North Carolina State University, Peace College and University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill hosted speaker Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, March 31. She was brought to the campus as part of the “Our Voices, Our Future” tour, launched in the beginning of 2008 to reach out to young voters.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Clinton drew crowds of several hundred students at all universities, where she held question-and-answer sessions covering topics such as higher education costs and the war in Iraq.
The former president’s daughter emphasized the importance of the youth vote for her mother’s campaign. She also criticized the current administration’s “war on science” and withdrawl from agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.
“I think the world will breathe a sigh of relief when this president is gone,” she said at N.C. State.
Clinton continuously tried to distinguish her mother’s campaign from her father’s presidency.
“A vote for Hillary is a vote for Hillary,” she said. “I don’t think you should vote for or against my mother based on my father.”
Clinton, however, could not avoid questions about her father’s presidency. During her talk at UNC, an audience member asked her about the Monica Lewinsky scandal, which she refused to discuss.
“It’s none of your business,” Clinton said as the crowd applauded.
The youngest Clinton was well received overall, according to George Drometer, UNC Young Democrats co-president.
“Just judging by the number of people who came, there was a lot of interest,” Drometer said.
There are 29,702 more registered voters in the 18 to 24-year- old bracket in North Carolina since the last presidential primary.
According to Associate Director for Democracy NC Jennifer Frye, young voter turnout has “tripled or quadrupled” since 2000 in response to the Iraq war and the failing economy.
“College-age voters, 18 to 24- year-olds, are making the difference in a lot of primaries across the country,” Frye said.
Members of Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaign as well as those in Senator Barack Obama’s camp will make numerous stops throughout North Carolina before the presidential primary May 6. The state has 115 delegates and 19 unpledged superdelegates for the taking.