Democrats Back Hillary Clinton's Bid For Second Senate Term
05/31/2006 09:03 AM
Senator Hillary Clinton fired up delegates at the state Democratic Convention in Buffalo Wednesday after they unanimously selected her to become the party's official designee for the Senate race.
The two-day convention began Tuesday with candidates vying for their place on the September primary ballot. Candidates need 51 percent of the vote to get the party nod, and 25 percent to get on the ballot.
After the party threw its support behind Clinton, who is running for re-election this November, the state's junior senator addressed a crowd that included her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Clinton's speech touched on a host of issues that affect not just New Yorkers but all Americans, including higher education, the environment and energy policy.
She called on oil companies to start contributing towards research into alternative energy.
"We could in America become a net exporter of new energy technology and employ thousands and thousands of Americans in good, high-paying jobs," said Clinton. "You know, it's an old saying, but when it comes to energy it is true: You're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem. And it's time for the oil companies to be part of the solution for the sake of our country's future."
Clinton also took on the Iraq war, a sore point for some Democrats who are upset she voted for it.
"Stand with me as we push the Bush administration to take responsibility for the mistakes and misjudgments they have made around the world," she said. "And stand with me as we put pressure on both the administration and the new Iraqi government to get behind a real plan for the Iraqis to assume a growing responsibility for their own security and safety so that we can begin to bring our troops home."
Clinton may still face a September primary challenge from a little known anti-Iraq war activist, Jonathan Tasini.
At an earlier breakfast, Clinton told Democrats they should get ready for a sweep in the November elections.
Six years ago, Clinton was called a carpetbagger with no real record. She made history by becoming the first First Lady to be elected to public office. Now she's a national star in her own right who may be seeking the presidency in 2008.
“There are a certain number of people I imagine who love her no matter what, and there’s a certain number of people who no matter what she does or says would not consider voting for her,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler. “She’s a polarizing candidate, but polarizing candidates win elections sometimes.”
“I’d love to see her as president of the United States,” said state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
On Tuesday, Democrats tapped state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer as its designee for governor.
Senate Minority Leader David Paterson received the party's support for lieutenant governor.
Tom Suozzi skipped the convention, but he remains a candidate for governor and was in Buffalo. The Nassau County Executive held a rally yesterday, vowing to force a primary with Spitzer.
Suozzi is hoping to drum up enough support and petition signatures to get his name on the ballot.
NY1 will provide ongoing coverage of the state Democratic and Republican conventions this week, including special editions of "Inside City Hall" nightly at 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
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