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2016 Postmortem

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(960 posts)
Fri Jun 17, 2016, 04:24 PM Jun 2016

Hillary Clinton invokes unlikely allies on the stump the Bushes [View all]

Hillary Clinton praised a former president to a crowd of cheering liberal supporters earlier this month as “absolutely committed” and unwavering in his support of one of her causes.

The man she spoke of was not her husband, Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama, whom she hopes to succeed. It was George W. Bush — long one of the left’s most potent villains.

In an unusual election year, when a quarter of Republicans say they do not have a favorable opinion of their presumptive nominee, Clinton is making striking overtures to conservatives even as she works to shore up support on the left flank of her party by winning over Sen. Bernie Sanders’ liberal backers.

That’s included surprisingly warm talk about both former Presidents Bush, as well as GOP icon Ronald Reagan. At a campaign stop in Westminster, Calif., earlier this month, Clinton said she was fortunate enough to have known “a lot of presidents.”

“I knew President George H.W. Bush, and he was always willing to talk about issues and ask what was on your mind,” she said. Of his son, she offered more specific praise, saying he was “absolutely committed” after 9/11 to his promise to get New York City the billions of dollars it needed to rebuild. “He never wavered and I’ll never forget that,” she said of Bush, as a few supporters clapped tepidly. (At Nancy Reagan’s funeral in March, a CNN journalist posted a photo of the two hugging.)

Earlier this week, Clinton cited Bush again in her first remarks addressing the terrorist attack in Orlando, praising him for speaking at a Muslim community center just six days after the 9/11 attacks to send a message that the American Muslim community should not be blamed for them.

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