I’m in the ballroom of the Capitol Hill Holiday Inn, awaiting the start of the Clinton press event announcing the formation of “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Hillary.”
Judging by the handouts, this will be another event that is, depending on your point of view, either shameless pandering or crafty outreach to a particular ethnic group.
I had mentioned a few days ago that when Hillary speaks before an interest group, she usually wows them with a detailed discussion of their most obscure priorities, while Obama seemed to turn in more or less his standard stump speech. Today I notice that the handout on Hillary’s record (and it is indeed, “Hillary’s record,” not “Senator Clinton’s record”) mentions that she “called for equity for the Filipino veterans of World War II who were wrongly denied veteran benefits.” I can’t imagine that that is the sort of issue that moves a large number of votes, but for a small group of Filipino-Americans, I’ll bet that it’s their driving issue, and just by mentioning it, Hillary has gone a long way to winning over that small group. It’s surprising that more candidates don’t put more resources into researching the niche issues that drive small but vocal groups of single-issue voters.
Interestingly, Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down”, which had been playing at John McCain events (inspiration for the gates of hell line? “You can stand me up at the gates of hell but I won’t back down…”) is playing on the loudspeaker. Next up is U2′s Vertigo. There’s a spin doctor joke in there somewhere, but I’m not touching it.
UPDATE: Grumblegrumblegrumble. It’s after 1 p.m., and still no sign of Senator Clinton. I think she’s doing this just to louse up my coverage of a 1:30 p.m. Rudy campaign conference call.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Hillary arrives, ten minutes before the Giuliani call.