Hillary heats up Ohio State

Jenna Staul

Clinton starts her campaign in the swing state as the March 4 primary nears

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Hillary Clinton courted two groups of crucial voters last night at her campaign appearance at Ohio State: the youth vote and the Ohio vote.

Gov. Ted Strickland and former Sen. John Glenn were among the estimated 2,750 on hand at Ohio State’s French Field House yesterday to listen to Clinton talk about key issues including health care, home foreclosures, job outsourcing and the


Much of the crowd was made up of Ohio State students who represent the much-sought youth vote in this year’s race. Some who turned out were fervent supporters of Clinton while others came to the speech unsure of how they will cast their ballot in the March 4 primary.

“She needs to reach out to the youth vote,” said Tim Weaver, a freshman actuarial sciences major at Ohio State. “And it depends on what she says (tonight).”

Clinton spent much of her speech promoting her 35 years of experience in politics as well as her idea of a more optimistic America.

“We have to believe that America will remain great because we’re up to the challenges that face it,” Clinton said in her speech. “Since when did America become a can’t-do nation?”

Some students such as John Wasserman, sophomore philosophy major, were eager to hear Clinton talk about her stance on issues before they decide if they will vote for her.

“I’m an independent,” Wasserman said. “I haven’t even narrowed it down yet. But it’s nice to see Ohio getting some attention.”

Among Hillary’s supporters were Ohio State student Cacey Black, freshman engineering major, who worked as a volunteer at the event.

“I think it’s exciting that Ohio is a major contributor (in the primaries),” Black said. “I’m a supporter, and it’s awesome to be here and have this opportunity because it’s so big.”

Jill Evans, sophomore special education major, said while she is unsure of whom she will be voting for, she was glad that Clinton took the time to stop at Ohio State, adding that she would not miss the opportunity to see her speak.

“I think it’s important for young people to voice their opinions and to be heard,” Evans said. “Especially with them coming to our campus. It’s history in the making.”

While only time will tell if Clinton’s stop at Ohio State will help her sway the youth vote often associated with her opponent Barack Obama, Clinton’s supporters hope their message reaches college-aged students.

“I know I’m just getting involved,” sophomore engineering major Maurice Shirly said. “And I know a lot of 10 to 25-year-old slackers who are just starting to get into it too.”

Gov. Ted Strickland, who introduced Sen. Glenn and Clinton, made it clear to the crowd that Ohioans are a priority in the 2008 race.

“We have a little bit of everything that exists in America in Ohio,” Strickland said. “And Ohioans take their vote seriously.”

Peter Koltak, vice president of the Ohio State College Democrats, said Ohio residents should be proud that their state is again pivotal in the presidential race.

“I mean, Ohio is a battle ground again,” Koltak said. “And we are excited about the attention that it is bringing to Ohio State.”

Many Ohio State students were glad to see a campaign front-runner such as Clinton making a stop at their university.

“It’s neat that Ohio gets a little bit of attention,” Wasserman said.

Contact student politics reporter Jenna Staul at [email protected]. Public affairs reporter Juanita Cebulak contributed to this story.