Monday, October 08, 2007

George McGovern endorses Hillary Clinton

Former Senator and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern has endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton.
George McGovern, the former South Dakota senator and presidential candidate, endorsed Hillary Clinton in Iowa City on Saturday.

"I think that if we can elect her president, she'll be a greater president even than her brilliant husband," McGovern told the crowd gathered in a hot barn at the Johnson County Democrats' annual barbeque.

Organizers estimated 1,800 people showed up for the event, calling it the biggest crowd in the barbeque's history and noting they had to run out twice for more food.

McGovern talked about the challenges Clinton and her then-boyfriend Bill Clinton faced when they helped run his organization in Texas during his 1972 presidential campaign, predicting he would have an easier time selling her in Iowa than she did selling him in Texas.

He praised Sens. John Edwards and Barack Obama and said he hoped to live to see America elect a black president, but said, "We have an old rule of courtesy in the United States: Ladies first."

Clinton thanked McGovern and went on to deliver a stump speech that touched on health care, rebuilding the middle class and investing in clean energy, before ending with a direct appeal to Iowans to support her in the caucuses.

"Take a hard look at my candidacy. Judge me for who I am. See what I stand for and what I have done for 35 years," Clinton told the audience, many of whom sat on bleachers or folding chairs fanning themselves. "Let's start right here in Iowa and go all the way to the White House."

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