Small-town voters hail Clinton's road-show

BILL CLINTON arrived back at his hotel from his morning jog yesterday, glowing not just from physical effort but also from the knowledge that his campaign for president is on a roll.

Ten minutes later, Mr Clinton was back in the lobby ready for the final leg of his 'First Thousand Miles' bus tour through the American Mid-West. First stop of the day was a high school outside Louisville, Kentucky, and from there on to southern Indiana and Illinois.

And through the caravan of eight buses word spread like a bushfire about the huge lead over President Bush that Mr Clinton had built up in the latest opinion polls. 'This is just super, super,' the campaign people gasped.

Mr Clinton's staff are lost for words to describe how well they believe the campaign is going. Last week's New York convention was judged a smash hit and their candidate, accompanied by his running-mate, Al Gore, is drawing much larger crowds than anyone expected.

Like most of the states on the tour, which winds up in St Louis, Missouri, today, Kentucky is a must win for the Democrat team. The highlight here was an 'electronic town meeting' on Monday night in the studios of WHAS TV, the local Louisville station. For 60 minutes, Mr Clinton and Mr Gore stood before a studio audience, with live hook-ups to additional audiences around the state, answering questions.

Both men rendered a chopped- up version of their traditional stump speeches. Putting the people first, looking after the 'forgotten middle class' and so on. A backdrop bore theme words denoting the country's problems - drugs, crime, unemployment and the simple word 'Bush'.

Halfway through came a gift from the Republican opposition. Dan Quayle had pre-recorded a comment attacking Mr Clinton for his pledge to raise taxes for the very wealthy, alleging the strategy would turn into tax increases for all. 'Read my lips,' shot back Mr Clinton to roars of approval from the studio crowd. He swiftly added: 'No, I'm only joking. No responsible person would do what George Bush did and promise never to raise taxes.'

Above all, this tour is designed to touch hearts in small-town rural America. The chance for Mr Clinton to appeal to the people of Kentucky came with a question on the future of the tobacco industry. Current federal support for growers should stay, he argued, harvesting more applause and banner headlines in the local press.

Seneca High School is a local model for what can be done to keep young teenagers off the streets in the summer. The school, where Mr Clinton addressed pupils, teachers and parents for nearly an hour, runs a summer programme with pupils attending lessons in the morning and working part-time for local employers in the afternoon.

At the end June Tobin, a school career planner, remained uncertain about whether Mr Clinton had the answers for America's educational problems. Asked what she thought of him she shrugged and said: 'I'm still not sure.'

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power