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Bill Clinton, Hillary helped Braun in 1998 Senate race: Braun wants Clinton to stay out of 2011 Chicago mayoral

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WASHINGTON--Chicago Mayoral hopeful Carol Moseley Braun warned former President Clinton not to "parachute" into Chicago to campaign for rival Rahm Emanuel. When the former senator was running for re-election in 1998, she welcomed Clinton and then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton to Chicago to fund-raise and get out the vote for her.

From the Chicago Sun-Times archives:

On Nov. 6, 1998, I wrote how Mrs. Clinton lamented that she should have done even more to help Braun win:

Clinton, "whose campaigning contributed to a string of Democratic election victories, said Thursday that she should have done more to help Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun win." Clinton "made her observations in a conversation with Garry Wills, the Northwestern University professor and author who was at the White House to receive a National Humanities medal."

Wills said that in a reception before the medal ceremony, "we talked mainly about how sad she was that they were not able to pull out the Braun election in Illinois. As she put it, 'I got in there too late' or 'I was involved in too many other things.' ... She thinks if she got involved a little earlier, they might have done it."

On Nov. 1, 1998, my former colleague Michael Gillis wrote:

"For the third time in two weeks, Democrats on Saturday brought in their heavy hitter from Washington to aid their local slate.

The heavy hitter's named Clinton, but it's not the president.

It's the first lady, who remains an immensely popular figure in Illinois. Local politicians, particularly Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, are hoping that popularity will translate into
votes Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton was here to help Moseley-Braun Oct. 17, attending a rally at a Mount Prospect school. She returned on Oct. 22 and 23 to stump for -- and raise money for -- Moseley-Braun and Cook County Board President John Stroger.

On Saturday, she attended two rallies with the Democratic slate, first at Operation PUSH on the South Side and then at Wright College on the Northwest Side.

The first lady also has made a campaign commercial for Moseley-Braun and sent out a fund-raising letter on Moseley-Braun's behalf. She raised $ 145,000 for the senator in 10 days, one of the most successful direct mail appeals of the campaign.

On Oct. 23, 1998, I wrote with colleague Mark Brown about Mrs. Clinton's help for Braun:

The first lady's only campaign commercial was made for Moseley-Braun, and her appeal was demonstrated in a fund-raising letter she sent out on Moseley-Braun's behalf. She raised $ 145,000 for the senator in 10 days, one of the most successful direct mail appeals of the campaign, said spokesman Michael Briggs.

With four days of campaigning this year for Moseley-Braun, the TV spot and fund-raising, the first lady has done more for the Illinois senator than any other candidate except Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), whose daughter is married to Clinton's brother.

"When Carol won her Senate seat in 1992, I was extremely proud that the state in which I was born and raised finally elected its first woman senator," Clinton's letter said, asking for money because the senator is "in the fight of her political life."

Does Moseley-Braun think Clinton's highly visible support will help her win back female voters who may have been dissatisfied with her first term?
"I think women voters are going to vote their interests, and there should be no question but that my representation and advocacy for women should encourage them to support my re-election," Moseley-Braun said.

On Oct. 16, 1998, my colleague Scott Fornek wrote about President Clinton's stumping for Braun:

President Clinton will fly into Chicago for a four-hour visit today to help Democrats raise $250,000 for the re-election campaign of Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun.

The trip comes just 24 hours before first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives for some campaigning with the Chicago Democrat on Saturday.

Moseley-Braun's staff said she plans to appear with Clinton at a luncheon fund-raiser at the Union League Club, barring last-minute emergencies.
Hillary Clinton is due to arrive here Saturday for a Democratic rally at Elmhurst College. Moseley-Braun's staff had called the event "a pro-choice rally," but school and campaign officials said Thursday it was a celebration of "women who have made a difference."

3 Comments

It makes sense that Clinton stomped for Carol Moseley Braun for Senate. Hillary's husband was then President and needed that Democrat vote. A Senate race has national impact.

Why is it Bill Clinton's business who Chicagoans elect as Mayor? He's not a resident here but neither is Rahm.

Demetrius, I agree with you wholeheartedly. It is a President's business to campaign for Senators and Congressmen who will help them. However, President Clinton needs to stay out of Chicago's Mayor's race, because all three of these top candidates helped him. So all he has to do is stay neutral.

The Clintons did every thing they could to get Braun re-elcted in 1998. Yet Braun did not endorse Hillary in 2008 after all she did for her. So much fo loyalty. I was a former fan of Carol's. I would never vote for her now.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on December 30, 2010 3:38 PM.

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