Posted: May 6, 2008 4:22 PM
Clinton Pitches Work Ethic to Middle-Class N.C., Ind. Voters
Millions of voters in Indiana and North Carolina were expected to cast ballots Tuesday for their pick in the presidential primaries. Democratic contender Sen. Hillary Clinton crossed both states over the weekend and early this week making her case to middle-class voters while trying to cast her opponent as elitist and out of touch with laborers.
With 115 delegates at stake in North Carolina and rival Sen. Barack Obama holding an eight-point polling lead, Clinton has relied on her ability to relate to working-class to help boost her appeal in the state.
In her appearances in both states, Clinton pointed out individuals in the audience and related to their struggles with rising gas prices, jobs being sent overseas and home foreclosures. While her methods have been quite successful, ironically, she comes from a vastly different background than those she is courting.
“What is more remarkable about Mrs. Clinton’s approach in Indiana and North Carolina is how minimally she uses her own biography,” the New York Times reports. “Perhaps because almost nothing she could say about her life would sound humble or hardscrabble — she grew up in an affluent Chicago suburb, went to prestigious schools and is, of course, a lawyer — Mrs. Clinton says very little about herself at all.”
Clinton has, however, repeatedly drawn on a few details from her life, such as learning to shoot behind a cottage built by her grandfather and balancing home life and family as a working wife and mother. Many of those who have come to hear her speak across both states say they can relate to her.
“She’s a working mom,” said Trace Zettel while waiting for Clinton to speak in Cary, N.C., according to the Times. “That’s what I am.”
When asked about her hopes for North Carolina’s results, Clinton said she was optimistic but not overconfident.
“Obviously we hope to do as well as we can, but, you know, we started out pretty far behind,” she said on her campaign plane Monday, according to Reuters. “I never feel confident; I just try to do the best I can.”
The New York senator has made dramatic progress in the Tar Heel State and has also maintained a steady lead in 72-delegate heavy Indiana, where she holds her election night rally in Indianapolis.