and have no idea that everything they voted for two years ago can be wrecked by their not voting this time," Clinton said.

Thompson, known as a blue dog Democrat, is running for his 7th term, this time against Air Force veteran, Republican, and political newcomer Loren Hanks.

"This is the most critical election I think of my life, because the guys who are running, the people who want to take over, want to take us back," Thompson said.

Tea Party members are "the guys" Thompson fears most. Their rally outside was as much about opposing Bill Clinton as it was about supporting Hanks

"The problem with Mike Thompson's record is that he'll sell it back home it as a fiscal conservative and yet, he will vote consistently, 96 percent of the time with Nancy Pelosi," Hanks said.

The two sides, separated by just a small Napa street, stood worlds apart.

"The Democrats are bankrupting the country," one man told ABC7.

"Only for Bill, would we be up this early in the rain," another woman said.

Clinton is making the rounds around the Bay Area. Napa was just his first stop of the day on Sunday. He was slated to be at San Jose State University by evening to campaign on behalf of more Democrats including Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown and Lt. Governor candidate Gavin Newsom.


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