Clinton kid stumps at UVM

Burlington received rare attention Friday as Democratic contender Hillary Clinton’s daughter Chelsea visited the state to campaign for her mother.Vermont has become uncommonly important in this year’s primary battle because of an unusually tight race between the two leading contenders and the resulting designation by many of the slew of primaries on Tuesday, which includes Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island in addition to Vermont as bearing critical importance for the race. After eating at Uncommon Grounds on Church Street, Clinton came to the Dudley Davis Center for a question and answer session. Attendees filled the main floor and lined the stairways leading to the top of the atrium. Countless attendees could be spotted holding up campaign signs, and wearing buttons and stickers in support Clinton’s mother Hillary. Though attendance was free and open to all, there seemed to be very little overt support of other candidates, including her main rival Sen. Barack Obama, though there was a brief exchange with a Ron Paul supporter in which she encouraged others to visit the Republican long-shot’s web site.The former first daughter responded to a broad range of questions from students and Vermonters – fielding questions about her mother’s candidacy ranging from healthcare to foreign policy and the green industry for about an hour.”My mom is the first person running for president to talk about green-collar jobs,” she said in response to a question about the economy.”And to see, in global warming, a real opportunity to grow our economy. So she said that she would take away the tax breaks that the oil and gas companies received in the 2005 energy bill. “Something they received when oil was over $60 a barrel… institute a windfall profit tax on the oil companies, now that oil is over $100 a barrel. [Hillary Clinton will] invest aggressively in clean, renew?able energy technologies… and to immediately begin greening our federal building system.Though she had warned audience members beforehand that there may be some questions to which she would not be able to formulate a response, the only such moment at the event came when asked about her mother’s position on REAL ID.REAL ID would implement national standards for identification needed to open bank accounts and board planes.Healthcare, too, was a dominant feature of the discussion, with many supporters voicing that as their primary issue.Clinton laid out the foundations of her mother’s plan, stating that her mother promises that all Americans will enjoy healthcare under her administration.Healthcare seemed to be the greatest concern among her supporters, said Harley Sterling, a UVM senior found holding a Hillary 2008 sign outside the event.”Education, I’d say, stands above the others [issues] but between Barack and Hillary I guess the biggest issue between them would be health?care. I think that she has a more aggressive plan,” Sterling said.Though she was willing to answer all manner of questions from the audience, Clinton was tight-lipped when it came to the press.Philippe Reines, a senior advisor to the campaign explained, “That’s her personal choice… I think everyone has a right to define their own level of privacy, and that’s how she defines it.”She has never before conducted an interview, Reines said.Her stay ended in a series of photos and autographs with the crowd and a stop at Feel/Good.