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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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February 8, 2008 10:39 AM

With Clinton in Tacoma

Posted by David Postman

I’m at Hillary Clinton’s health care town hall. She has nearly filled the 6,000-seat field house at the University of Puget Sound. Last night she had about that many people at Pier 30. Not bad given that she wasn’t even planning on coming to the state until two days ago.

Here she will be introduced by Becky Patton, president of the American Nurses Association, who will announce her group’s endorsement of Clinton. This is part of Clinton’s emphasis on health care since arriving in the state yesterday.

The endorsement is also a way to react to this week’s endorsement of Barack Obama by locals of the Service Employees International Union, representing nurses and other health care workers.

Clinton will speak to the crowd, and then take questions. There are a lot of nurses in the room, but the campaign says Clinton will take questions from anyone in the audience.

From reporter Jennifer Sullivan at Key Arena, I just heard that there is a massive crowd turning out for Obama's rally. That could be one of the largest political rallies ever in Seattle.

I'm not one to spend too much time worrying about music a candidate plays. But if Clinton wants to use "I'm a Believer," why wouldn't she use the Monkees' version and not the awful cover by Smash Mouth? This is how elections are lost.

I learned something about campaigns this morning. The script for this morning's event says Clinton will be announced by "VOG." That stands for Voice of God. Wouldn't they play up that endorsement more?

If you're in Key Arena, tell us what's going on there.

ADD: Well, the "announcement" of the nurses endorsement isn't really news. That happened on Jan. 25. I guess the re-announcement is meant to counter the SEIU endorsement.

MORE: The talk here is full of subtle jabs at Obama. Congressman Jay Inslee talked about the need for universal health care and said, “When we say universal, we mean universal. … We cannot have half a plan for universal coverage. We cannot have a three-quarters plan for universal coverage. … We have to have somebody who will not surrender on universal health care on day one, but will fight.”

Sen. Maria Cantwell said that Clinton was in Tacoma to show that there are more places to campaign in Washington than just Seattle, where Obama is today.

And Clinton continued the theme of criticizing Obama’s health care plan for its lack of mandated insurance coverage.

“I believe health care is a right, not a privelege. If Democrats don’t stand for universal health care than I don’t think we stand for what we should. …My opponents’ plan would leave out 15 million people, leave them uninsured.”

Among those here supporting Clinton is Insurance Comissioner Mike Kreidler.

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