Candidates on the Carolina stump
CHARLOTTE — Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama are campaigning across the state. On Mar. 19 Obama stopped in Fayetteville, home to Fort Bragg, and the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, Obama’s remarks focused mainly on the nation’s prolonged presence in Iraq and other Middle Eastern nations.
“In order to end this war responsibly, I will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq,” Obama said. “We can responsibly remove 1 to 2 combat brigades each month. If we start with the number of brigades we have in Iraq today, we can remove all of them 16 months.”
Later in the same week, former President Bill Clinton stopped in Charlotte on behalf of his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Obama also made an appearance at a campaign rally in Greensboro, N.C., on March 26. A day afterward, Clinton visited Fayetteville, Raleigh and Winston-Salem. That Friday, former President Bill Clinton campaigned for his wife in Greensboro, High Point, Kannapolis, Salisbury and Hickory.
The tight delegate count between the two candidates is expected to bring increased campaign investment in North Carolina, prior to its May 6 primary. This increased investment includes radio and television advertising. Historically, North Carolina’s primary has received little attention due to its late date.
Blogger calls out Kay Hagan
DURHAM — Nationally respected blogger and North Carolinian Pam Spaulding called out U.S. Senate candidate N.C. state Sen. Kay Hagan on her blog, PamsHouseBlend.com, and DailyKos.com on Apr. 9. Hagan will face openly gay businessman Jim Neal in the state’s May 6 primary. The winner will face incumbent Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole in November.
Spaulding had asked direct questions regarding LGBT-inclusive legislation and equality issues during a BlueNC.com “live blog” with the senator.
The prolific blogger claims Hagan responded with vague answers and that her campaign staff ignored follow up questions and clarification attempts from her and other community members.
“Neal’s campaign has been open and responsive to folks around the state, and to the progressive online community at BlueNC. Questions on policy and even tough ones about campaign tactics have been responded to promptly, publicly, and in detail,” Spaulding wrote. “I wish that the Hagan campaign had that same level of respect for members of the BlueNC and LGBT communities.”
Spaulding believes Hagan’s non-responsive attitude will not “bode well for an improvement in constituent services if Sen. Hagan is elected senator, as constituent services has been one of the hallmark weaknesses of
For Q-Notes’ Mar. 8 issue, Hagan’s spokesperson Colleen Flanagan also provided vague responses to questions on LGBT issues. As with Spaulding’s attempts at clarification, Q-Notes’ follow-up questions were ignored by Hagan’s staff.
Clinton appoints N.C. director, opens campaign offices
STATEWIDE — Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has appointed Averell “Ace” Smith to serve as her campaign’s North Carolina State Director. According to Clinton staff, Smith led the campaign to victories in the California and Texas primaries.
“We are going to wage an aggressive, grassroots campaign and work hard for every vote across North Carolina,” Smith said.
According to The California Majority Report, Smith is the president of SCN Public Relations, “a Democratic political consulting firm specializing in public relations, strategy, research, debate preparation and campaign management for political campaigns, non-profits and corporations nationwide.”
In April, the Clinton campaign also opened several North Carolina campaign offices, including locations in Fayetteville, Greensboro, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. The offices will be used as organizing hubs for campaign staff and volunteers.