DNC: Hillary Clinton Makes Surprise Visit to Hispanic Caucus
August 25, 2008
With hopes for the vice presidency gone and Democratic Party officials preaching reconciliation, Sen. Hillary Clinton appealed to her base Monday morning to use the same exuberance they used for her to elect Sen. Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.
An enthusiastic Clinton yelled her thanks to the members of the Democratic National Committee Hispanic Caucus, meeting in Denver as part of the Democratic National Conventiion, for supporting her candidacy.
But at the same time, she looked to unify a Latino base under Obama’s leadership.
Clinton made an unscheduled appearance Monday morning at the Hispanic Caucus meeting, which attracted hundreds of Latinos from around the country. The caucus-goers chanted “Hillary! Hillary!” when Clinton arrived and a throng of people pushed to the small stage to gather a glimpse of the former presidential candidate and First Lady.
“I came here to say thank you for the support you gave me,” Clinton said. “Now we come together here in Denver to pledge our support and to unify behind the next president of the United States, Barack Obama.”
Clinton said a Democratic president is key to ensuring affordable health care.
“I know with all my heart that we cannot afford four more years of the same failed policies,” Clinton said. “I will be forever grateful (if you) work for Barack Obama as hard as you worked for me.”
Clinton embraced Sen. Ken Salazar, R-Colo., and his older brother Rep. John Salazar, also from Colorado, on stage as well as Ramona Martinez, former Denver City Councilwoman and chairowoman of the Hispanic Caucus.
Greeley resident Polly Baca, who was slated to give the invocation as the gavel falls on the official ceremony Monday night, was also at the caucus.
“This is my 12th convention,” Baca said, adding that she’s been to every convention since 1972. “It’s a statewide gift”we want to show the world what we are in Colorado.”
Sen. Salazar told caucus-goers that “the Latino community is on the move.”
“Some may say that there will not be a time in our lifetime when we will see a Latino president,” Salazar said. “I believe in my lifetime I will see that happen.”
Others spoke that the Latino community would decide the presidency.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said Latinos”with their votes”will continue to make major contributions to the United States.
“I believe the road to the White House comes through the Latino population,” Menendez said.