Bill Clinton: Hillary ‘ready to be Commander in Chief’

Washington caucuses set for Saturday, March 26

Bill Clinton campaigned for his wife Hillary in Vancouver, Washington, March 21, 2016. (KOIN)
Bill Clinton campaigned for his wife Hillary in Vancouver, Washington, March 21, 2016. (KOIN)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Former President Bill Clinton was in Vancouver Monday in a campaign event for his wife, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Bill Clinton attended Hillary for Washington Get Out The Caucus events in both Spokane and Vancouver on Monday, one day after her main rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, held rallies in Vancouver, Spokane and Seattle.

Learn more about the Washington caucuses

The former president spoke at Clark College Student Union on behalf of Hillary about the issues in this campaign and what’s at stake, while urging voters to caucus.

“My number one job here is to plead with you all to caucus, because it’s not all that easy to do,” Bill Clinton said on Monday.

Bill Clinton shakes hands with Wash. Gov. Jay Insee in Vancouver, March 21, 2016. (KOIN)
Bill Clinton shakes hands with Wash. Gov. Jay Insee in Vancouver, March 21, 2016. (KOIN)

Nothing was off limits for the former president who went on to discuss the economy, healthcare, college debt and even took a little jab at GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump.

“You can’t afford to have a president who cannot also be Commander in Chief,” Bill Clinton said. “The other thing we’ve got to do is finish the work of health reform.”

Spectators, some who lined up more than 3 hours before the event, said they enjoyed his “funny, informative” speech about “Hillary and what she can accomplish.”

Before taking center stage in Vancouver, Bill Clinton made a surprise appearance at Powell’s Books in downtown Portland. He and Oregon Governor Kate Brown shook hands and met with Portlanders before heading across the border to Washington.

A short time later, Governor Brown formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

“Hillary Clinton is the fighter Oregon families need in the White House and I am proud to endorse her candidacy for President,” Governor Brown said in a press release.

“Hillary and I share a bold, progressive agenda that aims to break down the barriers that hold working families back and ensures that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed. Hillary has spent her career fighting to advance civil rights for all Americans and working towards real solutions to the issues that keep Oregonians up at night. From her commitment to fighting for paid family and medical leave, to her proposal to make Oregon the model for expanding voting rights nationwide, I know that Oregonians can count on Hillary to deliver real results for us as President.”

The Democrats will caucus in Washington this Saturday, March 26.

While big cities like Seattle are often hot spots for political candidates on the campaign trail, many are surprised Vancouver has gotten so much attention this year.

“It’s rare that we get this kind of national attention,” political analyst Jim Moore said.

Moore says there are 2 big reasons candidates are centering in on the city.

Political analyst Jim Moore says it's rare Vancouver gets this much attention. (KOIN)
Political analyst Jim Moore says it’s rare Vancouver gets this much attention. (KOIN)

“It is a population center in Washington state,” he explained, adding that because Vancouver is so close to Oregon, “it gets Oregon voters jazzed as well.”

Neither Sanders or Clinton fine tuned their messages for those who came out to their events, and Moore says that’s not uncommon. He boiled it all down to this:

“People are not as enthusiastic as Hillary Clinton as they are about Bernie Sanders,” Moore said. “She’s got the votes but the enthusiasm gap is big.”

Now that both Sanders and Clinton have made campaign stops in Vancouver, should locals expect Republican candidates to stop by, as well?

The short answer? Yes.

“It’ll especially be Oregon and it’ll be because Trump will not have put this away,” Moore said. “The earliest Trump puts away the nomination is 2 weeks after Oregon.”

Oregon’s primary will be held in 2 months on May 17.

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