May 30th, 2008
10:11 AM ET
15 years ago

Clinton supporters tell her: 'It's an honor, Madame President!'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Clinton campaigned in South Dakota Thursday."] WATERTOWN, South Dakota (CNN) - Long bus rides along rolling fields, small town stops, intimate crowds and diner pie typically symbolize the run up to the Iowa caucuses and the start of the presidential nominating season. But Hillary Clinton's two-day swing through South Dakota, a state that ends the primary process Tuesday, had all those trappings and neither the candidate nor her supporters were acting as though this race was nearing an end.

"A lot of people didn't want this campaign to keep going. They've been trying to tell me to stop running since January - and every time they say it, people rebuke it and keep voting for me. That's what I hope will happen here in South Dakota," she told a cheering crowd of several hundred in Huron.

As she stood in front of an enormous American flag, Clinton wound through her stump speech promising fiscal responsibility, universal health care, better and more jobs, ending the war in Iraq - all the issues candidates touch as they claw for every vote. She promised that between now and Tuesday there would not be a day without a Clinton in some corner of this state. As voters left they were given small Xeroxed fliers advertising a Bill Clinton event Friday in Mitchell.

Earlier Thursday die-hard Clinton supporters and some undecided Democrats waited patiently inside the smallish Second Street Diner in Madison hoping for a glimpse of and a picture with the presidential candidate. Upon arrival Clinton gripped and grinned with the all white, mostly middle-aged female crowd stopping at each booth and table to chat about issues or her Wednesday trip to Mt. Rushmore – "it's an honor, Madame President!" one woman shrieked as Clinton bounced through the door.

Clinton sat with a group of all female campaign volunteers sipped her tea and nibbled her pie before she took the microphone for a semi-impromptu speech and question and answer session with the diner crowd.

Jolene Johnson, a Madison resident and undecided voter, said Clinton's situation did not look "favorable" but said the "tenacity of staying in is typical of a woman ... she is not a quitter." She came to the diner to hear Clinton's pitch, and brought her granddaughter along to show her that a woman could run for president.

"I'd like to see her win," said retiree Wayne Grad. "Obama is a good candidate, but he lacks the experience. He's too much of a rock star." Grad said he thought calls for Clinton to exit the race were premature. When asked whether he thought Clinton would be his party's nominee he said, "I'd like to believe she is."

Clinton logged hours on the road to touch South Dakota's urban and rural communities from Rapid City in the west to Watertown in the east. She heads to Puerto Rico Friday for a three-day swing and a presumed victory in the island's Sunday primary, further adding to her popular vote total and her argument that she still has a chance at the nomination.

The campaign is mum about where she heads after Sunday and what her schedule holds for next week. The mid-size traveling press corps received an email to sign up for future travel, prompting questions about where the bus was headed next? A campaign spokesman replied "there are a lot of places to go to between June 3 and November."

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (342 Responses)
  1. Concerned in Alabama

    All the "old" white women are voting for me."

    "Upon arrival Clinton gripped and grinned with the all white, mostly middle-aged female crowd stopping at each booth and table to chat about issues or her Wednesday trip to Mt. Rushmore."

    Okay, we get it!

    Obama 08!

    May 30, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. g

    Promising fiscal responsibility huh? Thats much is her campaign debt nowadays anyway?

    May 30, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. austbill

    Go Hillary!!!!

    Hillary is a champion and a champion for the American people.

    May 30, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  4. roger

    this race has gone too far.

    who ever is the nominee the underlying message is clear and I hope people in washington see this and realize one point - people are tired of washington ways, lobby, outsourcing, NAFTA, the economy, the politics and want a change.

    May 30, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. pat ny

    I trully believe that in the end, Hillary will come out on top.

    May 30, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. Illinois 2

    Don't stop now, take this battle to the convention so everyone can see just how corrupt your opponent really is....

    May 30, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Nancy


    May 30, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. Bjoerlingfan

    Hey, I think she should definitely stick it out until the last primaries are finished–let everyone have their say. However, if on June 4th she's still behind I think she should bow out gracefully and throw her full support behind Obama.

    May 30, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. B positive

    It truly is an honor to have Madame President Hillary Rodham Clinton!

    May 30, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. Helen, GA

    Rafael, do not speak spanish here. I want Hillary to win. She has experience and she will be a better candidate. Obama is a cheat. I think he shoulsd join Jeremiah Wright in the pulpit.

    May 30, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Ric

    There is speculation that in response to Obama's victory speech next Tuesday, Clinton will announce an independent bid for president. So far, there are 250,000 signatures on the first petition. 2008 will be an exciting election year after all.

    May 30, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. Phil-Little Rock

    You must be joking. This is how stuff like Nazism and Stalinism got started: one misled idiot in denial brainwashing a nation of misled idiots in denial into believing their cause is right, just and good.

    STOP DRINKING THE KOOL-AID, PEOPLE! Madame President? In your dreams!!

    GO OBAMA '08

    May 30, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. Kenneth M

    5-29-08 – Added DNC Gail Rasmussen (OR) for Obama
    – Added DNC Eileen MacColl (WA) for Clinton
    – Added Rep. Alan Mollohan (WV) for Obama
    – Added DNC Boyd Richie (TX) for Obama
    – Added DNC Betty Richie (TX) for Obama

    May 30, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. Awaiting moderation to infinity and beyond

    It cracks me up how people are suppoting the Priest Pflegler fr his racist comments and saying that he only spoke the truth. The entire congregation, Obama's supporters, cheered and hollared when the priest said what he said about Hillary being white and feeling entitled to the presidency. This is what we have to look forward to with an Obama presidency. It will be more racism against whites like you have neve seen. Heck it will be that way if Obama doesn't win. It's a lose lose situation. Obama is such a smart man, but he is completely and utterly politically naive. He would have made such an unstoppable candidate if he had completed one or two terms in Washington first and actually accomplished some things. What has he done? We don't know. If he could have proven that he could be in Washington fo a complete term and actually accomplished anything without becoming "part" of washington, then I would have complete respect for him. The problem is that you cannot accomplish anything without becoming part of the the "process". Everything that Obama is against is exactly what he needs to become in order to do anything. Why are supporters of Obama so naive? It's absolutely crazy.

    May 30, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA



    May 30, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. Kenneth of Minneapolis (KW)

    Hillary we want to to run as an Independent! Please

    You will get 47% of the vote and become the very first female/husband-wife president/spouse of nearly impeached president/travel gate/whitewater/sniper fire/ ever with no baggage.

    You go Girl!

    The Perfect role model for young women (willing and able to accept reality, does what is best for a bigger cause, fight when back against the wall, rely on honest).

    May 30, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. Dave C - NJ

    I'm an Obama supporter however I'm 100% SURE that Hillary never considered being white was ANY part of why she should be president.
    I'm sure it never entered her mind.

    That crap about Hillary thinking she deserved it because she was white is completely ridiculous...look at the level she's at doesn't come into play.

    (This is to all the blacks on the other thread that was quickly closed lol)

    And of course she has a right to stay in the race. I understand the DNC is upset because it takes time away from the general, but you know what, rules are rules. Where does it say you can force someone to give up?

    Obama will win regardless.

    May 30, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. Ex-Hillary supporter

    A vote for Clinton is a vote for lies, corruption and unethical behavior.
    She has proven to be a lousy role model for women, I'll wait for a more worthy female candidate to come along.

    May 30, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. Wise White Guy

    Hilda....the gas tax holiday was first of all, a polical pandering stunt. It was a horrible idea that for Hillary was a tool to prey on stupid people and get their vote. This worked well in West Virginia. For McSame, he actually thought it was a good idea until he totally forgot what day it was and his staunch position on the gas tax holiday. The truth is that neither of them could promise you anything of the sort and they knew that full well when they puppetted you for votes.

    May 30, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. Smart Hillary, Copycat Obama

    Kudos to Kathy's comments, he copies everything. If he claims that he was an Illinois State Senator, he should know what to expect in the bigger leagues in Washington, D.C. What did he do when he went to the U.S. Senate? Copy the Hillary model. OBAMA IS A BIG TIME COPYCAT!!!!! SCARY!!!!!

    May 30, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. Agnostic Democrat

    The biggest honor will be when she is out of this race and back in training to get more of that "35 years of experience". May be she can be the new D.C. Madame and Slick Willy can be her john.

    May 30, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. Mike D

    The HillBilly campaign is like watching a sinking ship with the Captain (Hillary) spouting “Don’t jump ship. We haven’t sunk yet!”

    One would expect the Captain to go down with her ship, but dang Hillary, at least let the DNC survive! You can't win, you won't win, there is no stopping your ship from sinking. Pack it up, back Obama and lets move on!


    May 30, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. Drew, Central FL

    LOL, since January?!? I think she forgot, err rather misspoke, that Super Tuesday was in February. Scary thing is folks really do believe her. It's like they forget their memories, or worse, they are so desperate to realize the dream of a woman as President, they don't care. She's making the mulato senator look extremely gracious by comparison.

    May 30, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. Uncle Sam

    Let's review Sen. Obama's growing list of notables:
    – Father Michael Pfleger
    – Rev. Jeremiah Wright
    – Minister Louis Farrakhan
    – Nation of Islam
    – Hamas
    – Tony Rezko
    – Nadhmi Auchi
    – William Ayers
    – Bernardine Dohrn
    – Rashid Khalidi

    Americans for McCain '08

    May 30, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. ISeeNothingWrongWithIt

    Wishfull thinking madam president of what She should hope and prey to getting her old sit as a senate let alone president.

    May 30, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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