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Former President Clinton energizes Maffei supporters

Ellen Abbott

The troops in the Dan Maffei for Congress campaign have been energized after the visit of former President Bill Clinton in Syracuse last week.  Clinton gave Maffei supporters talking points for the campaign.Clinton hit all the campaign touch points, revving up the Democratic party foot soldiers at the rally. First, Clinton came up with a slogan for campaigners as he admitted it's been a slow economic recovery.  

"We're on the way, Syracuse is on the way, and to be poetic, Syracuse is on the way with Dan Maffei," declared the former president.

Then Clinton lectured the crowd of about 800 in an airline hanger near Hancock Airport, about how hard it is to come back from a deep recession.

"This wouldn't be a close race except we're Americans, we're impatient, and we can't believe anything can't be fixed in four years," Clinton said. "I am telling you we're on the right track. Unemployment is down and jobs are growing."

For campaigner Diane Dwire of Camillus, Clinton offered inspiration for the last leg of the campaign.

"It gives you the information you need to explain it to people, and I get more excited. I do what I can do, and now I want to do more.  It's a short time and you've got to go for it," said Dwire.

Linda Rosenberg, with the Communications Workers of America, agreed that with just over two weeks before election day in a very close 24th district congressional race, there's work to be done.  

"I think people become complacent, and I think it's an excellent time for the vote to be gotten out. We've got to get out the vote and be out there November 6th," said Rosenberg.

Clinton's speech was mostly about the economy, but he punctuated it with a jab at Maffei's opponent, Republican incumbent Ann Marie Buerkle, on her position related to abortion.

"The government's got plenty to do getting this economy going again. The government's got plenty to do to make sure every American is trained and educated to do a good job.  The government doesn't have to get into the deepest most difficult, painful decisions a family has to make," said Clinton.

After the Syracuse stop Clinton moved on to  Rochester to campaign for Democrats Louise Slaughter and Kathy Hochul, also in competitive congressional races in western New York.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.