Clinton calls for change during Oakland rally...
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More than 14,000 people, including San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Senator Dianne Feinstein, rallied in downtown Oakland at Sen. Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) latest campaign stop on Sunday.

“I believe that I know how to find common ground and I know how to stand my ground.” Clinton said at the Club44 Make History! Tour. If Clinton wins the 2008 presidential election she will become the 44th president of the United States and the first female president.

Clinton spoke in depth about “restoring American leadership in the world” and repairing the damage caused by the Bush Administration who “alienated friends and allies and emboldened our enemies.”

Clinton had a chorus of California state and city officials who endorsed her candidacy and positions on healthcare, the Iraq War and global warming

“When the Clintons were in the White House we had peace and prosperity in this country,” Sen. Don Perata said “It’s time to restore peace and prosperity.”

The crowd became more fervent after an animated Newsom finally took the stage to formally announced his support of Clinton, “I’ve never felt more proud of any choice in a candidate than I do today for Hillary Clinton,” he said.

“She can restore our status in the world. She understands environmental challenges,” Newsom said later, “She knows how to get things done. Those are all the reasons she is easy to support.”

Likewise, Clinton commended Newsom's health care program that makes primary and preventive health services available to all San Francisco residents.

“What Gavin has done in San Francisco should be done everywhere,” Clinton said.

Clinton plans to change current policy for health care providers in an attempt to prevent insurance claims from being denied for pre-existing conditions “and this time, with your help,” she said “we’re going to get it done.”

Revisiting a common debate and campaign issue—global warming—Clinton promised a smarter energy policy by using technology to harness solar, wind and geothermal resources.

“Sometimes I wonder what reality the White House is living in,” the senator said regarding the current administration’s belief that combating global warming would hurt the economy.

Clinton said the fight against climate change would create new jobs by constructing green buildings and developing a sustainable resource industry. These jobs would not easily be outsourced to other countries and would help to further boost the economy.

In addition to maintaining her stance on environmentally conscious programs, Clinton, and her supporters, repeated her pledge to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq.

San Francisco Assessor Phil Ting said Clinton was “someone who has the guts to say this war is wrong.”

Without going into details the former First Lady unequivocally stated she would like to bring our troops home. “We’d like to restart the 21st Century and undo the damage that’s been done,” she said.

After detailing her platform issues Clinton acknowledged the difficulties she may face by stating “I know it sounds like a big agenda but I think we’re really ready for big agenda.”

The Senator’s agenda touched on making college more affordable “so it’s not held up there as a dream for so many families,” and said “you see college tuition going up and up, with no end in sight.”

There was little variation from the campaign trail’s three hot topics — global warming, healthcare and the war in Iraq.

Ting and Roberta Achtenberg, Chair of the California State University Board of Trustees, deviated from the standard issues.

“Hillary is dedicated to ending the 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' policy in the U.S. Military,” Achtenberg said.

While Achtenberg narrowed in on Clinton’s support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community, Ting focused on women’s issues.

“We want to elect someone who will nominate chief justices who will protect a woman’s right to choose,” Ting said.

After spending 15 years in the same political arena, Feinstein championed Clinton.

“She has the heart, the experience, to make a great American president,” Feinstein said “Hillary really has the know-how to make the difference.”

Clinton supporters were particularly fond of Clinton’s universal health care stance, dubbed the "American Health Choices Plan", and her strong support of beefing up environmental laws.

“I’m just so ready for change,” said Jane Russell, an Oakland native who came to see Clinton for her first California fundraiser, “I like that Hillary is very can-do and not out to dominate and control.”

John Juster, from Carmel, who attended Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign stop in San Jose said “I think I’m looking at the next president again.”

A group from PeaceActionWest said they were hoping to ask Clinton questions regarding escalating tension with Iran and details on plans with pulling out of Iraq.

“We didn’t hear a lot of her specifics,” Danya Rosen of PeaceAction said.

“I’ve heard a lot of that speech before,” San Jose native Theresa Campbell said “but she makes a good point. I’m supporting her because I think she’s the most viable candidate with all the dirt that will be thrown.”

“She won’t please everybody,” Kathleen Crandalo of Berkeley said “she probably won’t please me all the time but I’m still supporting her.”

“The era of cowboy diplomacy is over,” Clinton said, “If you’re ready to make a change, then I’m ready to lead.”



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Nathan Weyland | staff photographer
On September 30, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) held a campaign rally in downtown Oakland California. An estimated 14,000 people turned out for the event





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