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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Carls for Hillary

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Last Tuesday night Olin hall was filled to capacity as Carls came to watch the inaugural Democratic debate. The viewing party was organized by the Carleton Democrats, and attracted members of the student body who did not usually attend Democratic meetings. The crowd applauded Sanders attacks on income inequality and Clinton’s humorous and sly responses to the Email controversy, including Bernie Sanders’ thunderous proclamation that the American people were “sick of hearing about your damn emails!”

Among the crowds were students wearing feel the Bern buttons and Bernie Sanders placards. Yet the event was not a Bernie Sanders exclusive event. Among the crowd were several members of the group Carls For Hillary.

Hannah Quinn ‘16, a self-described progressive was attracted to Clinton as she is “a strong candidate to push for Obama’s legacy”. Her decision to support Clinton was the result of seeing both her and Senator Bernie Sander’s speech at the Minnesota Democratic Campus. That, combined with a summer internship at the DFL, predisposed her to supporting the Clinton campaign. Quinn praised some of Clinton’s more disputed qualities such as her changing positions over time. To Quinn this represented that she is adaptable and has listened to the American people. Grant Ackerman ‘19 argued that her willingness to be adaptable was a pleasant contrast to some “blocks of granite”, a reference to the Republican turned Independent turned Democratic governor of Rhode Island Lincoln Chaffee. The main competitor for student engagement is Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. The group has remained diplomatic about them, applauding his record and commitment to progressive issues, but voicing a preference that he remain in the senate. When discussing her record, Quinn gave a nuanced perception that although she personally opposed the Iraq War; Mrs. Clinton was under a lot of pressure due to the Pro-War sentiment of the time, especially in the state of New York. Although personally opposed to the decision to go into Iraq, Quinn contended, “If anyone gets a pass to vote for the Iraq War than Hillary Clinton is that person”. During the interview another member of the Carleton Democratic party commented that ‘If Bernie can make the rural argument [for the senators opposition to Gun Control] then Clinton can make the New York argument.’

To Quinn and Grant the controversy surrounding Clinton does not weaken her campaign. Rather it is a demonstration that she is willing to perform as ruthlessly and competitively as her opponents. Shrewdness and tact being the characteristic displayed in the controversy’s surrounding her. This is the largest field of disagreement with those who support Bernie Sanders. Many of the senator’s supporters distrust Clinton due to her connections to Wall Street, and the top echelons of the political establishment.

The supporters’ enthusiasm for Secretary Clinton is not automatically shared with other members of the Carleton Community. The Bernie Sanders campaign has been increasingly prominent on campus. They have found that there is not only a lack of resistance, but there is also a sizeable undecided contingent. Quinn argued that the students were open minded and willing to accept alternative points of views. Grant has found that people have found approach Carls for Hillary mainly to learn about the campaign.

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