October 12, 2008
Sunday night, former President Bill Clinton travels to Roanoke to support presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Bill Clinton has been criticized by prominent Democrats for not supporting Obama enough during his presidential campaign.
"I do feel like it was a little lackluster previously. I'm looking forward to hearing what he's talking about now, and hopefully we'll be hearing some backing for Barack. I understand that there's some bitterness there," said Mathew Whitted, an Obama supporter who attended Sunday's rally in Roanoke.
But Sunday afternoon hundreds of mostly rural swing voters and Obama supporters heard Clinton praise Obama for surrounding himself with what he called a strong supporting cast of advisers on the economy.
"He said don't bother me with what's popular, I want to know what the right thing to do is and I'll figure out how to settle it," said former President Bill Clinton, "That's what a president does in a crisis."
The economy is top on voters' minds this election, causing some swing voters who supported President Bush both terms to switch to the Democrats.
"I'm leaning very heavily towards voting for a Democrat this year," remarked longtime Roanoke resident David Kingsley, "I voted for President Bush twice, and for his father, but I now feel that things are just not going well enough."
Bill Clinton left the presidency with a huge budget surplus, and for some it was a historic day just to see a President speak who presided over such strong economic times.
"This is just historic for Bill Clinton to come here to Roanoke," said Susan Smith. "I wanted to be here. And it's nice to see a lot of young people here too I think that's going to be a deciding factor."
Clinton also talked about the importance of young people in this election, "Life has been good to us---the Democrats--and it's about all the young people out today supporting us."
Many of these voters had once supported Hillary Clinton, but now it looks like they're supporting Obama as Obama and McCain are even in the polls in the Shenandoah area.
After the stop in Roanoke, President Clinton headed to Richmond for another rally on behalf of Senators Obama and Biden.